Learning from Dogs

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

Archive for the ‘Art’ Category

Saturday serenity.

with 10 comments

If you don’t care for yourself, then you can not care for others.

This beautiful Tao Wisdom was published over on Find Your Middle Ground, Val Boyko’s blogsite, and is republished here with Val’s very kind permission.



Knowing the world is intelligent.
Knowing yourself is enlightenment.

Bending the world to your will takes force.
Willing yourself to bend is true strength.

Succeeding in the world yields riches.
Being content with what is yields wealth.

Apply Tao to the physical world and you will have a long life.
See past the physical world to the enduring presence of Tao and death will lose its meaning.

Lao Tzu*

This is one of my favorite passages from the Tao Te Ching.
May it enrich the whole of you and your day. ☯

*Braun Jr., John; Tzu, Lao; von Bargen, Julian; Warkentin, David (2012-12-02). Tao Te Ching (Kindle Locations 492-498). . Kindle Edition.


May you, and all your friends and loved ones, including your beautiful animals, have a very contented weekend, extending forever more!

Written by Paul Handover

October 10, 2015 at 00:00

Please adopt your next dog.

with 16 comments

Continuing the message of that special bond between us humans and our dogs.

Yesterday’s post regarding the dog saved from the Texas floods came to mind when earlier today (Tuesday) I was reading the Fall issue of The Bark magazine.

Cover of the Fall 2015 issue.

Cover of the Fall 2015 issue.

Reading the magazine took me across to The Bark website and from there I ended up reading about dogs being mentioned in people’s obituaries. Here’s a snippet of that article:

Dogs in Obituaries

Included as cherished family members
Karen B. London, PhD | September 18, 2015


It’s been a long time since the majority of people with dogs considered them property, but the inclusion of them in the celebrations and events of life associated with family continues to grow. Birthday parties and gifts for dogs have become increasingly common in recent years, and the number of dogs included in family photos or in signatures on greeting cards is bigger than ever. It’s really old news to say that many people consider dogs to be family members, but interesting studies of the ways in which that’s true continue to be published.

Earlier this year, a study called Companion Animals in Obituaries: An Exploratory Study was published in the journal Anthrozoös. The study illuminated the importance of companion animals, including dogs, based on the frequency and manner in which they were mentioned in obituaries.

Another article in that same issue of The Bark was by photographer Traer Scott. Scott is the author of the book Shelter Dogs and has just launched a new book called Finding Home: shelter dogs & their stories. (Her blogsite is here.) As is detailed on her website:

Traer Scott is an award winning fine art and commercial photographer and author of six books including “Nocturne: Creatures of the Night” (Princeton Architectural Press, 2014) and her newest release “Finding Home; Shelter Dogs and Their Stories” (Princeton Architectural Press, Fall 2015). Her work has been exhibited in several countries and featured in National Geographic, Life, Vogue, People, O, on the NY Times Lens Blog, “Behold” and dozens of other national and international print and online publications. Her first solo museum show Natural History opens at the University of Maine Museum of Art in October 2015. Traer was the recipient of the Rhode Island State Council for the Arts 2010 Photography Fellowship Grant and the 2008 Helen Woodward Humane Award for animal welfare activism. She lives in Providence, Rhode Island with her husband, daughter and adopted dogs: a pit bull and a baby basset hound.

A quick mouse-click took me to Amazon and to Scott’s latest book. Where one reads:


Bold, retiring, serious, sparkling, quirky, or lovable—the dogs in Traer Scott’s remarkable photographs regard us with humor, dignity, and an abundance of feeling. Scott began photographing these dogs in 2005 as a volunteer at animal shelters. Her first book, Shelter Dogs, was a runaway success, and in this follow-up, Scott introduces a new collection of canine subjects, each with indomitable character and spirit: Morrissey, a pit bull, who suffered from anxiety related behaviors brought on by shelter life until adopted by a family with four children; Chloe, a young chocolate Lab mix, surrendered to a shelter by a family with allergies; Gabriel and Cody, retired racing greyhounds; and Bingley, a dog who lost his hearing during a drug bust but was brought home by a loving family that has risen to the challenge of living with a deaf dog. Through extended features we become better acquainted with the personalities and life stories of selected dogs and watch as they experience the sometimes rocky and always emotional transition to new homes. The portraits in Finding Home form an eloquent plea for the urgent need for more adoptive families, as well as a tribute to dogs everywhere.

Further down that Amazon page there was a review by The Bark magazine and what they wrote is the perfect way of heading to the close of today’s post. [My emphasis]

“Photographer Traer Scott follows up her groundbreaking book Shelter Dogs with a new work of equal grace and sensitivity. The portraits in Finding Home not only showcase a collection of canines with indomitable character and spirit, they are also an eloquent plea for more adoptive families, and a tribute to all dogs everywhere.” – The Bark

Please, howsoever you can, share the benefits of adopting a dog from your nearest animal care centre.

No avoiding those eyes (and I'm not referring to Jean!).

Proof positive of the love that flows between Jean and our Oliver.

Written by Paul Handover

September 23, 2015 at 00:00

Saturday smile

with 3 comments

Just love some of the stuff that gets shared on social media sites!

My son, Alex, shared this cartoon that, in turn, had been presented on Amanda Charlotte’s Facebook page.

It seems very appropriate for this first week of September.


Enjoy your weekend, everyone!

Written by Paul Handover

September 5, 2015 at 00:00

The greatest journey of them all

with 2 comments

….. is the journey within.

Today’s video creates a small emotional break between the loss of our Lilly and returning to life as usual.

It was sent across to me by Dan Gomez. It is very compelling indeed.

Ara and Spirit travel across the country in their sidecar motorcycle and learn about some of life’s toughest lessons.

Written by Paul Handover

August 26, 2015 at 00:00

The art of stillness.

leave a comment »

Another fabulous lesson we can learn from our dogs.

Stillness. It is a very simple, single word yet, somehow, it sounds as though it belongs to a different age. As though stillness is a very long way from the modern society that millions and millions of us subscribe to.

The dog is the master of being still. Being still, either from just laying quietly watching the world go by, or being still from being fast asleep. The ease at which they can find a space on a settee, a carpeted corner of a room, the covers of a made-up bed, and stretch out and be still, simply beggars belief. Dogs offer us humans the most wonderful quality of stillness that we should all practice. Dogs reveal their wonderful relationship with stillness.

Now watch this entrancing talk from Pico Iyer.

Published on Nov 26, 2014
The place that travel writer Pico Iyer would most like to go? Nowhere. In a counterintuitive and lyrical meditation, Iyer takes a look at the incredible insight that comes with taking time for stillness. In our world of constant movement and distraction, he teases out strategies we all can use to take back a few minutes out of every day, or a few days out of every season. It’s the talk for anyone who feels overwhelmed by the demands for our world.

Why you should listen.

Acclaimed travel writer Pico Iyer began his career documenting a neglected aspect of travel — the sometimes surreal disconnect between local tradition and imported global pop culture. Since then, he has written ten books, exploring also the cultural consequences of isolation, whether writing about the exiled spiritual leaders of Tibet or the embargoed society of Cuba.

Iyer’s latest focus is on yet another overlooked aspect of travel: how can it help us regain our sense of stillness and focus in a world where our devices and digital networks increasing distract us? As he says: “Almost everybody I know has this sense of overdosing on information and getting dizzy living at post-human speeds. Nearly everybody I know does something to try to remove herself to clear her head and to have enough time and space to think. … All of us instinctively feel that something inside us is crying out for more spaciousness and stillness to offset the exhilarations of this movement and the fun and diversion of the modern world.”

What others say

“[Iyer] writes the kind of lyrical, flowing prose that could make Des Moines sound beguiling.” — Los Angeles Times

Written by Paul Handover

August 22, 2015 at 00:00

Picture parade one hundred and eight

with 2 comments

The last of the perfect puppy pictures.










For those of you that missed the first two sets of these puppy pictures, set number one is here and last week’s set is here.

You all take care out there.

Written by Paul Handover

August 9, 2015 at 00:00

Nothing to do with dogs, women or men!

with 2 comments

Enough of this introspection!

Dear friend, Suzann, sent me the link to this video a few days ago, it’s just fabulous.

Here’s the description of what the video is about:

The KFPS Friesian Horse: beautiful, versatile, athletic, kind, willing, and able to do anything! May the world see that this breed is loved and enjoyed by all.  Too magnificent not to send on, you’ll love the music as well, beautifully played.

These horses were originally bred as “war horses” in the days of knights and armor. As armor got heavier, bigger horses were needed and the Friesian almost became extinct. They are black and are one of the most beautiful horses in stature as well as gait. What gorgeous animals! Just watching them becomes an emotional experience. Can you imagine what it would be like to ride one? Their manes and tails are the longest that I have seen and I noticed that when performing on grass, their hoofs do not kick up a divot, as they land flat footed. Creatures such as these are what makes this world so special. These horses are native to the Netherlands. Amazing Music is by E.S. Posthumus titled “Manju“.

Written by Paul Handover

August 7, 2015 at 00:00


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,519 other followers

%d bloggers like this: