a dog that follows gladly by Phil Van Treuren

Teaching Kids Stoicism through Fables: “A Dog Who Follows Gladly”

Teaching children about Stoicism can be challenging. Luckliy for us, Phil Van Treuren has create a fable series about stoic principles, that can be enjoyed by children and grown-ups alike. In this book review we will take a closer look at the second entry in the stoic fables series: “A Dog who Follows Gladly”.

Stoicism in “A Dog Who Follows Gladly”

In the world of Stoicism, there exists a profound concept known as “Amor Fati,” which translates to “the love of fate.” This principle encourages us to not merely accept our destiny but to embrace it with love and gratitude. In “A Dog Who Follows Gladly” by Phil Van Treuren, we find a heartwarming exploration of this Stoic concept through the experiences of an wise old ranch dog who teaches a young eager newcomer how to see the best in every situation.

Amor Fati Embodied

The very heart and soul of “A Dog Who Follows Gladly” pulsates with the spirit of Amor Fati. Every page of this book is filled with the notion that, much like the young ranch dog who learns to follow gladly, we too can learn to love our fate, to embrace the unpredictable journey of life with steadfast enthusiasm.

Lessons in Stoicism

The book is a collection of vignettes, each a snapshot of the young dog’s experiences as he navigates the world. These vignettes are all lessons in Stoicism, where the young pup grapples with challenges and learns to accept them with an open heart. Through the guidance of his wise mentor, he learns not to fight against the tethering rope as they travel, but to make the best of the journey.

Embracing Impermanence

As the seasons change, the young pup encounters both joy and loss. He loses his beloved bite toy, an antler, but gains a valuable lesson about impermanence. This mirrors the Stoic idea of appreciating life’s ebb and flow, understanding that everything is transient, and embracing each moment, whether in abundance or scarcity.

The Power of Acceptance

The pup’s interactions with the rancher dog, the wise old companion, and even a scruffy barn cat exemplify the Stoic concept of controlling one’s perceptions. By witnessing the pup’s attempts to change the cat and the wise old dogs response, we are reminded that true happiness comes from accepting others as they are and seeking contentment within ourselves.

The One Who Follows Gladly

The old ranch dog of the story personifies Amor Fati. His eager willingness to follow, to accept, and to find joy in every moment mirrors the Stoic ideal of loving one’s fate. Through his journey, we witness the transformation from a headstrong and inexperienced pup to a wise and contented companion—a journey that reflects the Stoic path of growth through acceptance.

Book Verdict

In “A Dog Who Follows Gladly,” Phil Van Treuren masterfully weaves the Stoic concept of Amor Fati into a heartwarming narrative. Readers of all ages are invited to explore the profound wisdom of embracing one’s fate with love and gratitude. This book serves as a reminder that Stoicism isn’t merely an ancient philosophy but a timeless guide to finding joy in a life full of unpredictability and constant change.

Worth mentioning is that the print and illustrations of this is of really high quality.

If this book sounds intriguing then you should check out my review of “The Stock Horse and the Stable Cat” which is also apart of this stoic fables series.

Explore other reads on Stoicism

For those inspired by the wisdom of Amor Fati and Stoicism, there are numerous other books that delve deeper into these philosophical principles. Works such as “Meditations” by Marcus Aurelius, “Letters from a Stoic” by Seneca, and “A Guide to the Good Life” by William B. Irvine, offer comprehensive insights into Stoic philosophy and its practical applications. These books can further deepen your understanding of how to love and embrace your own fate. I have a posted a review of “Letters from a Stoic” and a review of “A Guide to the Good Life” for further insights about these life-changing books.

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