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Learning Dog Patience–From Isaac Newton

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Every dog lover knows that dogs can, now and then, be a little trying. A rambunctious dog can knock over dinner preparations, an exuberant puppy can chew through your purse strap or briefcase handle just minutes before you were heading out the door to work.

But that’s nothing new in the world of dog love: just look at Sir Isaac Newton (1643-1727). The English physicist, astronomer, and mathematician is said to have lost years of research on the law of gravity when his beloved dog, Diamond, jumped up to protect the scientist when a stranger came to his door. The jump knocked over a candle that quickly turned over 20 years of Newton’s research into ashes.

When asked about the incident, Newton is said to have explained:

Because of Diamond, I have had to begin much of the work afresh. I will not, however, rid myself of her, nor even punish her. She knew not what she was doing, and that which she did was for my protection and for love of my person. Her place remains at my side or against my feet when I lie abed.

Some say the story of Diamond is a legend, one transformed by three centuries of retelling. We’d like to think the story of Newton’s love for Diamond is true. We all already knew Newton had a great mind; let’s believe that he also had a great heart…and learn a little patience with our own dogs at the same time. Maybe that ruined dinner or chewed up purse strap suddenly doesn’t seem so bad!

Paris Permenter
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