The following passage is framed and posted in one of the exam rooms at the veterinarian office we visit. I liked it so much one day as one of the hounds and I sat waiting that I snapped a photo of it with my phone. There wasn't an author referenced, but I did a little internet searching and found that it's an excerpt from a Dean Koontz novel, The Darkest Evening of the Year.
"If you are a dog lover, a true dog lover, and not just one who sees them as pets or animals, but are instead one who sees them as one's dear companions, and more than companions--sees them as perhaps being a step or two down the species ladder from humankind, not sharing human exceptionalism but not an abyss below it, either--you watch them differently from the way other people watch them, with a respect for their born dignity, with a recognition of their capacity to know joy and to suffer melancholy, with the certainty that they suspect the tyranny of time even if they don't fully understand the cruelty of it, that they are not, as self-blinded experts contend, unaware of their own mortality.
If you watch them with the heightened perception, from this more generous perspective . . . you see a remarkable complexity in each dog's personality, an individualism uncannily human in it's refinement, though with none of the worst of human faults. You see an intelligence and a fundamental ability to reason that sometimes can take your breath away."
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