Summing up all the goodness of pets in one quote.
March 11, 2008 3:52 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for a good quote about pet ownership.

I'm writing something about the laws about pet ownership in NYC. It would be cool if I could find a quote that conveys the goodness of having a pet that I could use at the end of my conclusion. I know this is vague b/c I don't know exactly what I want. I do know that I hate cheesy and cutesy, and internet searching for quotes about pets turns up lots of cheesy and cutesy. To give some idea, I kind of like the following two quotes b/c they express the sentiment I'm looking for without being sentimental. The quote doesn't have to be from literature, but I'm not looking for the wisdom of your Aunt Margaret.

Our perfect companions never have fewer than four feet. -Colette

Dogs are our link to paradise. They don't know evil or jealousy or discontent. To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring - it was peace. - Milan Kundera

Thanks for any ideas.
posted by Mavri to Pets & Animals (14 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
not sure how close they are to what you're looking for, but two of my favorites:

If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you.
This is the principal difference between a dog and a man.
-- Mark Twain, "Pudd'nhead Wilson's Calendar"

"A boy can learn a lot from a dog: obedence, loyalty, and the importance of turning around three times before lying down."
--Robert Benchley
posted by namewithoutwords at 4:21 PM on March 11, 2008 [1 favorite]

I love cats because I love my home and little by little they become its visible soul. - Jean Cocteau
posted by lucia__is__dada at 4:23 PM on March 11, 2008 [7 favorites]

“We need another and a wiser and perhaps a more mystical concept of animals. Remote from universal nature, and living by complicated artifice, man in civilization surveys the creature through the glass of his knowledge and sees thereby a feather magnified and the whole image in distortion. We patronize them for their incompleteness, for their tragic fate of having taken form so far below ourselves. And therein we err, and greatly err. For the animal shall not be measured by man. In a world older and more complete than ours they move finished and complete, gifted with extensions of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear. They are not brethren, they are not underlings; they are other nations caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendour and travail of the earth.”

-- Henry Beston
posted by MonkeyToes at 4:34 PM on March 11, 2008 [3 favorites]

Sen. George Vest's speech on dogs is famous and touching.
The best friend a man has in the world may turn against him and become his enemy. His son or daughter that he has reared with loving care may prove ungrateful. Those who are nearest and dearest to us, those whom we trust with our happiness and our good name may become traitors to their faith. The money that a man has, he may lose. It flies away from him, perhaps when he needs it most. A man's reputation may be sacrificed in a moment of ill-considered action. The people who are prone to fall on their knees to do us honor when success is with us, may be the first to throw the stone of malice when failure settles its cloud upon our heads.

The one absolutely unselfish friend that man can have in this selfish world, the one that never deserts him, the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous is his dog. (etc. etc.)
Conveniently at the top of this page.
posted by grobstein at 4:38 PM on March 11, 2008 [3 favorites]

"A cat will look down to a man. A dog will look up to a man. But a pig will look you straight in the eye and see his equal."

Winston Churchill
posted by doctor_negative at 4:45 PM on March 11, 2008 [3 favorites]

"The great pleasure of a dog is that you may make a fool of yourself with him and not only will he not scold you, but he will make a fool of himself too." — Samuel Butler
posted by futility closet at 4:55 PM on March 11, 2008 [3 favorites]

There is one brand of those "look at a cute picture of your favorite breed of dog everyday" calendars that has these kinds of quotes on them (all the quotes are the same no matter the breed of dog). If you can't find what you're looking for otherwise, you might check out that calendar brand, as you'll get 310 or so quotes to pick from (Saturday and Sunday are the same page).
posted by iknowizbirfmark at 4:59 PM on March 11, 2008

"Lord, make me the person my dog thinks I am"
posted by bitteroldman at 7:08 PM on March 11, 2008 [3 favorites]

Hey, how about not being all speciesist? There are other pets than dogs and cats, yanno. (I kid, I kid - but point taken, I hope.)

"We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." - Immanuel Kant

"Mankind differs from the animals only by a little and most people throw that away." - Confucius

"Animals are reliable, many full of love, true in their affections, predictable in their actions, grateful and loyal. Difficult standards for people to live up to." - Alfred A. Montapert

(I have no idea if these people actually said the quotes attributed to them, but I like the words themselves. I'll leave it to you to fact-check if you want to use 'em.)
posted by bettafish at 7:17 PM on March 11, 2008

"The more I see of man, the more I like dogs. " ~Mme. de Staël

"If your dog thinks you're the greatest, don't ask for a second opinion." ~unknown

"No one appreciates the very special genius of your conversation as much as a dog does." ~Christopher Morley
posted by sgmax at 7:49 PM on March 11, 2008

"I care not for a man's religion whose dog and cat are not the better for it." - Abraham Lincoln

I also quite like "Whoever said money can't buy happiness forgot about puppies," but I can't find the actual source of that quote at the moment (plus I fear running afoul of bettafish's accusations of speciesism ;)
posted by zeph at 11:02 PM on March 11, 2008

Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read. ~Groucho Marx
posted by legotech at 9:10 AM on March 12, 2008

If having a soul means being able to feel love and loyalty and gratitude, then animals are better off than a lot of humans.
-- James Herriott (Alf Wight)

How we behave toward cats here below determines our status in heaven.
– Robert A. Heinlein

If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went.
– Will Rogers
posted by bryon at 3:51 PM on March 12, 2008 [1 favorite]

Thanks for the quotes. Since I'm writing about NY law, I found a quote that works very well from caselaw:

“One need not be a pet lover to appreciate that for many there is a special love that attaches to owning a pet, that companion and source of joy who can separate the sad and solitary from a world of loneliness and despair . . . or just be a devoted friend whose loyalty remains steadfast in good times and bad. Indeed, so strong can be the bond between owner and pet that society recognizes the need for laws to protect each from the unscrupulous who would prey on one’s love for an animal to achieve their own selfish ends.”
-- Justice Douglas E. McKeon
184 W. 10th Street v. Marvits
posted by Mavri at 8:09 AM on March 13, 2008

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