John Muir


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His leaving his master on such a morning & without waiting for his breakfast would itself argue a love of adventure of no common kind

On ordinary occasions showed no lack of diversion Eyes & tail the only noticeable features neither of which very telling. He thought a good deal to himself but said little as nothing. I don’t remember his barking at all throughout the trip.

Ever mute & serene, his character colorless & without striking points. In a big dog such might have passed for obstinacy & self-conceit or even dignity

Such intensity of mental distress so eloquently displayed had in it a sort of sublimity I never before seen in a man or beast & it brought me nearer to the animal part of creation than all the other experiences & observations of a lifetime had done, obliterating the ignorant distinctions between man & beast. The little hairy thing was now become as an angel of light as intelligent & eloquent in perception & telling of the dreadful danger of this valley of death

Being capable of this, one unconsciously inferred he was capable of every other hope & fear man is heir to – of our common humanity

As dull & as dignified in expression as a stoical old bulldog

If possessed of fun or affection, then like Lowland Scot – he took pains to hide it

Always calmly determined to do as he liked, either dullness no supercilious disdain


Caution of common kind he had none & I used to envy him his free easy vaulting over crevasses that to me brought keen unremitting care

Never [fussy] humbled with fuss & fret

# Always loved dogs & many a story I could tell of them but this one best in results. When I returned to the farm in the woods after absence of a year or two at college. Changed in dress etc. my neighbors didn’t know me but Collie did, & after one eager questioning touch of his nose to my feet he lay down & fairly groaned & screamed in agony of joy. Measured by [pure divine depth of] love [the] dogs must be great even in Heaven [in the Kingdom of Heaven] □ Who can doubt the immortality of dogs without doubling his own. Even snake can go to heaven for all we know if for no other reason that they are the children of God.

The awful obscurity of the gulf a little way down the blue of ice from light to dark deepening to black obscurity

Such sudden & marvelous expansion of feeling welling up of [personal/perennial] human nature

A dog of gentle blood God’s image very dull in him

A certain dull dogged mulishness in him piqued curiosity

Animals are strangely apart from men, all meeting through the ages have not brought [them] us into sympathy with them to any appreciable extent. Poets children & wild people unspoiled know them best. This day’s adventures brought me nearer to them than all that went before. They have a share of all that is given to us hoping fearing enjoying suffering. Even scenery may be dimly enjoyed by them. Wolves on mountains are mostly concerned with game but perhaps a little more besides game

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MuirReel33 Notebook01 Img035.Jpeg

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Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library

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