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Caroline Knapp

  • Dogs possess a quality that's rare among humans — the ability to make you feel valued just by being you — and it was something of a miracle to me to be on the receiving end of all that acceptance. The dog didn't care what I looked like, or what I did for a living, or what a train wreck of a life I'd led before I got her, or what we did from day to day. She just wanted to be with me, and that awareness gave me a singular sensation of delight.

  • Dogs are fantasies that don't disappoint.

  • In some ways, living with a dog is like being followed around twenty-four hours a day by a mute psychoanalyst: you get that blank screen — nonjudgmental, trusted, noncritical — but no interpretation, no words of insight or guidance, no quiet voice of reason helping you to connect the psychic dots. Feelings float up from inside — rational ones, irrational ones, ones you didn't even know you had — and attach themselves to the dog, who will not question their validity, or hold your behavior up to scrutiny, or challenge your perceptions. Freud in fur; Freud without the therapeutic agenda. In the dog's presence you are free to act — and act out — any way you want.

  • All dogs can be guide dogs of a sort, leading us to places we didn't even know we needed or wanted to go.

  • Cats are narcissistic. Their needs come before ours. They don't understand the word 'No.' They carry themselves with that aloof, arrogant sense of perpetual entitlement ... and they really couldn't care less how their behavior affects the people in their lives. I've had boyfriends like this.

    • Caroline Knapp

Caroline Knapp, U.S. writer, columnist

(1959 - 2002)