Learning from Dogs

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

Archive for the ‘Art’ Category

Beware of the Dog – circa AD79

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That very ancient relationship between man and dog.

The website Eye Witness to History has a lovely item on Mount Vesuvius:

On August 24, 79 Mount Vesuvius literally blew its top, spewing tons of molten ash, pumice and sulfuric gas miles into the atmosphere. A “firestorm” of poisonous vapors and molten debris engulfed the surrounding area suffocating the inhabitants of the neighboring Roman resort cities of Pompeii, Herculaneum and Stabiae. Tons of falling debris filled the streets until nothing remained to be seen of the once thriving communities. The cities remained buried and undiscovered for almost 1,700 years until excavation began in 1748. These excavations continue today and provide insight into life during the Roman Empire.

An ancient voice reaches out from the past to tell us of the disaster. This voice belongs to Pliny the Younger whose letters describe his experience during the eruption while he was staying in the home of his Uncle, Pliny the Elder. The elder Pliny was an official in the Roman Court, in charge of the fleet in the area of the Bay of Naples and a naturalist. Pliny the Younger’s letters were discovered in the 16th century.

If you are keen to read the full article then it may be found here.

My reason for quoting those opening paragraphs is because they offer a good historical introduction to another item from the BBC News website. That item is about a dog mosaic that is back on show after its restoration at Pompeii.


Pompeii guard dog mosaic back on show

One of Pompeii's finest mosaics - a guard dog at the entrance to a villa.

One of Pompeii’s finest mosaics – a guard dog at the entrance to a villa.

A vivid Roman dog mosaic is back on show after restoration at Pompeii, despite Italy’s problems funding the historical site’s conservation.

A glass shield now protects the House of the Tragic Poet, where tourists can see the dog with the inscription “Cave Canem” – Latin for “Beware of the dog“.

Frescoes at the house’s entrance were also restored. Ash from a volcanic eruption buried Pompeii in AD79.

A staffing dispute caused long queues at Pompeii on Friday, in searing heat. Pompeii gives visitors an extraordinary insight into everyday life in ancient Rome because many buildings were protected from the elements under the thick blanket of ash from Mount Vesuvius.


The restored mosaic now has better protection.

The site, near the southern city of Naples, has suffered from funding problems for years. Staff unions at Pompeii have criticised a management reorganisation there.

The House of the Tragic Poet has some of Pompeii’s finest examples of interior decoration, including scenes from Greek mythology.

But the house’s owners remain unknown – they may have died in the eruption along with many other Pompeii citizens.


Now we all know that the relationship between dogs and man goes way, way back before Pompeii but, nonetheless, it’s rather nice to see dogs commemorated in this way from 1,936 years ago.

A chance in love.

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Our neighbourhood watch garage sale has Jean and me fully occupied for these next two days.

Plus much of yesterday afternoon was spent getting our ‘site’ all set up ready for today.

I have taken the opportunity of showing you two videos, one today and one tomorrow.

This was sent to me by Suzann and will melt your heart in a very big way.

►If watching the flowering of love could inspire love, then “The Story Of The Weeping Camel” would forever alter the world…

►The Story of the Weeping Camel.
Mongolian: Ингэн нулимс, Ingen nulims, “Tears of the Camel” is a 2003 German docudrama released internationally in 2004.

►During Spring, a family of nomadic shepherds in the Gobi Desert, South Mongolia, assists the births of their camel herd. The last camel to calve this season has a protracted labor that persists for two days. With the assistance and intervention of the family, a rare white bactrian camel (Camelus bactrianus) calf is born.
This is the mother camel’s first calving. Despite the efforts of the shepherds, the mother rejects the newborn, refusing it her milk and failing to establish a care-bond with it. The family resolve to secure the services of an indigenous ‘violinist’ to play the music for a Mongolian ‘Hoos’ ritual.

When repeatedly intoned the calming sounds and beautiful melody of the violin, the mother camel starts to weep, tears visibly streaming from her eyes. Immediately after the rite the mother and calf are reconciled and the calf draws milk from her teat.

►Added music: Sad Romance – Thao Nguyen Xanh

Picture parade one hundred and four.

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The final set of these incredibly popular photographs.

Hiding in Plain Sight
















The first in the series was published here.

The photographs were sent to me by Dan Gomez, underlining the wonderful way that so much is shared in this funny old world of blogging. Thank you, Dan!

Written by Paul Handover

July 12, 2015 at 00:00

Dogs – What incredible companions!

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Meet Lizzy The Dancing Dog and her Human Sandra Roth.

Last Saturday, I posted Let’s dance today!

It showed a dog dancing to music, or quite possibly, a dog scratching its back against a wall that someone had cleverly set to music.  The video had been sent to me by Chris Gomez.

Then Dan, a brother to Chris, and a close personal friend of mine for 35+ years, sent me the following. This is in a different league to Saturday’s little video. This raises questions as to how the dog was trained to perform like this? How long did it take? What’s the story behind the display?

All I could discover, from the blog Sun Gazing was, “This dog dance was performed at The Open European Championships and totally blew the crowd away.

Trust me, this is going to have you spellbound!


If anyone can provide the answers to my earlier questions then Dan and I would love to hear from you.

Written by Paul Handover

July 6, 2015 at 00:00

Picture parade one hundred and three.

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The penultimate set of Hiding in Plain Sight pictures.


















That’s it for this week. All the very best to you all.

Written by Paul Handover

July 5, 2015 at 00:00

Let’s dance today!

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What better way to celebrate July 4th!

(The following was sent to me by Chris Gomez!)

Written by Paul Handover

July 4, 2015 at 00:00

Picture parade one hundred and two.

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What happened to June?

Continuing the theme of Hiding in Plain Sight

















Final set in a week’s time. You all take care out there.

Written by Paul Handover

June 28, 2015 at 00:00


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