In our family, we've always been owned by border collies, or dogs of one kind or another, and have rescued many dogs. We've lived in the woods and sometimes have had as many as 70 sled dogs. Or had six or seven dogs living in the house. Dogs have saved my life on more than one occasion - and I mean that literally.
Every day, the humane societies execute thousands of dogs who tried all their lives to do their very best by their owners. These dogs are killed not because they are bad but because they are inconvenient. So as we need God more than he needs us, dogs need us more than we need them, and they know it.
Elizabeth Marshall Thomas
But if there were two dogs left in the universe and it were up to us as to whether they were allowed to breed so that we could continue to live with dogs, and even if we could guarantee that all dogs would have homes as loving as the one that we provide, we would not hesitate for a second to bring the whole institution of 'pet' ownership to an end.
Gary L. Francione
My dogs are spoilt for sure. They are pampered pooches. But I love them so much! I guess all dogs need to be washed, but maybe blueberry facials aren't essential. It's quite fun, though. You want to give your children everything; I don't have children, so I want my dogs to have a good life.
When I say "dogs", I'm talking about dogs, which are large, bounding, salivating animals, usually with bad breath. I am not talking about those little squeaky things you can hold on your lap and carry around. Zoologically speaking, these are not dogs at all; they are members of the pillow family.
By standard intelligence texts, the dogs have failed at the puzzle. I believe, by contrast that they have succeeded magnificently. They have applied a novel tool to the task. We are that tool. Dogs have learned this-and they see us as fine general-purpose tools, too: useful for protection, acquiring food, providing companionship. We solve the puzzles of closed doors and empty water dishes. In the folk psychology of dogs, we humans are brilliant enough to extract hopelessly tangled leashes from around trees; we can conjure up an endless bounty of foodstuffs and things to chew. How savvy we are in dogs' eyes! It's a clever strategy to turn to us after all. The question of the cognitive abilities of dogs is thereby transformed; dogs are terrific at using humans to solve problems, but not as good at solving problems when we're not around.
Why did dogs make one want to cry? There was something so quiet and hopeless about their sympathy. Jasper, knowing something was wrong, as dogs always do. Trunks being packed. Cars being brought to the door. Dogs standing with drooping tails, dejected eyes. Wandering back to their baskets in the hall when the sound of the car dies away.
Daphne du Maurier
So what is the fallout for dogs of the Lassie myth? As soon as you bestow intelligence and morality, you bestow the responsibility that goes along with them. In other words, if the dog knows it's wrong to destroy furniture yet deliberately and maliciously does it, remembers the wrong he did and feels guilt, it feels like he merits a punishment2, doesn't it? That's just what dogs have been getting - a lot of punishment. We set them up for all kinds of punishment by overestimating their ability to think. Interestingly, it's the 'cold' behaviorist model that ends up giving dogs a much better crack at meeting the demands we make of them. The myth gives problems to dogs they cannot solve and then punishes them for failing. And the saddest thing is that the main association most dogs have with that punishment is the presence of their owner. This puts a pretty twisted spin on loooving dogs 'cause they're so smart, doesn't it?
So you're here by yourself?" 'Yes." 'Seems like an odd place to come by yourself." 'I needed to get away." 'Woman trouble? That's another of my father's expressions." 'No, actually. I poisoned my neighbor's dogs." After a moment she said, 'How drunk are you?" 'Quite." 'Is that true?" 'What?" 'That you poisoned your neighbor's dogs." 'I'm afraid it is." 'I have dogs." 'Well, keep them away from me.
William groaned. It was Vimes. Worse, he was smiling, in a humourless predatory way. "Ah, Mr de Worde, " he said, stepping inside. "There are several thousand dogs stampeding through the city at the moment. This is an interesting fact, isn't it?" He leaned against the wall and produced a cigar. "Well, I say dogs, " he said, striking a match on Goodmountain's helmet. "Mostly dogs, perhaps I should say. Some cats. More cats now, in fact, 'cos, hah, there's nothing like a, yes, a tidal wave of dogs, fighting and biting and howling, to sort of, how can I put it, give a city a certain... busyness. Especially underfoot, because - did I mention it? -they're very nervous dogs too. Oh, and did I mention cattle?" he went on, conversationally. "You know how it is, market day and so on, people are driving the cows and, my goodness, around the corner comes a wall of wailing dogs... Oh, and I forgot about the sheep. And the chickens, although I imagine there's not much left of the chickens now.
Joshua tried to find the right words to explain how things were-how they'd always been. "It's like... prairie dogs." Ben quirked an eyebrow at him. "You see the holes. 'N' you know the dogs are around, even if you don't see the dogs themselves." "What the hell are you talkin' about?" "Gay. Cowboys. They're there. Like a lot of single cowboys, they go into Billings once a month, only they ain't there so see women. There's no point in flingin' yourself around in public, 's all.
I have been told by the third grade teacher that my daughter Poppet is reading at middle school level. Yet if I leave Poppet a note in block letters telling her to feed the dogs I will come home to find the dogs have been... given a swim in the above-ground pool, dressed in tutus, provided with hair weaves. What I will not find is that the dogs have been fed. 'I thought you wanted me to free the dogs, ' says Poppet whose school district is not spending quite what D.C.'s is, thanks to voter rejection of the last school bond referendum.
I always think that today is the best day that there's ever been. The song that I'm working on is always the best song I've ever written. The woman I'm looking at is the most incomprehensibly beautiful woman I've ever seen. These dogs that I have now are, by far, the best dogs I've ever had - although, so were the last pair of dogs I had.
J. D. Souther
Dogs have always provided a special kind of love and companionship that I experience only some of the time with humans. They have a strong sense of character and live the way we ought to: dogs never compare you to your sister nor make judgments in her favor. Dogs never know what is coming and so live purely in the moment, savoring the good, doing their best to endure the bad-and they offer up this miraculous example so that we can learn from it.
Linda Gray Sexton
Dogs have always provided a special kind of love and companionship that I experience only some of the time with humans. They have a strong sense of character and live the way we ought to: dogs never compare you to your sister nor make judgments in her favor. Dogs never know what is coming and so live purely in the moment, savoring the good, doing their best to endure the bad--and they offer up this miraculous example so that we can learn from it.
Not all dogs are perfect dogs, but all dogs are inherently good. Like people, we are affected by environment and circumstance. Some breeds get a bad rap because sometimes humans breed them to be a certain way, like overly macho or protective. In our life on earth we are dependent on humans for everything, including our breeding. We can be bred for aggression or we can be bred for peace.
People tend to care about dogs because they generally have more experience with dogs as companions; but other animals are as capable of suffering as dogs are. Few people feel sympathy for rats. Yet rats are intelligent animals, and there can be no doubt that rats are capable of suffering and do suffer from countless painful experiments performed on them. If the army were to stop experiments on dogs and switch to rats instead, we should not be any less concerned.
We humans may be brilliant and we may be special, but we are still connected to the rest of life. No one reminds us of this better than our dogs. Perhaps the human condition will always include attempts to remind ourselves that we are separate from the rest of the natural world. We are different from other animals; it's undeniably true. But while acknowledging that, we must acknowledge another truth, the truth that we are also the same. That is what dogs and their emotions give us- a connection. A connection to life on earth, to all that binds and cradles us, lest we begin to feel too alone. Dogs are our bridge- our connection wo who we really are, and most tellingly, who we want to be. When we call them home to us, it'as as if we are calling for home itself. And that'll do, dogs. That'll do.
Patricia B. McConnell
...men, groping in the Arctic darkness, had found a yellow metal, and because steamship and transportation companies were booming the find, thousands of men were rushing into the Northland. These men wanted dogs, and the dogs they wanted were heavy dogs, with strong muscles by which to toil, and furry coats to protect them from the frost.
Border collies predate the British Kennel Club. They've been bred consistently for 100 years. They're the last working dogs in the world, with some minor exceptions. Bench shows, dog shows have ruined the other breeds, like the hunting dogs. Border collies are peasant dogs, and that's protected them.
Dogs are not like cats, who amusingly tolerate humans only until someone comes up with a tin opener that can be operated with a paw. Men made dogs, they took wolves and gave them human things--unnecessary intelligence, names, a desire to belong, and a twitching inferiority complex. All dogs dream wolf dreams, and know they're dreaming of biting their Maker. Every dog knows, deep in his heart, that he is a Bad Dog...
Dogs are not like cats, who amusingly tolerate humans only until someone comes up with a tin opener that can be operated with a paw. Men made dogs, they took wolves and gave them human things-unnecessary intelligence, names, a desire to belong, and a twitching inferiority complex. All dogs dream wolf dreams, and know they're dreaming of biting their Maker. Every dog knows, deep in his heart, that he is a Bad Dog...
Dogs (like rats) are multitalented but they are also not very smart the way humans are. A recent book, devoted to the intelligence of dogs, is 250+ pages long (Stanley Coren, The Intelligence of Dogs: A Guide to the Thoughts, Emotions, and Inner Lives of Our Canine Companions, 1994). Interestingly, despite careful qualifications by Coren regarding definitions, the ranking of breeds by intelligence literally made newspaper headlines. We are obviously fascinated by the notion that dogs - or at least certain breeds of dog - might, just might, be really, really smart. It all makes as much sense as evaluating humans on our ability to sniff for bombs or echo-locate.