Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Words can hurt, but dogs don't speak

A hurtful word can live a long time in the heart of the receiver, and influence the relationship forever after. In the case of dogs, perhaps it's easier to ignore an irritation here and a ruffled feather there, because our dogs can't put words to them. "Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me" may be a common refrain, but it's not based in reality. Words can cause terrible damage, sometimes lasting a lifetime, and the fact that dogs can't use them may be a blessing.
Patricia B. McConnell, Ph.D., "Love Is Never Having to Say Anything at All," in The Editors of the Bark, eds., Dog Is My Co-Pilot (New York: Three-Rivers Press, 2003), p.134 (essay runs pp. 130-35). (Editors are Claudia Kawcynska and Cameron Woo.)

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