If you’ve ever had a dog, or spent a lot of time around a dog, or, heck, even just petted a dog, it’s hard to put into words the feelings they inspire (which, to be clear, is all of the feelings). But that hasn’t stopped several of history’s great figures—writers, politicians, and philosophers alike—from trying to describe the human-canine bond. Take a look at 12 quotes celebrating dog-kind.
1. “The greatest 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.”
— Samuel Butler, author, from The Note-Books of Samuel Butler
2. “A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.”
― Josh Billings, 19th century humorist
3. “DOG: A kind of additional or subsidiary Diety designed to catch the overflow or surplus of the world's worship.”
— Ambrose Bierce, Civil War veteran, writer, from The Devil's Dictionary
4. “There is no faith which has never yet been broken, except that of a truly faithful dog.”
― Konrad Lorenz, Nobel Prize-winning zoologist, from King Solomon's Ring
5. “If a dog … will not come to you after he has looked you in the face, you ought to go home and examine your conscience.”
— Woodrow Wilson, 28th President of the United States, from his address, "The Young People and the Church"
6. “I've always tried out my material on my dogs first. You know, with Angel, he sits there and listens and I get the feeling he understands everything. But with Charley, I always felt he was just waiting to get a word in edgewise. Years ago, when my red setter chewed up the manuscript of Of Mice and Men, I said at the time that the dog must have been an excellent literary critic.”
— John Steinbeck, author, to The Paris Review
7. “I am I because my little dog knows me.”
— Gertrude Stein, author, from "Identity a Poem"
8. “My little old dog: A heart beat at my feet.”
— Edith Wharton, author, from a handwritten note in Paul-Louis Couchoud's Sages et Potes Dasie
9. “[My dog] Lump, he’s not a dog, he’s not a little man, he’s somebody else.”
— Pablo Picasso, artist, from a conversation with photographer David Douglas Duncan
10. “The dog is the god of frolic.”
— Henry Ward Beecher, activist and abolitionist
11. “Plus je vois le homes, plus j’admire les chiens.” (“The more I see of men, the more I admire dogs.”)
— Jeanne-Marie Roland, Marquise de Sévigné and French revolutionary, in a letter to her daughter
12. “Heaven goes by favor. If it went by merit, you would stay out and your dog would go in.”
― Mark Twain, author, in a note to Albert Bigelow Paine
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