Review: Two Dogs and a Parrot: What Animals Can Teach Us About the Meaning of Life by Joan Chittister


About Two Dogs and a Parrot

Joan Chittister, one of our leading inspirational writers, invites us to embrace and celebrate the deep bond between humans and animals. ‘Two Dogs and a Parrot’ offers both heart-warming stories and thought-provoking reflections about sharing life with an animal companion. The relationships we form with animals—with dogs, cats, horses, birds, rabbits, and other pets—are full of joys and rewards. Our companion animals draw us out of ourselves and show us what it truly means to be alive. They teach us to accept life’s struggles and to cherish its pleasures and the importance of being able to accept ourselves and respect others. They help us to find purpose and meaning in what we do, and to overcome challenges and setbacks. In our treasured animals we observe varying degrees of excitement and play, of love and fear. And we realize their beautiful uniqueness, their sensitivities and strong sense of purpose.

Whether we have an animal companion, long to have a pet or love someone who does, or cherish animals and nature, ‘Two Dogs and a Parrot’ will speak to us all. It illuminates the significance of sharing our lives with a pet and celebrates the great gift of animals in our world.

My Review

Animal lovers will enjoy Joan’s recounting of her beloved pets leaving an imprint in her life, their personalities forcing her to view life and lessons differently. The underlying message – love and accept yourself and enjoy.

The book is really a look into human behavior more than animal tales, the pets serve as the apex for us to look deeper within ourselves, our behavior and personalities.

Enjoyable book, inspirational but on a very mild level. Certainly pays homage to animals giving them their dues and respect. Lovely prayer for animals towards the end.

About Joan Chittister2009 Brkthru Australia FionaBasile 8x10

Joan Chittister is one of the most influential religious and social leaders of our time. For 40 years she has passionately advocated on behalf of peace, human rights, women’s issues, and church renewal. A much sought-after speaker, counselor and clear voice that bridges across all religions, she is also a best-selling author of more than 50 books, hundreds of articles, an online column for the National Catholic Reporter, and a blog for the the Huffington Post. She has received numerous writing awards and honors for her work, and is a noted international lecturer as well as a former fellow at St. Edmund’s College, Cambridge University, England.

Sister Joan Chittister has appeared on “Meet the Press” with Tim Russert, “60 Minutes,” “CBS News,” “NOW” with Bill Moyers numerous BBC and NPR programs including “Weekend Edition Sunday” with Liane Hansen and “On Being” with Krista Tippett. In 2015 she was the featured guest of Oprah Winfrey on “Super Soul Sunday.” She is one of the most popular and requested speakers at the iconic Chautauqua Institution in southwestern New York State.

In 2014 the Annual Joan Chittister Lecture Series was inaugurated at Mercyhurst University, Erie, PA, in conjunction with the dedication of the The Helen Boyle Memorial Archive in Honor of Joan D. Chittister. Maria Shriver will join Joan Chittister for the 2015 presentation.

Joan Chittister currently serves as co-chair of the Global Peace Initiative of Women, a partner organization of the UN, facilitating a worldwide network of women peace builders, particularly in Israel and Palestine. She was an adviser for the groundbreaking report, “A Woman’s Nation,” led by Maria Shriver (2009) and was a member of the TED prize-sponsored “Council of Sages,” an interfaith group that developed a Charter for Compassion (2009) being promulgated worldwide with all faith organizations.

She served as president of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, an organization of the leaders of Catholic religious women in the US, president of the Conference of American Benedictine Prioresses, and was prioress of the Benedictine Sisters of Erie for 12 years. She received her doctorate in speech communications from Penn State University, the primary site of her archive collection.

Joan Chittister is a member of the Benedictine Sisters of Erie, PA. She is executive director of Benetvision, a resource and research center for contemporary spirituality and the founder and animator of Monasteries of the Heart, a web-based movement sharing Benedictine spirituality with contemporary seekers.

Published October 13th 2015 by BlueBridge


2 thoughts on “Review: Two Dogs and a Parrot: What Animals Can Teach Us About the Meaning of Life by Joan Chittister

  1. Because of health issues, I currently do not have any pets. But, my daughter and son-in-law have three rescue dogs (my ‘granddogs’ since I still have no grandchildren – LOL!) and they brought them along yesterday when they came over to watch the Super Bowl with us. Just reading this small blurb and your review gives me a whole new perspective as I remember how they interacted with their dogs…exactly as if they were their children. The pups’ distinct personalities made it all even more fun to watch, because they KNOW they are not “pets”, but valued as family members. My daughter was always a sweet kid growing up, but watching her with her furry family gives me a new insight into who she truly is.

    Will definitely tell them about this book, and probably gift a copy to my daughter. Thanks!


    • Hello Felicia,

      I’m sure your daughter would enjoy the book. Sister Joan breaks down personality traits easily applied to humans. Her observations cause you to pause and rethink expectations of ourselves and others. Easy to read, makes sense and it’s humbling. Overall the message is beautiful – love yourself, which as we know people struggle with this concept. Of course faith is weaved in but not an abundant amount if that’s a concern. Thank you ever so much for stopping by and commenting. My apology for such a delay in responding, life has been crazy lately. Enjoy the weekend Felicia.


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