quotes and sayings
3 min readJun 19, 2022

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  1. This was what you did in the ’50s: You get married, get a job, put your husband through graduate school, and have two kids — a girl and a boy.
  2. When I was very young, my nanny was a big Newfoundland dog… whose task was to keep me from drowning.
  3. People are perfectly glad to accept the idea that dogs love us, so they must be able to love each other.
  4. Barring some competition from whales, wolves are probably America’s most popular wild animal. Wolves are also contenders for America’s most unpopular wild animal, with perhaps some competition from coyotes.
  5. If you don’t have manufactured items or anything we think of as ‘civilization,’ then you’re living according to your species.
  6. As far as I’m concerned, I own my dogs as I own my body. My legs are with me when I take a shower, and I feel no shame. If I were to lose one, I’d grieve, and people would send sympathy cards, but it would be my condition that evoked the sympathy, not the fate of the leg. That’s like losing a dog.
  7. Besides individual things like thunder and gunshots, what dogs fear most is not belonging, being alone.
  8. Cats and dogs are a very good window into the natural world: a chance to see how another species lives and deals with its problems, what they like and what they don’t like.
  9. We are surely the primary agent of death for all members of the cat tribe. For many if not most cat species, our depredations must surpass accidents, disease, and even starvation by a considerable margin.
  10. Primates feel pure, flat immobility as boredom. But dogs feel it as peace.
  11. The story of cats is a story of meat.
  12. Dogs like to learn stuff, if not from another dog, then people are OK… They love activity, playing, interesting walks, and just belonging, being together.
  13. Veterinarians are essential allies to the millions of us who experience the human-animal bond.
  14. All the members of the dog family — domestic dogs, wolves, coyotes, dingoes — are very aware of territory. A group must control its own territory — you can’t have others taking it from you, because then you won’t have enough food.
  15. Every dog might wish to be Dog One, but like us, most dogs want membership in the group even more than they want supremacy over others.
  16. We used to go in the woods by ourselves, and you can’t help noticing the world then, especially animals. People used to know a lot about the natural world, especially in the country.
  17. One of the best and most responsible things a scientist can do is to write for the popular press.
  18. People didn’t think animals thought or remembered or had minds! They most certainly do: any pet owner knows more than a lot of scientists about animals.
  19. When I write about animals, I use anthropological techniques and the language you would use for a person. You don’t have to anthropomorphize animals, just acknowledge their individuality.
  20. The dogs and I are a single thing, and thus we share our interests. With them, I’m bigger and better than I am without them, and vice versa.

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