by Elysian Magazine

“I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love. For me, they are the role model for being alive.”.

-Gilda Radner


August 31, 2021

Our dogs. They are the first to greet us in the morning and last to say good-night. Those velvety ears. Their loving eyes—so warm, so deep, you can look right into their soul. When you are with them, the world is good but when you’re apart, something’s not quite right. John Steinbeck wrote, “A very wise man writing recently about the emergence and development of our species suggests that the domestication of the dog was of equal importance with the use of fire to the first man.” Be that as it may, some might argue the dog has the edge. Where else, as the late, great comedienne Gilda Radner observed (as is so oft-quoted) can you find such unconditional love? Perhaps Marilyn Monroe said it best: “Dogs never bite me. Humans do.”

But loving a dog comes with a sure risk. Rudyard Kipling, more than any other writer before or since, offered a word of caution to those who are loved by a dog in his poem, “The Power of a Dog,” when he wrote:

“There is sorrow enough in the natural way
From men and women to fill our day;
And when we are certain of sorrow in store,
Why do we always arrange for more?
Brothers and Sisters, I bid you beware
Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.

You see, each year is seven—one year in our lives equals seven of theirs. In the great scheme of things, they precede us to Paradise, where we hope to one day join them. (We know their place is assured.) Every moment you share with the dog who owns you is precious, and when the time comes to part—as it inevitably does—there’s a reason why it hurts so very, very much. For you see, when you are loved unconditionally by a dog, she takes a piece of your heart with her.

Read the entire newsletter from August 31, 2021 here

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