Two Dogs and a Parrot:
What Our Animal Friends Can Teach Us About Life

by Joan Chittister



Bluebridge, 2015. ISBN 978-1-629-19006-8.
Reviewed by Martha Meacham
Posted on 06/18/2016

Nonfiction: Faith/Spirituality/Inspiration; Nonfiction: Nature/Place/Environment; Nonfiction: Animals

Here is an antidote to the intrusive political histrionics pervasive in the media this summer! Joan Chittister provides a refreshing respite from the rants with her new book, Two Dogs and a Parrot: What Our Animal Friends Can Teach Us About Life. This collection of light-hearted anecdotes is combined with passionate commentary about fear, love, relationships and the natural the world around us. The author has carefully chosen her words to resonate with a deep wisdom for our topsy-turvy times. She has written parables centered around two dogs and a parrot to teach about the meaning of life, change, spirit and companionship.

A veteran inspirational speaker and activist, Joan Chittister, pulls no punches.

Unless we begin to align ourselves with nature, nature will be endangered and our lives with it. Our own souls with it, in fact. We are here as part of creation, not as consumers of it. We are here to care for this planet, not to exploit it. We are here to find our proper place in it, to grow with it spiritually as well as physically... As top of the food chain, we would be the first to go.

The view from the top-of-the-food chain is not a rosy picture these days. But Chittister's words inspire with stories devoted to the importance of our connection with nature—important for the survival of our own species. In these uplifting vignettes, animal companions are conduits for finding our spiritual lives. She recognizes that they are so much more as our teachers.

As one who has never doubted the soulful nature of animals, I immersed myself in this book while outside the accumulation of pouring rain was breaking all previous records. For two weeks, a most unusual weather pattern inundated the state of Texas with historic flooding. In my case, the author is preaching to the choir—and I am singing praise for this book.

Never mind that one dog is an Irish Setter and the other a Golden Retriever, I don't think you have to be a dog enthusiast, pet owner or necessarily extremely spiritual to enjoy this book. However, if you don't have a companion animal, beware that reading this book may change that.


Joan Chittister is a well-known author of many inspirational books as well as a popular speaker. She is a Benedictine Sister living in Erie Pennsylvania. Sister Joan is a peace, human and women's rights activist who travels globally carrying her message. She has been the guest on Oprah and many other celebrity and news shows. Her accolades and accomplishments are many and are detailed on her website.

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