To Dog or Not to Dog - Dhamma Wheel

To Dog or Not to Dog

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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To Dog or Not to Dog

Postby Digger » Sat Nov 27, 2010 3:51 pm

I've had dogs for the past 25 years (starting before I even knew what Buddhism was). All were rescued from one bad situation or another. The lifespan of larger dogs may only be around 10 years, smaller maybe 15 years or so, as such I have obviously witnessed injury, illness, old age and death of my four legged companions many times. I now have 2 dogs that are getting older and I will soon be going through all this again.

I know that in the future I can avoid this stress for myself by not getting other dogs. But, as the saying goes (not sure who said it), "you can't change the world by rescuing one dog but you can change the world for that dog".

So, do I avoid stress for myself by not getting another dog (the easy way), or do I keep rescuing dogs in the future but work hard at not getting attached at all (the hard way)? I'm fairly detached now but it's hard to feel "zero". I'm still a "householder", not a monk.

Your opinions please.
He is different. He thinks.

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Re: To Dog or Not to Dog

Postby kirk5a » Sat Nov 27, 2010 4:30 pm

Providing a better living situation for a distressed animal out of compassion is good... I can't see the fault in that. Examining the arising of attachment to pets, and finding the letting go there, as practice itself is good - I don't see the fault in that. But I also don't see the fault in not creating stress for oneself either, by not engaging in a recognized stressful situation! :smile: And if you do feel the inclination to help troubled dogs, there are ways to do that without owning one.

Hmm so carefully examining one's own mind and acting only on the faultless motivation(s), that's the way to go, no? But what that means specifically (dog or no dog) ... listen to your "heart".

But not acknowledging craving for a dog, if there is craving - then that's a fault, and so not a good idea to act out of *that*.
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230

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Re: To Dog or Not to Dog

Postby Luke » Sat Nov 27, 2010 4:47 pm

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Re: To Dog or Not to Dog

Postby cooran » Sat Nov 27, 2010 8:38 pm

Hello Digger,

I was faced with a similar decision a year or two ago and decided to not get any more dogs. Instead, think about giving a regular monthly donation to the local Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, or give eight hours a month to volunteer at such a place, meet others who think the same way, and help many animals.
Not sure where in Florida you are, but this is one Society:

With metta
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

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Re: To Dog or Not to Dog

Postby alan » Sun Nov 28, 2010 2:31 am

I'd say no dog. You'll just get attached to it and the cycle will start anew.

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Re: To Dog or Not to Dog

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Nov 28, 2010 2:52 am

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Re: To Dog or Not to Dog

Postby Individual » Sun Nov 28, 2010 11:41 pm

The best things in life aren't things.

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Monkey Mind
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Re: To Dog or Not to Dog

Postby Monkey Mind » Mon Nov 29, 2010 4:08 am

"As I am, so are others;
as others are, so am I."
Having thus identified self and others,
harm no one nor have them harmed.

Sutta Nipāta 3.710

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Re: To Dog or Not to Dog

Postby Digger » Tue Nov 30, 2010 12:50 am

Thanks all for your responses.

Here is a link to a picture of one of my dogs: ... n-bulldog/

His eyes look weird from the camera flash, they are actually normal looking.
He is different. He thinks.

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Rui Sousa
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Re: To Dog or Not to Dog

Postby Rui Sousa » Wed Dec 01, 2010 12:17 pm

I have had dogs since I can remember, either at my home or my grandparents home, and I am the owner of two adopted dogs. One of my dogs is now ill and will not live for long.

I have accepted to adopt another dog that will be born in January, has the owner was looking for a family that would provide that dog good living conditions.

I think adopting a dog, or any other animal, is a very important way of helping other beings, by being kind and providing them with friendly environment were they can gain merit, hopefully setting the conditions for the to have a rebirth as a human.

Don't forget that you may have been a dog that was rescued by a human, aeons ago, and now you switched places.
With Metta

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Re: To Dog or Not to Dog

Postby marjhunaz » Mon May 12, 2014 7:04 am

I love dog cause dog is a friendly animals like my dog is very good dog.

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