Many people who see my beloved pet ask me: "What are they good for?" and it is difficult to answer such inquires by replying that my dogs are good for nothing but loving. To the dog lover, of course, one does not have to explain that the joy of owning dogs is in the love one gives them, and the love they give in return.
The beauty of line and color in my dogs is as satisfying as the melodies the musician evokes from the pianoforte, the harmonies the artist lays with his brush on his canvas or the sculptor fashions from marble or bronze.
"What is it good for?" It is a stupid question. What is beauty good for?
Something essential is lacking in any nature that does not find joy in some of the more manifold aspects of beauty. For many years now my Chihuahuas have helped to satisfy this hunger for the beautiful. From the first one I ever owned, down to the latest born of my present family, there has been a succession of canine individuals as distinct in beauty and lovableness as one may find in human beings. And unlike human beings, I have yet to find in my dogs any ingratitude. Always they repay in devoted affection the care and tenderness expended for their comfort and well-being.
--July 1927, "True Stories of Real Dogs"
Excerpted from Our Dogs by American Kennel Club. Excerpted by permission of Ballantine Books, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.