While Muslims usually consider dogs to be 'impure' -
though the only creatures that can possibly be impure and soulless are humans -
the 15th century Moroccan Sufi saint Muhammad ibn Sulayman al-Jazuli
(probably Berber) saw them as having many virtues well worth emulating.
Here are his Ten Splendid Attributes of the Dog:
1. He sleeps only a little at night; a sign of the lovers of God (muhibbin).
2. He never complains of heat or cold; a sign of the patient (sabirin).
3. When he dies, he leaves nothing which can be inherited from him; a sign of his simplicity (zahidin). 4. He is neither angry nor hateful; a sign of the faithful (mu’minin).
5. He does not mourn the loss of a close relative, nor does he accept assistance; a sign of the secure (muqinin).
6. He is happy with whatever is given to him; a sign of the contented (qani’in).
7. He has no place to live; this is a sign of the wanderers (sa’ihin).
8. He sleeps anywhere; this is a sign of the easily satisfied (radiyin).
9. Once he knows his master, he never despises him,
even if he beats or starves him; a sign of the true knowers (’arifin).
10. He is always hungry; a sign of the virtuous (salihin).
adapted from a blog by Shravasti Dhammika
with thanks to WS.