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My first word was, “Doggie”, spoken at the tender age of six months, according to my mother’s baby book. I’ve always had a fondness for dogs and usually had one at my side until my last canine Tiger, a companion of fifteen years,  died over the course of a week of senility and general old age. All of the dogs I have known personally over an extended period of time were unquestionably better companions than all of the people I have ever known over equally extended periods of time, with the sole exception of my soul mate.

A Thousand Hounds by Merritt & Barth

A Thousand Hounds by Merritt & Barth

A Thousand Hounds by Raymond Merritt & Miles Barth is a photography book with text in English, French and German in a parallel text format. If you are studying one of these languages this is a great study manual because it is filled with memorable quotes like:

All knowledge, the totality of all questions and all answers, is contained in the dog. Franz Kafka

Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read. Groucho Marx

The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be measured by the way its animals are treated. Mahatma Gandhi

The dog gives us what we crave most – a sense of belonging. Mary Elizabeth Thurston

If fortune drives the master forth, an outcast in the world, the faithful dog asks no higher privilege than that of accompanying him to guard against danger, to fight against his enemies, and when the last scene of all comes, and death takes the master in its embrace, there by his graveside will the noble dog be found, his head between his paws, his eyes sad but open in alert watchfulness, faithful and true. George Graham Vest

The book failed to have a photo of Grayfriar’s Bobby, in Edinburgh, Scotland, the most famous of all dog grave sitters whose master died in 1858.

Bobby at Greyfriars

Bobby at Grayfriars

There is a glossy lavender bent to this book about Canis lupus familiaris which makes the book difficult to read unless you get it in a proper light.

It has been said that a dog is a man’s best friend but dogs are humanity’s only friend and seek us out; all other species merely tolerate us and our intrusions into their lives.