The wonder of dogs.
Never before has an integrous way of life been so critically important.
When I was preparing this post, I couldn’t make up my mind if it should come before or after the story of the release of The National Climate Assessment. In the end I decided it should follow the post that I called The unacceptable face of The Daily Mail.
My reasoning was that the NCA report was such a stunning indictment of the madness, the myopic madness of mankind these last 100 years, that this appreciation of the wonder of dogs must act as a beacon for us all. I use the word ‘beacon’ because the qualities demonstrated by these nine dogs are just the qualities that we need to adopt.
Every living person on Planet Earth has to embrace the stark choice coming up on us like a runaway train. If we don’t change our values, our behaviours and our relationship with this one, finite planet, in the next ten years, at most, then the consequences will be beyond imagination; a world of unimaginable terror and chaos.
Forgive me if I repeat what the Home page of Learning from Dogs offers:
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.
On the 30th December, 2012 The Week magazine published an item written by Editor Lauren Hansen. I ask Lauren if I might republish the article in full but that was denied. However, I was given permission to refer extensively to the piece. I will use it to underline just what we have to learn from dogs.
The 9 most newsworthy dogs of 2012Dogs are the best. Here’s the proof… if you even need itBy Lauren Hansen | December 30, 2012
If you’re reading this, then you’re probably aware: Dogs rule. This year, a handful of canines rose above the rest, making headlines for their actions — whether facing imminent danger to save lives, enduring unimaginable physical hardships, or simply making us laugh. A look at nine of the year’s most newsworthy pups:
1. Chicago’s comfort dogs
After the unimaginable events that befell Newtown, Conn., on Dec. 14 that left 27 people, including 20 children, dead at the hands of suspected gunman Adam Lanza, a team of golden retrievers was deployed from Chicago to the picturesque town. About 10 specially trained dogs, including Chewie, Ruthie, and Luther, made the 800-mile journey to sit with children and adults during masses and funerals. “Dogs are nonjudgmental. They are loving. They are accepting of anyone,” says one handler. “It creates the atmosphere for people to share.” The Chicago comfort dogs are notable not only for this caring venture but also for helping those who suffered through Hurricane Sandy and the tornado that hit Joplin, Mo., in 2011.
The next story was about the puppies that kept a lost boy warm.
That was followed by the hero dog that lost its snout saving two girls.
One dog’s heroism so disfigured her sweet little face that her photo is often preceded by a warning. This canine’s story started with a motorcycle careening through the streets of Zamboanga City, Philippines, earlier this year. Young cousins Dina Bunggal, 11, and Princess Diansing, 3, stepped unknowingly into its path. A mutt named Kabang came out of nowhere and jumped in front of the motorbike, stopping it in its tracks, and saving the little girls from serious injury. The driver and the girls emerged with superficial wounds, but Kabang wasn’t so lucky. Her head landed on the motorcycle’s front wheel and as the wheel rolled forward, Kabang’s upper snout was ripped right off. Her story quickly went viral and when local doctors could do no more to help her, specialty surgeons from the University of California, Davis, flew Kabang to their facilities, where she’ll endure six to eight weeks of treatment to repair her face. The cost of her surgeries, which could top $20,000, will be covered by her many supporters who have started an online fundraising campaign.
Here’s a photograph of Kabang found on the web.
Then my last dip into Lauren’s article is dog story eight.
8. The dog that saved its own life by calling the police
We’ve often heard the tale of the puppy that proves its “man’s best friend” status by saving its owner’s life. But this year, there was George, a 2-year-old basset hound in West Yorkshire, England, who reworked the well-worn script a bit, literally calling for help to save himself. Home alone, George had knocked the phone to the floor and was strangling himself with the handset’s cord when he apparently dialed 999 — England’s 911 equivalent — in a panic. The operator heard only frantic gasps and, assuming someone was desperately sick or reeling from an attack, sent police to the house. The dog was found and rescued from the cord. “Incredibly, you could see where his paw print was on the phone,” said the neighbor, “he literally saved his own life.”
The article also mentions a recent item in Huffington Post (UK):
Now, what fun-loving toddler can walk past a puddle without stopping for a little splash? Not this one!
Little Arthur was out for a stroll with his best mate, Watson the dog, when he noticed a tempting puddle. So he put down the leash and plunged straight in. And Watson? Well, he’s a more mature 12 years old, so he didn’t partake himself. But he was more than happy to wait while Arthur had his fun.
You know what this video is, don’t you? That’s right. Too. Cute. For. Words.
Here’s the video, seen over 4,800,000 times!
Finally, there’s the beautiful story of the dog befriending a Down’s Syndrome boy.
So what does this all add up to? That the qualities of the dog; integrity, unconditional love, patience, loyalty, and their ability to live in harmony with nature really do send us humans a message for the future.
And a future not so far away.