“A beautiful Stoic fable that every dog lover should have on their bookshelf.”

— Tanner Campbell, Practical Philosophy

A Dog Who Follows Gladly

Every dog is graced with spirit of enduring optimism and joy that perfectly embodies the Stoic concept of Amor Fati: learning to truly love our fate.

“We’re free to choose how we feel about it, aren’t we?” the old dog said as he sat and watched the children run in the ranch yard. “There are chains on our collars, but no chains on our spirits. We can still decide to be happy — even tethered to a post.”

A Dog Who Follows Gladly

In this touching rendition of an ancient Stoic parable, a wise old ranch dog teaches an inexperienced newcomer how to see the best in every situation. A Dog Who Follows Gladly is an elegant collection of vignettes that celebrate the art of embracing what we can’t control — and being grateful for every moment of our lives.

Stoicism book

“Do you miss running in the valley?” the young dog asked one day while visiting him on the porch.

The old dog thought for a moment. “I do miss it,” he answered. “But I can be just as happy laying here on the porch. It’s nice to think that the valley will keep on being the valley — even if I’m not running in it.”

A Dog Who Follows Gladly
stoicism for kids book

A Dog Who Follows Gladly is a Stoic fable for life-lovers of all ages, and it’s a perfect gift for both children and adults.

This much-loved classic from author Phil Van Treuren and Stoic Simple Press has been purchased and enjoyed by thousands of happy readers!

See reviews of A Dog Who Follows Gladly on Goodreads

stoicism dogs

And the old dog lifted his gaze to the mountains, where snow-capped peaks gleamed like distant banks of alabaster against the sky.

A Dog Who Follows Gladly
stoicism children's book

The Stoic Parable of the Dog and the Cart


“When a dog is tied to a cart, if it wants to follow, it is pulled and follows, making its spontaneous act coincide with necessity. But if the dog does not follow, it will be compelled in any case. So it is with men too: even if they don’t want to, they will be compelled to follow what is destined.

Chrysippus of Soli

The parable of the dog and the cart is a famous lesson of Stoicism that was first taught by Stoic philosopher Chrysippus more than 2,000 years ago. The parable is used to illustrate how we can live happier, more fulfilling lives if we learn to accept — and even embrace — the circumstances we have no control over.

Dog and cart Stoicism

“Lead me, Destiny, to whatever I was long ago assigned. I’ll gladly follow; for if I hesitate, I’ll have to go anyway. Life guides the willing, but drags the unwilling.”

Cleanthes of Assos

A Dog Who Follows Gladly is a modern re-imagining of this ancient Stoic parable. The book presents a series of beautifully illustrated vignettes in which a wise old ranch dog teaches a new friend about the art of embracing the fate that’s ultimately in store for us.

If we’re going to end up going where the cart of life is taking us anyway, we might as well follow along gladly and enjoy the journey. If we refuse to accept our fate and pull at the rope, we’ll just make ourselves miserable — and still get dragged along with the cart, regardless.

The Fables of Eudaimonia Book Series


A Dog Who Follows Gladly is the second volume of Stoic Simple’s Fables of Eudaimonia book series, which introduces the most basic, life-changing concepts of Stoicism to a modern audience with charming stories and captivating artwork. The first book in the series, The Stock Horse and the Stable Cat, was published in late 2022.

Each fable in the series focuses on a fundamental principle of Stoic teaching with rich, delightful illustrations that will be loved by adults and children alike.