I say a silent thanks. For the beauty of that.

I sometimes think I could write my own book on what dogs, specifically, do for us — and I don’t mean the herding, the hunting, the guarding. I mean what they do for us emotionally and spiritually. My relationship with Regan would give me much of the material I need, and that material would include how dogs turn our attention toward, and heighten our appreciation of, nature.

The centrality of an animal or animals in our lives reminds us of all the other animals out there, of how the world teems with remarkable and curious creatures, some of which our dogs and cats bark or hiss at, some of which they chase, a few of which they kill, at least if they’re sufficiently bloodthirsty and skilled.

But dogs also connect us with nature because they invite and encourage us to venture with them into it. We spend more time outdoors and more time appreciating the outdoors, whether we’re in cities, suburbs, exurbs or rural areas.

With Regan, I take forest walks of a length and adventurousness that I wouldn’t otherwise, and when her nose twitches and her ears swivel at the smell or sound of something, I find my own curiosity piquing, my own senses sharpening. I hear the woodpecker that had escaped my notice just seconds before. I see the white tail of a deer almost obscured in tall grass. To follow Regan’s gaze is to be introduced to the turtle moseying over the lip of the creek, to the fat wild turkey waddling up a distant slope. They were always there, but I wasn’t around to note them, or I wasn’t surveying the landscape with the requisite reverence.

But take the woods and the hikes out of the equation and Regan still reorients me toward the natural world. A walk with her around the block means breezes and bird song. In opening the door to let her out of and into the house, I notice a shimmering orange sun as it tugs itself above the horizon, a smudgy red one as it takes its final bow. I pause. I say a silent thanks. For the beauty of that. For the dog in the dimming light.

—  Frank Bruni, “On A Personal Note” in The New York Times, April 6, 2023


  1. Beautiful…and so very very true. Dogs require a BIG commitment…they require our constant care and supervision…they are expensive…they need to be taught (in a loving way) how to live in our environment…a job that requires a bit of time and patience on our part, but the rewards are priceless.

    They become family and they give us the amazing gift of unconditional Love. They teach us how to live in the present moment (what a gift!). They encourage us to cherish Mother Nature. The human/dog relationship is like no other…SO special.

    I’ve wanted a dog for 20 years but I’m still waiting for the right time. I want to give my pup a great life…I hope I can find “the right time” before I leave this place. I’m working on it!!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Awesome sky!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Our dogs have changed my life for all the reasons listed and more. They make me laugh on a down day and show me that I am loved in spite of my faults. They keep me from being lonely and homesick. We’ve met so many nice folks since we first got Dot. I am thankful every day for both of them.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Great Post
    Dogs provide emotional and spiritual benefits to humans, beyond their practical uses such as herding or guarding. The author of the article reflects on their relationship with their dog, Regan, and how it has helped them appreciate and connect with nature. The presence of animals in our lives reminds us of the diversity of creatures in the world, and dogs can encourage us to explore and appreciate nature with them. Dogs also offer emotional support and companionship, providing comfort in times of stress or loneliness. The author notes that their dog has helped them through difficult times, and has even taught them important life lessons. Overall, the article highlights the important role that dogs can play in enhancing our lives and connecting us with the world around us.
    Thanks – TheDogGod KuciaKodes.co.uk

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I will add my voice to the hallelujah choir on this one. My dogs are my heart in so many ways…they make me laugh, they comfort me, they make me slow down and focus on life’s simple pleasures, they remind me that ya really don’t need much to be happy, they welcome every day for the miracle that it is, they are, quite simply, my blessings.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. So beautiful

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I just found out recently that the hospital where I work has therapy Dogs. The dogs don’t provide therapy, their presence does.
    This coming Thursday one of the patients I work with is set to meet with our therapy dogs. I told everyone that I better be paged to be there when this happens.
    P.s. this patient is waiting for a heart transplant.

    “I pause. I say a silent thanks. For the beauty of that. For the dog in the dimming light.”

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Just to add my voice to the enthusiastic choir. I read this piece in the Times, firstly because I like Frank Bruni and secondly because I had no idea where an op-ed like this would go. As Regan opens Bruni’s eyes to look at the most benign scenes and find beauty, he has the skill to describe that wonder so beautifully. You know I’m a canine-crazy character and found my neck aching from all the nodding I did while reading this. Yes to it all. Now go find Wally and give him a hug.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. This is so beautiful

    Liked by 2 people

  10. This has made me miss Zeke so much. It’s true. Every word that he writes.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Thank you, DK…thank you Frank Bruni, and thank you to all the loving creatures…


  12. Yay, dogs!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Bang on!


  14. There is much wisdom in gratitude. I’m glad you have so much of both, and a dog to enjoy them with.

    Liked by 1 person

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