This post is dedicated to Rowan, Cub, Molly, and Grendel (who begged me). Also, Scout, and Diana over at Wounded Bird. And All the Other Dogs.
Two more quotes from Luther about dogs. These I found in Table Talk, one of the last volumes in Luther's Works. It's called Table Talk because after Luther got married, he always had students and other guests over to his home (the Black Cloister); some of them were semi-permanent guests. Oftentimes, these students would jot down Luther's remarks as he was speaking. The Table Talks contain remarks that are often funny, sometimes earthy, sometimes offensive. Imagine if you were speaking off the cuff, and had admiring fans recording everything you said!
Luther's household sounds chaotic to me. In addition to his wife, six children, his wife's aunt, and several children, the household included students and a wide array of animals, including a little dog, Tolpel (called Clownie in the previous post.)
Dog Provides Example of concentration:
"When Luther's puppy happened to be at the table, looked for a morsel from his master, and watched with open mouth and motionless eyes, he (Martin Luther) said, "Oh, if I coud only pray the way this dog watches the meat! All his thoughts are concentrated on the piece of meat Otherwise he has no thought, wish, or hope." (# 274, pp. 37-8)
A Dog Suggests a Topic for Comment
Dr. Martin Luther played with his dog and said, "The dog is a very faithful animal and is held in high esteem if he isn't too ordinary. Our Lord God has made the best gifts most common. (from #2849b, p. 175)
Personally, I think what Luther might mean in the second quote is that the dog would be held in even higher esteem if he wasn't so ordinary (so common). I love that he says that "God has made the best gifts the most common." To me, that's one of the main points of Luther's theology.