Learning from Dogs

Dogs are integrous animals. We have much to learn from them.


with 92 comments

Pharaoh – just being a dog!

Dogs live in the present – they just are!  Dogs make the best of each moment uncluttered by the sorts of complex fears and feelings that we humans have. They don’t judge, they simply take the world around them at face value.  Yet they have been part of man’s world for an unimaginable time, at least 30,000 years.  That makes the domesticated dog the longest animal companion to man, by far!

As man’s companion, protector and helper, history suggests that dogs were critically important in man achieving success as a hunter-gatherer.  Dogs ‘teaching’ man to be so successful a hunter enabled evolution, some 20,000 years later, to farming,  thence the long journey to modern man.  But in the last, say 100 years, that farming spirit has become corrupted to the point where we see the planet’s plant and mineral resources as infinite.  Mankind is close to the edge of extinction, literally and spiritually.

Dogs know better, much better!  Time again for man to learn from dogs!

Welcome to Learning from Dogs

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Written by Paul Handover

July 5, 2009 at 02:31

Posted in Core thought

Tagged with ,

92 Responses

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  1. Feeling a whole lot better! Collins English Dictionary hasn’t heard of “integrous” either!

    Am fostering a rescue dog (SBT x Bulldog) at the moment and now have a sneaking suspicion that this particular dog does have “hidden agendas”. For instance the way he sidles up to you ostensibly for cuddles; next you know he’s got you in a half-nelson as it were. Only marginally funny.

    Fred R

    July 16, 2009 at 14:18

    • Well it didn’t take long to be rumbled on the use of ‘integrous’. ;-)

      But it is used so frequently and so often by David Hawkins (see Blog Roll link) that I’m going to stick with it.

      Fabulous to know that you are a dog fosterer. We have 14 at present here in Mexico, 13 of which were either rescued or dumped outside the house. Some of them do end up finding homes in the US.

      Paul Handover

      July 16, 2009 at 15:44

  2. How very true about dogs. I will never be without!

    Also, they are great listeners.

    Tricia L

    July 16, 2009 at 14:36

  3. Dogs are my favorite people


    July 16, 2009 at 21:47

    • I agree!


      October 27, 2011 at 00:08

      • Thanks for your comment and for stopping by Learning from Dogs. Feel free to contribute to anything you see published, Paul

        Paul Handover

        October 27, 2011 at 16:13

  4. Thanks for posting about this, I would love to read more about this topic.

    Joan Parker

    July 24, 2009 at 02:33

  5. “The more I get to know people the more I love my dog ….”


    Chris Snuggs

    October 27, 2009 at 08:48

  6. Hi, I had to stop by because your sweet dog looks so much like mine.

    Happy New Year to you and your sweet 4-legged!


    December 31, 2010 at 06:41

    • Thank you so much, DK. Just called by your own Blog and have subscribed – some great writings there!! Happy New Year!

      Paul Handover

      December 31, 2010 at 10:14

  7. [...] the Home page, or Welcome page, of this Blog is in need of some revising so when you see it change over the next few days [...]

  8. It’s so true about dogs living in the moment and being non-judgemental. I learned a lot about life through my furry kids. Maybe if people would learn to live like a dog — this world would be a better place. ;)

    Emily Gooch

    February 24, 2011 at 07:10

    • Emily, Thanks for your comment and welcome to the Blog. Great to ‘meet’ you. Love your Blog as well – feel free to contribute a guest Post to Learning from Dogs. Paul.

      Paul Handover

      February 24, 2011 at 16:22



    March 31, 2011 at 21:13

    • Marshall, for some reason missed your visit to this Blog in March. So a belated ‘thank you’ for passing by. Paul.

      Paul Handover

      July 16, 2011 at 07:20

  10. Dear Paul,
    I’m writing to ask if you will say a prayer for my son. I didn’t know how to email you. I know you go to church and told me once you said a prayer. Please pray for my son. He is very sick and I am very scared.
    Thank you Paul.



    July 16, 2011 at 05:30

    • Michelle, of course. But can you send me an email so that I may privately know a little more about your son so when prayers are offered tomorrow morning there is a real sense of connection. Email me at paulhandover (at) gmail (dot) com

      Paul Handover

      July 16, 2011 at 07:18

  11. I’ve been hanging out with dogs for most of my 50+ years. I learn something new almost every day. (From mine, as well as from the dog’s of others). It is mind numbing to see the amount of people who pay little or no attention to their dog’s and then wonder why the don’t mind them. My feeling is that most humans expect their pets to “read their mind” insteed of the reverse of that.

    Iowa Dog Trust

    October 9, 2011 at 09:21

    • Thank you for subscribing to Learning from Dogs, and for your comment above. Supporters of my meagre writings are so very much appreciated. As you will probably discover, if not already, I use the integrity, openness, love, and sustainability, that dogs offer the world as metaphors for mankind, indeed the whole concept of ‘learning from dogs’. Feel free to submit a guest post or contribute at any time, Paul.

      Paul Handover

      October 9, 2011 at 15:09

  12. Thanks for this unique blog! The quality I love in a dog is loyalty. They are loyal to their masters and love them unconditionally. What a rare quality in humans!


    October 28, 2011 at 10:27

  13. Dogs are indeed wonderful creatures! Man’s most loyal friends.

    Ganesh Iyer

    October 28, 2011 at 21:24

  14. My dogs have nominated you for an award. They love their daily dose of your blog.



    December 30, 2011 at 15:27

  15. wonderuful post. we have a german shepherd also.. ;)

    dianne - life as i see it

    February 28, 2012 at 04:41

    • Just taken a peek at your own site, what fabulous photographs and thoughtful reflections. Recommend others to go there http://lakesidelane.wordpress.com/ So, Diane, thank you so much for your comment and do hope we will see you again, Paul

      Paul Handover

      February 28, 2012 at 08:28

  16. Wow. I’m sorry I didn’t take the time to visit your blog earlier, Paul. What a beautiful sentiment and what a great variety of posts on such an important issue. There is so much wisdom in the world we simply ignore, whether staring back at us from the eyes of a dog, or in the philosophies of indigenous communities.
    We are a part of nature in all its intricate delicacy and, as such, we depend upon it to survive. We cannot exploit it relentlessly and expect it to still sustain us. There is no point beyond nature for us to continue. Somehow, this idea has been lost and I fear, if we don’t find a way back to it soon, we will soon be lost with it.
    Thank you for spreading this message. We need more people in the world who understand and who care.

    Sherryn Groch

    March 3, 2012 at 03:40

    • Sherryn, once again, I am delighted in the way that this funny old virtual world of Blogging brings like-minded people together across distances, across cultures and, yes, across age gaps! So a big welcome to Learning from Dogs, thanks so much for your comment and, last but not least, love your own writings across at http://totheendofhope.wordpress.com/

      Especially where you write, “I believe in the power of ideas. During these defining times for our planet, I think it is the duty of any writer to spread a message of positive action and change – before we’re too late.”

      Best wishes, Paul

      Paul Handover

      March 3, 2012 at 09:05

  17. my sister had to put down her wonderful old dog today… dogs hold a special place in my heart.

    David in Maine USA

    enjoyed your post…


    April 7, 2012 at 19:46

  18. You don’t think, over 30,000 years, we’ve corrupted them too? But I couldn’t agree with you more on your assessment of the damage we’ve done to our planet. Here in Sri Lanka this morning, she’s crying – I guess we didn’t move the earth with our Earth Day promises. “What’s that love?”. “You want to go out to play?”. “Of course, whatever you want my love.” Maggie’s wish is my command, I’m the servant of my dog, and we have nothing but fun together, how to dwell on these morbid questions when there’s a ball to throw!

    The Wanderlust Gene

    April 22, 2012 at 19:53

  19. Hey Paul. I’ve nominated you for the One Lovely Blog Award.


    After clicking the link copy the award picture and directions into a post, write seven things about yourself, select ten blogs that you would like to nominate and link them in the same post.
    Hope to keep reading more from you :)

    Sherryn Groch

    May 20, 2012 at 06:12

    • Sherryn, that sounds nice – big thank you. I’ll look at the URL later on today, Paul

      Paul Handover

      May 20, 2012 at 08:57

  20. Paul, I hope you accept this award you truly do illuminate..
    I have the pleasure of awarding you the Illuminating Blogger Award created by
    You can find full details here on ..


    Thank you for inspiring me with all of your wonderful posts.. Sue

    Sue Dreamwalker

    July 6, 2012 at 09:46

  21. If there was a symbol for Friendship and Loyalty, it would surely be – Dog:-)


    July 21, 2012 at 10:12

    • Indeed, I would add to your comment, and thanks for that, by the way, by saying that dogs represent all the aspects that make for an ideal society, as written about here.

      Paul Handover

      July 21, 2012 at 12:08

      • For whatever reason, this link does not open…


        July 21, 2012 at 13:01

      • Is this now OK?

        It’s the link under the Blog Map heading to the right on the home page “Dogs and Integrity’.

        Paul Handover

        July 21, 2012 at 14:47

      • Yes, I was able to read. Thank you!!:)


        July 21, 2012 at 15:51

  22. Stumbled upon this post via Sue Dreamwalker … wonderful blog, thank you … dogs know “things” … for sure … I used to get terrible migraines … my dog would know sometimes a day or two before … on our walks he would be walking so close to me, that I would almost fall over him at times. I was often angry at him for doing that … until I figured to take a certain medication before the headache starts … so, now if he makes me stumble over him … I have only a 10 aura … and no headache … works 99% of the time. True story (told by a cat :)


    August 4, 2012 at 08:00

    • Cat, welcome! Yes, dear Sue has been a great follower on these humble writings so it’s great to have you on-board as well. Feel free to offer any thoughts of your own – I love it when my readers contribute a guest post of their own. Best wishes, Paul

      Paul Handover

      August 4, 2012 at 08:06

  23. So pleased I found your blog. Sad I didn’t find it before but so looking forward to following it now.

    Long Life Cats and Dogs

    August 5, 2012 at 04:10

    • Susan, sorry for the delay in replying but still doesn’t lessen my thanks for calling by and leaving a comment. Took a quick look at your own website and ‘well done’. looks like a great service you offer.

      Paul Handover

      August 11, 2012 at 08:04

  24. I agree. Dogs are wonderful but I don’t like the current trend for owning ‘dangerous’ dogs. Dogs have got me through some tough times.
    By the way, I have put a request on Skype for your to become a contact of mine so we can talk about travelling pets. I didn’t like to put my phone number where it can be seen by everyone. Perhaps when we are both on Skype one day we can talk? You must be about 7 or 8 hours behind me though. A point to bear in mind.


    August 10, 2012 at 11:32

    • I agree and would love to catch up on your own experiences with dogs. Re Skype, I’m very bad at having it running in background but will turn it on now. Feel free to call if you see me around.

      And should add that Arizona is currently 8 hours behind British Summer Time.

      Paul Handover

      August 11, 2012 at 08:07

  25. Pop over to my blog and collect a beautiful blog award, which I have pleasure in passing on to you today :)


    August 26, 2012 at 06:20

  26. Hi Paul,
    a big and fond thank you for revisiting!
    Your have an incredible gravatar, the photo of Pharaoh means so much to me.
    I grew up with a bundle of german shepherds in Norway, I first learned to bell and then secondly to pronounce myself… :-) Yes, in deed, there’s a lot to learn from dogs. I certainly will revisit your fine blog.
    Take care. Enjoy your weekend.

    Love from the far North


    September 22, 2012 at 08:20

    • Thanks Dina, look forward to us staying in touch across this virtual world!

      Paul Handover

      September 22, 2012 at 11:43

  27. Hi there! I’ve nominated you for the Sunshine Award. Please visit me at http://onmyplateblog.wordpress.com/category/award-recognition/ to find out what this is all about!!


    November 10, 2012 at 06:18

    • Thanks for your nomination but I’m going to decline the invitation. But do appreciate you thinking of the Blog, Paul

      Paul Handover

      November 10, 2012 at 17:36

      • That’s fine Paul :-)
        I like the way you have adopted my fav pet “Dog” as an abstract for writing your blog.


        November 11, 2012 at 00:45

  28. I agree. They are always present and have much to offer us. As I read your post, I thought of the toddlers I work with and I think they too are little Buddhas. It is such a gift to learn from such innocent and pure little people and animals. :)

    Currie Rose

    November 11, 2012 at 08:27

    • Dear Currie, welcome to Learning from Dogs and thanks for leaving a comment. Thoughts and ideas always welcome, best wishes, Paul

      Paul Handover

      November 11, 2012 at 16:59

  29. Well said!

    Bosun Dawg

    December 2, 2012 at 19:27

  30. Wonderful site. I have come to feel, with every cell in my body, and the totality of my heart, that as long as dogs live my life will have joy in it. They are my passion and yes, my greatest teacher.

  31. [ Smiles ] Brilliant article!

    Yes, we can learn so much from our dogs; things like living in the present, not being judgmental and giving unconditional LOVE!

    Renard Moreau

    December 19, 2012 at 05:09

    • Dear Renard, thank you for dropping in to Learning from Dogs. The world would be a different place if those three qualities were universally adopted. Love your own Blog. Paul

      Paul Handover

      December 19, 2012 at 05:24

  32. Hi, Paul I adore this blog and wanted to know if I could add your site to my blogroll with your consent of course


    February 7, 2013 at 05:27

  33. Pharoah’s beautiful, Paul!


    March 30, 2013 at 07:16

    • Thank you so much, Lisa. He’s 10 years old on June 3rd. Born in a Dartmoor kennel from a specialist GSD breeder! Trained by me with the wonderful assistance of Angela Stockdale; you may have heard of her.

      Paul Handover

      March 30, 2013 at 07:19

  34. I so want a dog (a Labrador – not that I am blind or something but I just love them) but shame that we can’t keep pets in the residence of halls of university! Dogs do rule!
    With warm wishes,


    April 5, 2013 at 07:59

  35. Congratulations! You’ve been included in my Pay It Forward blog post. Check it out – http://ellelainey.wordpress.com/2013/06/10/pay-it-forward-bloggers/


    June 10, 2013 at 01:57

  36. Thank you for dropping by our Pinkopolian Website :) We have an eye Seeing Labrador in our household. Her name is Flame and she is gorgeous. She is the Dog of my bestie, Justin who has been mostly blind for the good part of the last 15 years.

    She is a beautiful animal and constantly leaving us in awe of how wonderfully intelligent she is.

    Great post.

    Miss Lou
    #Pinkopolis Admin


    June 16, 2013 at 10:15

    • Thanks Miss Lou. Feel free to write a guest post for LfD. Always welcome, Paul

      Paul Handover

      June 16, 2013 at 12:43

      • Thanks so much!!! I will definitely take you up on that offer at some point :)

        Miss Lou


        June 16, 2013 at 13:58

  37. Great blog… *looks above* I am one of the administrators for Pinkopolis and thought I would drop back by with my personal account. – Flame has now retired – a few weeks ago now and we have a new Guide Dog. Her name is Halo and she is a black Lab :) Sh’es entirely gorgeous, and very smart!

    Miss Lou

    July 10, 2013 at 20:58

  38. OMG I love your dog!! :)

    Interesting words, too. Beautiful dogs.


    August 2, 2013 at 14:13

  39. Paul, I just submitted some final comments on the global warming discussions from some weeks back.



    August 4, 2013 at 10:43

  40. Paul

    As you have an occasional interest in the climate change debate, I recommend you have a look at this new project presenting the sceptical point of view (link at bottom). There’s an introductory short overview video, and then individual face-to-face interviews. A good one to start with is David Evans.
    As many of the interviewees say, don’t take their word for what they say, or anyone else’s for that matter. They state clearly their reasons for being AGW-sceptic, many of them having started off as devout believers.

    The common theme is that many people instinctively go with the consensus, assuming they should believe all what they are told by the experts, journalists and campaigners. But many who then make the effort to go into the evidence themselves, will often find the case is nowhere near as strong as presented.

    The project is called ’50 to 1′



    September 4, 2013 at 04:11

  41. Did you have a look at the videos?


    September 21, 2013 at 01:13

    • Completely forgot! This aged brain of mine! Will try and remember to watch them this weekend. Thanks for the reminder.

      Paul Handover

      September 21, 2013 at 05:22

  42. Best photo ever, and Ron Howard is my favorite. Not to brag but I have a sister who produces she did “diet tribe” her name in WIKI is Producer: Courtney Paulson

    Jackie Paulson

    November 24, 2013 at 12:45

  43. I couldn’t agree more. And as a dog friend and ‘understander-er’ you are entitled to use ‘integrous’ – I looked it up somewhere.


    April 7, 2014 at 07:43

  44. Well said! We love meeting people who know how intelligent we really are. Love ‘n’ licks, Millie the Lurcher :)


    April 18, 2014 at 04:10

  45. Hi Paul, thanks for dropping by my guest post on Sally Cronin’s Smorgasbord. Sally passed on your lovely reminiscences about spending time in Australia. I’ve been here about 20 years myself – originally from the west coast of Ireland. Couldn’t pass up the Sydney climate! Nice to see you are a dog lover like myself – thank goodness for their ability to drag us back into the moment and remind us of the simple joys in life! : )))


    May 19, 2014 at 04:22

    • Anne, thank you, too, for the link. It’s wonderful the connections we make from this funny blogging thing! Hope to ‘see’ you again on these pages, Paul.

      Paul Handover

      May 19, 2014 at 04:54

  46. I have nominated you for the Influential Blogger Award http://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2014/05/25/most-influential-blogger-award-courtesy-of-the-ever-gracious-don-charisma/ I hope it will draw more readers to your site.

  47. Paul, you have great insight to our furry friends!


    August 23, 2014 at 11:06

    • Thank you so much; that is such a lovely comment. Undoubtedly, as today’s post illustrates, you will notice that not all musings involve dogs. However, I do try and stay pretty close to the theme of integrity; the number one thing all of us should learn from dogs.

      Paul Handover

      August 23, 2014 at 12:46

  48. Dear Paul,

    I haven’t had the privilege (yet!) to experience the incredible bond between a human and his dog firsthand, but I believe it’s one that no bond between humans can rival.

    It’s a truly unbreakable bond based on a completely unconditional love that can serve as a great inspiration to all of us. That’s why I decided to follow “Leaning from Dogs”

    I once read about a story about a vet who had to put down a dog while a child was present. What happened next gives a lot of food for thought and I think it fits in very well with this blog “Learning from Dogs”. So I would like to share this story here.

    While the specifics of this (true) story unfortunately have faded, it went something like this:

    The child and his dog were inseparable ever since the child had been born.

    Unfortunately, after a few years, disaster struck and the dog had to be put to sleep. After much deliberation, the parents decide it was best for the kid to be there when the dog would breath it’s last breath.

    When the vet was about to give the dog the injection, some words were spoken about how sad it was that lives of dogs are shorter than human lives. When the kid heard this he said something that left both the parents and the vet in amazement:

    The kid said that the purpose of life is to live a good life. Humans live a long time because they need many years to figure out how to live such a good life. Dogs, however, already know how to live a good life, that’s why they are only on this earth for fewer years.

    Warm regards,

    Author of http://charismaonfire.wordpress.com


    August 25, 2014 at 19:32

    • Jonathan, what an honour it is for me to have people such as yourself call by and write what you presented. Thank you so much. Paul.

      Paul Handover

      August 25, 2014 at 19:47

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