Until one has loved an animal,
a part of one's soul remains unawakened.
-- Anatole France
Inspirational thoughts, quotes, and poems
The animals are more ancient than us.
They were here for millennia before humans surfaced on the earth.
Animals are our ancient brothers and sisters.
They enjoy a seamless presence –
a lyrical unity with the earth.
Animals live outside in the wind,
in the waters, in the mountains, and in the clay.
The knowing of the earth is in them.
The Zen-like silence and thereness of the landscape is
mirrored in the silence and solitude of animals.
Animals know nothing of Freud, Jesus, Buddha,
Wall Street, the Pentagon, or the Vatican.
They live outside the politics of human intention.
Somehow they already inhabit the eternal.
-- John O'Donohue, in Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom
Her eyes met mine as she walked down the corridor peering apprehensively into the kennels.
I felt her need instantly and knew I had to help her.
I wagged my tail, not too exuberantly, so she wouldn't be afraid.
As she stopped at my kennel I blocked her view from a little accident I had in the back of my cage.
I didn't want her to know that I hadn't been walked today.
Sometimes the shelter keepers get too busy and I didn't want her to think poorly of them.
As she read my kennel card I hoped that she wouldn't feel sad about my past.
I only have the future to look forward to and want to make a difference in someone's life.
She got down on her knees and made little kissy sounds at me.
I shoved my shoulder and side of my head up against the bars to comfort her.
Gentle fingertips caressed my neck; she was desperate for companionship.
A tear fell down her cheek and I raised my paw to assure her that all would be well.
Soon my kennel door opened and her smile was so bright that I instantly jumped into her arms.
I would promise to keep her safe.
I would promise to always be by her side.
I would promise to do everything I could to see that radiant smile and sparkle in her eyes.
I was so fortunate that she came down my corridor.
So many more are out there who haven't walked the corridors.
So many more to be saved.
At least I could save one.
I rescued a human today.
I rescued a human today.
Treat me kindly, my beloved friend,
for no heart in all the world
is more grateful for the kindness
than the loving heart of me.
Do not break my spirit with a stick,
for though I should lick your hand between blows,
your patience and understanding will more quickly teach me
the things you would have me learn.
Speak to me often,
for your voice is the world's sweetest music,
as you must know by the fierce wagging of my tail
when the sound of your footstep falls upon my waiting ear.
Please take me inside when it is cold and wet,
for I am a domesticated animal,
no longer accustomed to bitter elements.
I ask no greater glory than the privilege
of sitting beneath your feet beside the hearth.
Keep my pan filled with fresh water
for I cannot tell you when I suffer thirst.
Feed me clean food that I may stay well,
to romp and play and do your bidding,
to walk by your side
and stand ready, willing and able
to protect you with my life
should your life be in danger?
And my friend, when I am very old,
and I no longer enjoy good health, hearing, and sight,
do not make heroic efforts to keep me going.
I'm not having any fun.
Please see that my trusting life is taken gently.
I shall leave this earth knowing
with the last breath, I draw
that my fate was always safest
in your hands.
– Beth Norman Harris
A Dog's Plea
Teaching a child
not to step on a caterpillar
is as valuable to the child
as it is to the caterpillar.
-- Bradley Miller