Dogs & Devotion

by the Monks of New Skete. Hyperion. $16.99

Dogs&DevotionThis invigorating celebratory portrait of man’s love affair with the dog succinctly captures the very best of what the species is all about. Each entry, or meditation, is complemented with a photo illustrating its heart and soul.

The authors begin with a quote from Ecclesiastes: 6:14-16: “A loyal friend is a powerful defense; whoever finds one has indeed found a treasure. A loyal friend is something beyond a price, there is no measuring his worth. A loyal friend is the elixir of life.”

One incredible tightly constructed meditation after another, each with a title, serves up enormous food for thought. Each of these slices of life trigger plenty of pause and causes one to reflect if she or he is holding up his/her end of the leash in this lifetime commitment.

Here are just a few of the most memorable entries:

“Quite simply put, dogs are fascinating. Over time, one’s appreciation and love for dogs expand as the mystery of individual personalities manifests itself, making us realize how far from the mark the unflattering characterization ‘but it’s just a dog’ really is. In fact, there is no such thing as ‘just a dog.’”

“Dogs possess an indomitable spirit for life that teaches right up to their last day. … They won’t let go until every worthwhile moment of life is sucked dry. Therein lies their nobility: Dogs are a homage to life.”

“Dogs know instinctively how to get us out of our emotional doldrums – all they have to do is stick to their script. … We may try to fight their charms and hold on to our misery but, in the end, resistance is futile. Their infectious zest and passion for life are simply too much for whatever bad mood seems to be hobbling us.”

Upon finishing each meditation, I found myself asking: Am I living up to my end of this lifetime commitment called dog ownership? That’s a positive reflection of one incredible volume.

Looking for the perfect holiday gift for that friend or relative who is owned by a dog? This is it!