Mondays with Maury: The Grahams’ Love of Dogs

February 25, 2019

Billy Graham grew up with many pets he says “seemed like part of the family.” He and Ruth’s favorite breeds were big dogs, and they usually had two in the house so they would each have a furry companion.

In this episode of Monday’s with Maury, you’ll hear what dog was their favorite.

Having a love for dogs and being around them so often, both Billy and Ruth Graham have used the nature and temperament of dogs as context to make a spiritual point.

Speaking about husbands in a 1988 edition of Atlanta Daily World, Billy Graham said:

“Dogs are quick to show their affection. They never pout, they never bear a grudge. They never run away from home when mistreated. They never complain about their food. They never gripe about the way the house is kept. They are chivalrous and courageous, ready to protect … at the risk of their lives. They love children, and no matter how noisy and boisterous they are, the dog loves every minute of it. … Perhaps if we husbands imitated a few of our dog’s virtues, life with our family might be more amiable.”

In her book It’s My Turn, Ruth Graham gave this insight for parents, based on what it takes to train a dog:

“Every parent should read at least one good book on dog training. … It is a fine kettle of fish when our dogs are better trained than our children.”

She noted that with dogs you must, “Be persistent. Follow through. Never give a command without seeing it is obeyed,” and the same can be said for raising children.

Here are a few photos of the Grahams and their dogs through the years.

  • Ruth Bell Graham sits with “Doby” the doberman pinscher.
  • Gigi, Anne, Bunny, Ruth and Billy Graham relax with the family dog in Montreat.
  • Giving “Belshazzar” a pat on the back.
  • Billy and Ruth Graham and the family’s German shepherd pose for a photo.
  • Billy Graham and the family dogs in 1957 before leaving for a New York Crusade.
  • Billy and Ruth Graham with their German shepherd.
  • Billy Graham kept his trusted companion “Lars” by his side.

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