“The more I know about people, the better I like my dog.” – Mark Twain

“Add to that- horse, donkey, and llama–okay, even the goats.” –Me

This was a week of sharp-edged experiences. The world lost a great horse this week, a mare in our extended family. Toushay was from an era of excellence and integrity: she was athletic, smart, funny, and any human’s total equal. She was not my mare, she only marginally belonged to her owner, but knowing her made me better.

I also spent a day in court this week testifying about a restraining order. Sometimes we call humans by the name of an animal in an effort to insult them- (He is a pig!). In my mind that usually insults the animal more. So, in full rage, I will call this lower life form a MAN- a man who was legally exonerated. (This is where you remind me that life isn’t fair.)

Some days I truly struggle with my species. Some days it seems what defines the best ideals of being  human(e) are on the decline. It can feel like defying gravity to keep to a chosen path. I would so prefer a world where we would strive to be more dog/horse-like.

In this week of loss and longing, I notice I breathe more consciously and spend extra time in the barn. What the court system has to shovel is worse than what I muck there. I will need no metal detector to protect me and horse hair stuck to my chapsticked-lips isn’t all THAT uncomfortable.

I am preparing for two horse shows this weekend. Some folks think horse shows are crazy-making places, but that is relative- especially after a visit with our legal system. I am looking forward to a more humane weekend, and the chance to rebuild some faith in my own species (as reflected to me by their canine or equine partners ).

A horse gallops with his lungs,
Perseveres with his heart,
And wins with his character.
~Tesio

(Photo: Howdy and Tomboy: loyal, hard working, and no criminal records.)

19 comments on ““The more I know about people, the better I like my dog.” – Mark Twain

  1. Couldn’t agree more… I hope the shows bring some much needed restoration. Thought this was fitting as well “There is just as much horse sense as ever, but the horses have most of it.” ~Author Unknown

  2. Tammy says:

    Love it…wish I understood more…

  3. Pat says:

    Well said.

  4. Theresa says:

    I was looking for that Mark Twain quote and happened upon your blog. I share the same sentiments as you and after the week I had this was quite timely.

  5. “Sometimes we call humans by the name of an animal in an effort to insult them- (He is a pig!). In my mind that usually insults the animal more.”

    What great insight!!! …I may quote you in my next book.

  6. Marie says:

    That’s an excellent saying. People are trashy and nasty… most people cheat, lie, steal and deceive… that’s just what life is…

  7. MindMindful says:

    My sympathies — for the loss of your horse friend,& for having to deal with the court system for a while. As bad as it is for those who lumber through it — imagine how horrid it can be for those who WORK in it all the time!

    Yes, our species sometimes truly sucks — but because we can recognize when things are wrong/bad, we can take more courage along our own paths toward the good, the loving, the dog-like (haha)

  8. Oh we [human beans] are all so broken.

    I have been in court for this same reason. Had the guy I was trying to stop from trying to KILL me, jump on my head in the hall, and HE STILL GOT OFF! I literally had to move across the country to get away from him. Of course, today I do see my part in how it got to the point it was at. Which at one time was a bitter pill to swallow as it was easy to simply pin it all on HIM.

    I notice I breathe more consciously and spend extra time in the barn. What the court system has to shovel is worse than what I muck there. I will need no metal detector to protect me and horse hair stuck to my chapsticked-lips isn’t all THAT uncomfortable. YES.

    Love the Mark Twain.

    I also like, To err is human, to forgive canine.

  9. I bet for you it most certainly is. And yes, Lady Justice has her work cut out for her trying to keep the scales in balance.

  10. Cheryl says:

    Great post! Allergies converted me from cat-to-dog lover out of necessity. What an incredible discovery I made as soon as The Trickster entered our lives: Dogs make us more human!

  11. Winston Smith says:

    I have been through all his books I can find and no where do I see this quote people keep crediting to him,ie mark twain.Please give me the book you got this quote from,one that he wrote and not something someone else wrote.thank you

    • This quote is WIDELY accredited to Mark Twain, but I don’t know that it is a literary excerpt. It has the sound of a public statement kind of like this one: “The human race has one really effective weapon, and that is laughter.” I have understood Mark Twain to be referred to as a humorist as well as an author.

  12. danajoward says:

    I am sorry about the loss of your horse friend. It is always sad when we lose a part of our family or close friends. I acknowledge your strength in dealing with the Justice system. It may not come to what we want to happen, but know Justice will come; if not here, it will come in heaven. I remembered something that I read when I feel like I’m the one on trial. I picked it up at a party store several years ago. It is for a Parking Violation–I know your situation is different, but bare with me–I read this often just to get me over feeling sorry for my self:
    “PARKING VIOLATION
    This is not a ticket, but if it were within my power, you would receive two. Because of your Bull Headed, inconsiderate, feeble attempt at parking, you have taken enough room for a 20 mule team, 2 elephants, 1 goat and a safari of pygmies from the African interior. The reason for giving you this is so that in the future you may think of someone else, other than yourself. Besides I don’t like domineering, egotistical or simple minded drivers and you probably fit into one of these categories.
    I sign off wishing you an early transmission failure (on the expressway at about 4:30 p.m.). Also, may the Fleas of a thousand camels infest your armpits.
    WITH MY COMPLIMENTS”
    I usually change this around to fit the situation just so I can laugh. It helps to laugh. Yes it has animal in it–the animals help to gang up on the situation…like you are working together.
    I wish you the best and I hope this will put a smile on your face. Chin up and your animals are always there for you and so are your blogger fans. :) Thank you for your post. ;)

  13. I concur Mr. Twain! In my case it would be cats but still a great line.

  14. frizztext says:

    A dog runs with his lungs,
    Perseveres with his heart,
    And wins with his character!

  15. Renee Sue says:

    I worry about humanity every day. Used to work in the court system. Glad to be out of it. Leaves you with that empathetic hurt feeling you get when you see a child fall and can neither prevent the fall from happening nor take the pain away. On another note, I LOVE your Briards!! I have wanted to adopt one (or two) since I lost my beloved Portuguese Water Dog, Pandora. Do you know of a Briard rescue?

    • Anna Blake says:

      Thanks for your comment, it is hard work for sure. As for briard rescue, they are listed on the AKC.org website with other breed rescues. Very few go into rescue, breeders are very conscious and that is just one thing I like about them… Also check with breeders, they might know more. Good luck.

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