Wisdom in dog terms
Kevin Hearne’s enjoyable Iron Druid series of books feature the last of the druids, a 2100-year-old living in Tempe, Arizona. He is out for a run with his Irish wolfhound, with whom he can talk because of course he can. The dog asks him to promise to adopt a female poodle. He answers:
It is good to have a dream so long as you do not let it gnaw at the substance of your present. I have seen men consumed by their dreams, and it is a sour business. If you cling too tightly to a dream – a poodle bitch or a personal sausage chef or whatever – then you miss the felicity of your heart beating and the smell of the grass growing and the sounds lizards make when you run through the neighborhood with your friend. Your dream should be like a favorite old bone that you cherish and chew upon gently. Then, rather than stealing from you a wasted sigh or the life of an idle hour, it nourishes you, and you become strangely contented by nostalgia for a possible future, so juicy with possibility and redolent of sautéed garlic and decadent slabs of bacon that you feel full when you’ve eaten nothing. And then, one fine day when the sun smiles upon your snout, when the time is right, you bite down hard. The dream is yours. And then you chew on the next one.