Learning from Dogs

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

Posts Tagged ‘Sue Dreamwalker

Morality, intelligence and humanism.

with 19 comments

An open letter reply to Patrice Ayme.

Two days ago I published a rather introspective post called The temptation to turn ever inwards. It was the result of reading three disturbing essays about the ‘affairs of man'; essays by Tom Engelhardt, Jim Wright and George Monbiot.  Frankly, I wasn’t expecting a great response either in the form of ‘Likes’ or written replies.  However, the first reply, a long reply, came in from Patrice Ayme.  I made the decision to reply to Patrice via a new post; ergo today’s post. Since making that decision a further comment came in from Sue Dreamwalker, also republished today.

What I am going to do is to reproduce Patrice’s comment but interspersed with my replies.


The biosphere evolved over billions of years. Now it is taken over by critters who live for just a few years. Solution? Make it so that said critters live longer, thus attaching a greater value upon survival.

I presume that the ‘said critters’ refer to humans? The average lifespan of humans has increased hugely. From a life expectancy of 30 years [1] at birth in Medieval Britain, back in the 13th Century, to an average of 67.2 years for humans worldwide in 2010. [2]

That’s an increase of 124% in a little over 700 years.  Yet despite that incredible increase in lifespan, humans have shown no interest in attaching a greater value to their survival: far from it!  One might even muse that humans have attached a greater value to those things that actively harm our survival.

For all the (over-) elaborate set-up of dear Monbiot, it’s simpler than that. Instead of going back to Baby Thatcher, Baroness god save the queen knows what, let’s grab a clear and present example.

I’m unclear as to what is meant by “the over-elaborate set-up” but as a long-time reader of Mr. Monbiot‘s essays I applaud both his commitment to the highest standards of journalism and to the UK’s Guardian newspaper for publishing so many of them over the years.  I would invite Patrice to give an example of over-elaboration coming from the pen of George Monbiot.

Britain, and many of the Brits, say our dear friend Chris Snuggs, a participant to your, and my, site, have said that they hated Europe, because Europe was not democratic enough. However, one of the latest improvement of the European Constitution is now effective: the head of the EC, the European Commission, is now to be elected by the just elected European PARLIAMENT. Guess what?

Chris Snuggs is more than a participant to Learning from Dogs, he is a close friend of many years.  Yes, he has strong views about Europe but those views are expressed in a declared, personal manner.

Chameleon Cameron, came out of the woodworks to bark, in the clearest way, that it was out of the question to do things differently from before, and now dare to have the European Parliament to elect (what is basically) the European Prime Minister.

Never mind that Britain voted for that European Constitutional change.

Never mind that in representative democracies, the leaders of the executive are elected by Parliament.

So what do we see here?

Contradiction within moods and thoughts systems (Britain agreed to the democratic change, and now does not). We also see erroneous ideas imposed (leaders of the executive says Cameron should be nominated undemocratically, that’s erroneous).

The same sort of things is also perking up in Iraq: the USA caused the mess there, committing several major war crimes in the process. Precisely because those war crimes were not prosecuted, a strong push has been exerted on Obama to duplicate Bush, and go back to attack Iraq some more.

Thus, it is simple: there bad ideas out there, and they need to be destroyed. And bad moods too (an example of bad moods is the enormity that the American population was made, by Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, etc., into an accomplice of the most major war crime there is, war of aggression. Now that this war is in the process of being lost, some clamor to have the war pursued with renewed vigor.

We are now the stewards of the biosphere, whether we like it, or not. We can’t just sit on our rumps, strokes dogs, and whine we will attend to our garden (Voltaire style). By doing nothing, we leave criminals such as Bush, or their spirit, or their mood, in power. And thus we become accomplices.

There is total agreement for the idea that humans are the stewards of the biosphere.  But if the “sit on our rumps, strokes dogs and whine we will attend to our garden” is aimed at me, as it appears to be, then I strongly disagree.  Living as simple a life as we can is a long way from “doing nothing”.

So go out there, and engage in combat, bad moods, and bad ideas. That’s what even very old alpha monkeys, covered with age spots, do. We don’t want to let very old monkeys be examples of moral rectitude we cannot emulate.

A last point: Monbiot does not realize the contradiction he engages in. In the guise of criticising the opposition, he puts it on a pedestal, and engages in its very propaganda. Monbiot, and many like him, bemoan a “shift towards conservatism”. Nothing could be more false. People who destroy the biosphere are NOT conservatives. They play conservatives on TV. In truth, they are just the opposite. They are destructionists.

I am of the opinion, totally so, that George Monbiot is not playing at conservatism.


So, dear reader, there is little in the comment from Patrice that has me nodding my head.  Don’t get me wrong! Patrice Ayme is an individual of extreme intellect as even a dip into his blog will confirm. I am a regular reader of the writings over at that place.

However, there is one major stumbling block for me, one that I have communicated privately to the said Patrice, and that is the issue of anonymity. Because Patrice Ayme is a nom-de-plume.  Despite following ‘his’ writings for some time and sharing the occasional private email, I have almost no idea about who the person is. Yes, ‘his’ writings are often very strong and highly critical of many aspects of modern life, especially the American political system.  But that is not unique.  There is a long line-up of writers doing the same, and doing the same over their signatures: Tom Engelhardt, Jim Wright and George Monbiot and many, many others

For me, hiding one’s identity so securely behind a ‘virtual’ mask yet writing so passionately about many of the issues critically affecting the future of mankind, doesn’t work.  If one can’t or won’t be honest about who they are, then better, perhaps, that they keep their thoughts and ideas close to them.  There is no shortage of people openly being critical about the American Government and much else across the world, and being critical openly.

Later, Sue of Sue Dreamwalker added a comment.  That resonated perfectly with me and it, too, is reproduced in full.

Paul sometimes I despair at how Mankind plays out his life in the world Paul… We bemoan lots as we sit in our homes as the virus of hate, greed, and disaster pours into our living rooms via the BLACK BOX of FEAR tricks… Which helps depress, make us anxious, fearful,…. It insights anger, aggression and the spiral of thought escalates out via the Web… Internet at our fingertips- instant reactions…

Some times I wonder as I ponder… at the soup being remixed… as only this week we hear of ISIS another branch of the terrorists we are now supposed to fear… As the UK now makes friends with its long time enemy Iran.. reinstating diplomatic relationships again.. The Saga runs on an on… With Oil as the major players .

That’s why turning inward is sometimes Paul the only thing we can do… As we can only live our lives… While I so want to save the world.. The world has also got to want to save itself…

I can only live my own life and stop the petty squabbles, the judgements, the criticisms as I mend my own world to live at peace within it…
Once we all realise its our thoughts which in fact we send out, in fear, in anger, as we judge and condemn that are reflected back …

WE create the world.. We consume its products, We want to live in the lifestyles that demand this World to exploit others for riches.. And yet condemn the conditions of the haves and have nots…

We have lost sight of our basic values in life Paul…

So yes I often retreat inwards… I have too.. Because I worry too much about the kind of Earth we are leaving our Grandchildren to grow up in…

In final reply to Patrice, I shall reproduce this well-known quotation [3]:

I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.


1. “A millennium of health improvement“. BBC News. 1998-12-27.

2. CIA Factbook.

3.This saying is widely attributed to Voltaire, but cannot be found in his writings. With good reason. The phrase was invented by a later author as an epitome of his attitude. It appeared in The Friends of Voltaire (1906), written by Evelyn Beatrice Hall under the pseudonym Stephen G. Tallentyre.

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Love over fear.

with 2 comments

Do we chose love over fear?

On the 24th January this year, I published a post called 20:20 self-awareness.  To save you clicking the link and returning to that post, the essence was speaking clearly; not only to others but to ourselves.  I quoted George Bernard Shaw, “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.

Then went on to write:

Yet, what we hear and what we say are both modified, frequently unconsciously, by past events, experiences and trauma.  That being the case, then it is key, critically so, that we achieve the best possible self-awareness.  Because it is only through an understanding of our past that we come to learn of our sensitivities and our associated ‘tender spots’ and their potential for ‘pulling our strings’.

Closing the post by including a twenty-minute, documentary film about fear.  (Here it is again for those that missed it.)

One of the comments to that post was from Sue who writes the blog Dreamwalker’s Sanctuary. (It’s a beautiful blog, by the way.)

This was the comment left by Sue.

Fear is inherent in us all for that Flight or Fight mode.. But the F word has now been used and abused as it has been used as a useful tool .. Self awareness comes when we wake up to what our world is generating and we have a choice. We can allow ourselves to get embroiled within the Fear.. Or we can see it for what it is and who and what is creating that fear and why?…. Once that awareness kicks in we can see there is nothing to Fear but Fear itself… Living in the Now of a moment prevents us also from fearing the future, and fearing what has passed..

Easier said than done, I guarantee you .. But once you can get your head around it all… We breathe deeper and evenly and let all fear go… ( I am still working on this, I am not perfect by any means ) for as your video states its been ingrained within us for so long we know no other way, and we are a creature of habit!..

Thought provoking post, Paul thank you

Sue then pointed me to one of her essays, that I have the great pleasure of republishing today.


Do You Chose Love Over Fear?

One Love Heart.

One Love Heart.

Remember those Prophesies of “2012”? I posted many of my thoughts upon this timeline which I thought was to mark the end of one era and the beginning of the Next – Maybe those ancients teachers didn’t know whether we would rise or fall as they marked the end of their calendar.

Maybe that fate awaits us still depending upon our choices we make in the Now dependant upon our Next actions!  But as we read through those  teachings of ancient prophecy  you will see also they speak  of transformation. Transformation requires Change, and we are being urged now to Think! Think outside our boxes as our comfort zones are now being tweaked as we become ever more sensitive to the Energy Shifts within our World.

Whether we realise it or not we are incarnated with a ‘Soul Mission’ even though we caught amnesia after we were born.  But more and more of us are thankfully waking up as we begin to remember who we are. It may have taken many life times and lessons to align with our present purpose as we pass through various stages on our journey, often not understanding the reasons for painful events and experiences.  It isn’t until later that we look back and see the gifts and healing which were given to us and that through them we learn to grow, letting go of the past as we step into the Now.

Giving Birth is not without pain, and our new earth is only now going through her own birthing pains.  We see it in the spasms of conflict, the wars, hunger, poverty, displacement of refugees and the destruction through pollution of Mother nature.  Pains which are now being experienced which we humans have carried with us over many life times. Pains that emerge as a build-up of our Fear and Prejudices.

The choices are simple: we either choose Fear or Love.

Even while writing this a sense of peace has swept over me as I smile to myself. I recently read an article which said “…we incarnate with these wounds and at a soul-level choose to encounter those whose actions catalyse us to resolve and heal our soul wounding“. That made me smile even wider as I have long held the belief that our enemies are our greatest teachers helping serve our soul’s growth as we learn the various lessons such as patience, kindness, love, forgiveness, and compassion.

We are each of us now experiencing shifts in our emotions and lives, as we feel the ‘Shift’ in energy within our Mother Earth who is calling us to wake up and remember who we are; as our vibrations alter.

When I first started my blog back in 2007 I stumbled almost by accident to the opening post. But it was no accident! In fact my very first post was an experiment called Smile. I wanted to make a difference even if it was only through the words of a poem.

As we ‘Lighten Up’, letting go of what we no longer need, we lift our vibration higher; as we leave behind the wounds of the past. We are Energy Beings – and it’s time now to realise we each are a part of the Whole, that Oneness that permeates all things with the same Energy.

We are now ‘Shifting’ from duality to Unity Consciousness. This was brought home again to me on how many of us are thinking similar thoughts even here on WordPress. We see similar themes as we link into the Mass Consciousness, as we join together our thoughts, as we link subconsciously to the Cosmic web of thoughts.

We need to be aware of the Power of our thoughts and how we can assist in raising our planet’s vibration and our own collective Consciousness.

Much has been spoken upon The Ascension. First we need to ascend through our own layers as we climb ever higher, leaving behind the things that no longer serve us.

We do that by not getting swept up in conflict, by being more loving and tolerant, by being compassionate rather than being judgmental holding hate and anger.

We need to put the Care back in the world. If we embrace and choose Love over fear and stop looking who to blame but start to set examples of living in harmony and unity, then the true magnificence of who we really are can begin to manifest that ‘Golden Age’ that was once prophesied to bring about Peace.

It is up to each one of us to pledge to change our own lives, because only that way will those prophesies come to fruition.

The Choice is Ours

Choose Well..

Love and Gratitude

Sue Dreamwalker..


Unconditional Love.

Unconditional Love.

The most important thing we must learn from dogs.

Picture parade twenty-four.

with 5 comments

The first of the New Year and dedicated to Sue of Sue Dreamwalker.

A week ago, Sue left a nice comment about our ‘backyard’ here in Oregon. Specifically with regard to the two photographs of deer feeding in front of the house.  I replied by saying that today I would offer a selection of views of our property.

First off, an aerial view with the property boundary line overlaid, taken from the sale particulars.  The right-hand, Eastern boundary follows the edge of Hugo Road. We are some four miles from Merlin in Southern Oregon.

Thirteen acres orientated West-East.

Thirteen acres orientated West-East.

The solid blue line is the course of Bummer Creek that flows from top to bottom of the image.  The thin, dotted blue line is the driveway that runs from Hugo Road up to the house, a distance of a 1/4 mile.  The house is close to the Western boundary almost hidden from sight in this picture by the trees.  There is a faint label ‘The House’ just below the building.

From left to right: Pharaoh, Sweeny, Cleo and Hazel.

The above photograph was taken from a point about half-way along the driveway, the house being behind the camera.  Ahead, the driveway dips down to cross the bridge over the Creek, as the following picture reveals.  Luckily the boundary fence is dog-proof!



Dogs and water!

Dogs and water!

Pharaoh in Bummer Creek just downstream of the bridge.

Looking farther downstream from the bridge.

Looking further downstream from the bridge.


Looking upstream from the bridge.

Looking upstream from the bridge.

The barrier across the Creek seen in the upper half of the photograph is a flood irrigation dam installed many years ago, presumably for agricultural purposes before the plot was sold for house building prior to 1977. One installs an iron pole on a centre bolt embedded in the dam and then places a stout plank across the flow on top of the dam.  The plank can just be seen to the right of the dam, resting on the bank.  Never tried the dam but going to some day!

Looking to the West up towards the house.

Looking to the West up towards the house.

The above picture was taken close to where the previous one was shot.  Simply by swinging around to the left and looking back up.  The house is barely visible in the background behind the metal gate and wooden fence posts in the middle of the photograph.

Corinne's field visible through the trees and undergrowth.

Corinne’s field visible through the trees and undergrowth.

Again, the picture above is taken not far removed from where the previous two were taken.  If one looks at the aerial view of the property in the first picture, in the top-right corner there is a small area of grassland; what would have been an offshoot of our neighbour’s grassland in previous times.  After my sister, Corinne, died in the Summer of 2013 we named that area of grassland Corinne’s field.

A general view down over the main area of grass.

A general view down over the main area of grass.

So now we are back standing just outside the Eastern side of the house looking South-East out over the main area where the dogs are walked twice a day.  The picture was taken a little before noon and shows the low mist that has been with us for about two weeks.

Nature's beauty.

Nature’s beauty.

Above, another photograph picking up on the mist that has been with us for some days.  Until yesterday!

This is what I call a Winter day!

This is what I call a Winter day!

Yesterday dawned cold, clear and frosty. As this picture of one of our tall pine trees so vividly demonstrates.  (The tree edges our driveway, about half-way to the house.)

So will close today’s post with three more pictures of a frosty Saturday morning in Merlin, Oregon, USA.

A frosty yet sunny morning.

A frosty yet sunny morning.


Frost on a bamboo tree.

Frost on a bamboo tree.


It really is a beautiful world at times.

It really is a beautiful world at times.


So there you are, Sue!

Needless to say, Jean and I are reminded almost daily how lucky we and all our animals are at finding such a beautiful place to live.  I can’t ever imagine taking it for granted.

Written by Paul Handover

January 5, 2014 at 00:00


with 7 comments

A guest post from Sue Dreamwalker.

Last Monday, the post on Learning from Dogs was called Growing old!!

The essence of that post was to report on the following:

That’s why a recent item on the BBC News website jumped off the page at me.  It was an article called: Health kick ‘reverses cell ageing’ written by Michelle Roberts, Health editor, BBC News online.  Here is how the article opened:

Going on a health kick reverses ageing at the cellular level, researchers say.

The University of California team says it has found the first evidence a strict regime of exercise, diet and meditation can have such an effect.

But experts say although the study in Lancet Oncology is intriguing, it is too early to draw any firm conclusions.

The study looked at just 35 men with prostate cancer. Those who changed their lifestyle had demonstrably younger cells in genetic terms.

The full article should be read, by the way, because it covers much more than this opening paragraph.

Anyway, one of the comments to that post was left by Sue, of Sue Dreamwalker, Here is what she wrote:

Great information and learning to Meditate even for a few minutes helps heal and relax.. Dogs have it right…. No stress!

I wrote a complete exercise I used a lot both for myself and within my circle I used to run… Hope you enjoy as you take your roots down into the earth after bringing in the Light….
you can find it here http://wp.me/p16xW7-37

Namaste! :-)

I then asked Sue if I could republish her guidance on meditation as a guest post.  Sue kindly agreed.  Here it is.


A Meditation For My Friends

by Sue Dreamwalker



Some Friends have been asking about Meditation and relaxation techniques, so I have put you a very simple little meditation here for starters.

You can buy books on meditation and read different techniques until your eyes pop out of your head, and you can find plenty about meditation on web sites too.  I always say there is no right or wrong way to Meditate. To meditate means finding that quiet place within your own mind, finding that peace and space to be at one with yourself.

When people say empty your mind, this is near enough impossible, as you will always have a train of thought that will pop in at times. So this is why we use the Breath.

The breath is used to bring your concentration back, so focusing on your breath may be one way in which you can stop the hum-drum of your thoughts that chatter away inside your head.

First you need to ensure you’re not going to be disturbed, so switch of the phone, find a comfortable chair, in a quiet room, and relax.  If you lie down you may find that you drift asleep, that’s ok also for that shows you have relaxed.  But preferably sit upright with your feet slightly apart and have them touching the ground. Take deep breaths breathing in and out through the nose, and close your eyes.

This is one of the meditations I do regularly.  It may seem long to read, but once you have it in your mind it will only take you 10 minutes to do. Read it through a couple of times until you have it clear in your mind, and then have a go.


Relax and take some nice deep breaths  breathing deeply and evenly, try to breath in to the count of five, hold for a few seconds and then breath out long and slow, Feel your breath rise from your solar plexus your stomach and feel your diaphragm rise and fall.

Do this for a few minutes until you feel comfortable with breathing this way. (Many of us do not breathe deep enough, so this may at first feel uncomfortable, but try not to force it, just try to get your breath into a natural rhythm).

One your breath is comfortable I want you to imagine a beautiful White light coming down in a column from up above  your head.  Almost like a search light in a darkened room.

As you breath in, I want you to breathe in this light. Imagine that it is flowing down inside your head through your crown, and it passes behind your eyes, relaxing your eyes. It then passes down over your throat, relaxing your throat.

You feel this Light which has healing properties cascading across your shoulders, relaxing your shoulders, taking all the burdens of the day with it.  You now see and feel this warm Light travel down your arms into your forearms relaxing your muscles as it goes, now it’s travelling into your finger tips, and your arms now feel heavy and relaxed.

You see the Light now travel through from your throat, down into your heart centre, feel the beat of your heart, and see the light now filling your heart and as it beats see the light dispersing throughout your veins into your whole being,

See the light travelling into your stomach relaxing your stomach muscles, down your thighs relaxing your thighs into your calves, relaxing your calves, and see the light now going into your feet relaxing your toes and feet.

And all the while you are breathing deeply and evenly, relaxing more and more.


Now you are relaxed and are full of healing light, I want you to now see that light coming out of the soles of your feet, as if they were roots from a tree. See these roots going down from your feet into Mother Earth, going down through the rocks, twisting and turning as they go deeper and deeper, and as they travel deeper so too you are feeling more and more relaxed.

You now see an underground cavern, with an underground pool, your roots of light emerge in the ceiling of this cavern, and illuminate it like the lights of a chandelier.

And as the light illuminates the Cavern you now see you are stood in a beautiful Crystal Cavern, The Light reflects the many luminous rainbow colours from the hundreds of giant crystals.. See the rainbow of pastel colours dance around the cavern reflection on the underground pool.

Now you can choose any colour you see, for whatever colour you choose this colour will intuitively be the right healing colour for your needs at this moment in time.

So once you see the colour you are attracted to, allow your roots to wrap themselves around that crystal, and as you breathe deeply in, see now that your roots have now turned into hollow straws, for you will now be able to breathe up that colour through your roots and as you do so, retract your roots back up through Mother Earth, breathe that  colour into your feet, feel the warmth of the healing.

Now draw it back up through your calves, up through your thighs, into your solar plexus. Breathing deeply and evenly. Feel the warmth of healing relax and heal all your worries and anxieties, breath it up into your lungs, into your heart, down your arms and into your fingers, see how relaxed and refreshed you now feel, see this colour cleansing your entire being taking with it all the debris that you have collected, all the negative thoughts, flushing you clean.

See this colour now rise and come up through your throat, see it helping you release all the words you have spoken in haste, and all the words you hold back, see them all now flow up past your eyes, helping you see that you are a Being of Light and whole and free, see that colour now rise out through the top of your head, see it cascading out into the Universe Like a fountain, and as it does so see it explode into a thousand stars, taking all your problems and negative debris with it, and know that God and the Universe will disperse this energy as it sees fit,

Give thanks to Mother Earth for her healing energy, and see the top of your head close and seal in your new vibration, and feel yourself glowing from within,

Slowly bring your awareness back to yourself sat in the chair, and open your eyes.

Sit for a moment or two and take a sip of water.

Know that you can go to your crystal cavern at any time for healing.


Hope you relax and Enjoy.

Dreamwalker x


And if you want any encouragement to find that deep, peaceful place, then just breath in this picture of young Cleo letting the world go by!


Written by Paul Handover

September 26, 2013 at 00:00

The growth of empathy.

with 11 comments

As they say in the old country, it’s an ill wind that doesn’t blow anyone any good!

So often when I stare at the screen wondering just what on earth to write about, along comes something to fire me up.

In this case, it was a small clutch of disconnected items that seemed to have a common thread for me.

The first was reading the links in this morning’s Naked Capitalism summary and seeing this:

The REAL Fukushima Danger

Posted on September 14, 2013 by WashingtonsBlog

The Real Problem …

The fact that the Fukushima reactors have been leaking huge amounts of radioactive water ever since the 2011 earthquake is certainly newsworthy.  As are the facts that:

But the real problem is that the idiots who caused this mess are probably about to cause a much biggerproblem.

Specifically, the greatest short-term threat to humanity is from the fuel pools at Fukushima.

If one of the pools collapsed or caught fire, it could have severe adverse impacts not only on Japan … but the rest of the world, including the United States.   Indeed, a Senator called it a national security concern for the U.S.:

The radiation caused by the failure of the spent fuel pools in the event of another earthquake could reach the West Coast within days. That absolutely makes the safe containment and protection of this spent fuel a security issue for the United States.

Nuclear expert Arnie Gundersen and physician Helen Caldicott have both said that people should evacuate the Northern Hemisphere if one of the Fukushima fuel pools collapses. Gundersen said:

Move south of the equator if that ever happened, I think that’s probably the lesson there.

Former U.N. adviser Akio Matsumura calls removing the radioactive materials from the Fukushima fuel pools “an issue of human survival”.

So the stakes in decommissioning the fuel pools are high, indeed.

But in 2 months, Tepco – the knuckleheads who caused the accident – are going to start doing this very difficult operation on their own.

The New York Times reports:

Thousands of workers and a small fleet of cranes are preparing for one of the latest efforts to avoid a deepening environmental disaster that has China and other neighbors increasingly worried: removing spent fuel rods from the damaged No. 4 reactor building and storing them in a safer place.

The Telegraph notes:

Tom Snitch, a senior professor at the University of Maryland and with more than 30 years’ experience in nuclear issues, said  “[Japan officials] need to address the real problems, the spent fuel rods in Unit 4 and the leaking pressure vessels,” he said. “There has been too much work done wiping down walls and duct work in the reactors for any other reason then to do something….  This is a critical global issue and Japan must step up.”

Apologies, that’s more than sufficient to ruin your day!  If you really want to read to the end, the item is here.

However, the next item carries a much more positive thread.  It was an essay that was highlighted on Linked-In back in June.

The Number One Job Skill in 2020

What’s the crucial career strength that employers everywhere are seeking — even though hardly anyone is talking about it? A great way to find out is by studying this list of fast-growing occupations, as compiled by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Sports coaches and fitness trainers. Massage therapists, registered nurses and physical therapists. School psychologists, music tutors, preschool teachers and speech-language pathologists. Personal financial planners, chauffeurs and private detectives. These are among the fields expected to employ at least 20% more people in the U.S. by 2020.

Did you notice the common thread? Every one of these jobs is all about empathy.

In our fast-paced digital world, there’s lots of hand-wringing about the ways that automation and computer technology are taking away the kinds of jobs that kept our parents and grandparents employed. Walk through a modern factory, and you’ll be stunned by how few humans are needed to tend the machines. Similarly, travel agents, video editors and many other white-collar employees have been pushed to the sidelines by the digital revolution’s faster and cheaper methods.

But there’s no substitute for the magic of a face-to-face interaction with someone else who cares. Even the most ingenious machine-based attempts to mimic human conversation (hello, Siri) can’t match the emotional richness of a real conversation with a real person.

Coincidentally, that thought about the ‘magic of a face-to-face interaction’ really echoed in me.  Why?  Because, I was ruminating on the wonderful world of human interaction this world of blogging delivers.  It seems to combine all the benefits of meeting real people with a global consciousness of those same real people spread way beyond our own local domains.

Hence  the reason why I offer the next seemingly unrelated item. The recent post from Sue Dreamwallker that I am republishing in full.

A Big Thank You to you ALL.

by Sue Dreamwalker


This is just a short post to say a Big thank you to all of my readers and to those who visit regular and comment upon my posts. You Bring with you such light and encouragement, and I often at a loss to say how much your kind support means.

I logged onto my Blog today and discover that my readership has swelled to 400 followers and so I just want to say a Big thank you for all of my oldest friends who have been with me since my beginnings of Windows Live Spaces days when I started in 2007, My first real post after transferring was called Finding Answers  here on WordPress.  And I remember well spending the best part of a Day getting to know and personalise my header  and  Blog back then as everything was alien that day was in Oct 2010.  A move I am so pleased to have made, as I just love the W.P. Community of friends we have gathered here and whom I have got to know and love.

And I just want to say a big thank you to all of my newest arrivals who have clicked the follow button.. I hope to get around to discovering your blogs as soon as time allows.And to say thank you to my email subscribers also.. And Welcome, I hope you enjoy my thoughts and if not please don’t be shy to air your opinions for that’s how we grow and learn by sharing knowledge and understanding.

Today I just want to post what I have been up to in recent days besides  the ‘Day-job’ in picture format.. So if you click the photos, you should be able to read more in the caption headings.. [Photos available on Sue's blogsite.]

Take care all of you and I have a busy week a head in my Day Job, so I will catch you when I can…

Love and Blessings


Still the resonances continued.  For Rebecca Solnit published yesterday an incredibly powerful essay over on TomDispatch.  It was called Victories Come in All Sizes.  As always, Tom writes a wonderful introduction.  Let me skip to Rebecca’s opening paragraphs.

Joy Arises, Rules Fall Apart 
Thoughts for the Second Anniversary of Occupy Wall Street 
By Rebecca Solnit

I would have liked to know what the drummer hoped and what she expected. We’ll never know why she decided to take a drum to the central markets of Paris on October 5, 1789, and why, that day, the tinder was so ready to catch fire and a drumbeat was one of the sparks.

To the beat of that drum, the working women of the marketplace marched all the way to the Palace of Versailles, a dozen miles away, occupied the seat of French royal power, forced the king back to Paris, and got the French Revolution rolling. Far more than with the storming of the Bastille almost three months earlier, it was then that the revolution was really launched — though both were mysterious moments when citizens felt impelled to act and acted together, becoming in the process that mystical body, civil society, the colossus who writes history with her feet and crumples governments with her bare hands.

She strode out of the 1985 earthquake in Mexico City during which parts of the central city collapsed, and so did the credibility and power of the Institutional Revolutionary Party, the PRI that had ruled Mexico for 70 years. She woke up almost three years ago in North Africa, in what was called the Arab Spring, and became a succession of revolutions and revolts still unfolding across the region.

Such transformative moments have happened in many times and many places — sometimes as celebratory revolution, sometimes as terrible calamity, sometimes as both, and they are sometimes reenacted as festivals and carnivals. In these moments, the old order is shattered, governments and elites tremble, and in that rupture civil society is born — or reborn.

It really is an essay that you need to read in full.

However, this further extract covering the closing paragraphs explains why it resonated so strongly with me in terms of the rising consciousness of all the millions of ordinary people just trying to leave the world in a better place:

Part of what gave Occupy its particular beauty was the way the movement defined “we” as the 99%.  That (and that contagious meme the 1%) entered our language, offering a way of imagining the world so much more inclusive than just about anything that had preceded it. And what an inclusive movement it was: the usual young white suspects, from really privileged to really desperate, but also a range of participants from World War II to Iraq War veterans to former Black Panthers, from libertarians to liberals to anarchist insurrectionists, from the tenured to the homeless to hip-hop moguls and rock stars.

And there was so much brutality, too, from the young women pepper-sprayed at an early Occupy demonstration and the students infamously pepper-sprayed while sitting peacefully on the campus of the University of California, Davis, to the poet laureate Robert Hass clubbed in the ribs at the Berkeley encampment, 84-year-old Dorli Rainey assaulted by police at Occupy Seattle, and the Iraq War veteran Scott Olsen whose skull was fractured by a projectile fired by the Oakland police. And then, of course, there was the massive police presence and violent way that in a number of cities the movement’s occupiers were finally ejected from their places of “occupation.”

Such overwhelming institutional violence couldn’t have made clearer the degree to which the 1% considered Occupy a genuine threat. At the G-20 economic summit in 2011, the Russian Prime Minister, Dmitry Medvedev, said, “The reward system of shareholders and managers of financial institution[s] should be changed step by step. Otherwise the ‘Occupy Wall Street’ slogan will become fashionable in all developed countries.” That was the voice of fear, because the realized dreams of the 99% are guaranteed to be the 1%’s nightmares.

We’ll never know what that drummer girl in Paris was thinking, but thanks to Schneider’s meticulous and elegant book, we know what one witness-participant was thinking all through the first year of Occupy, and what it was like to be warmed for a few months by that beautiful conflagration that spread across the world, to be part of that huge body that wasn’t exactly civil society, but something akin to it, perhaps in conception even larger than it, as Occupy encampments and general assemblies spread from Auckland to Hong Kong, from Oakland to London in the fall of 2011. Some of them lasted well into 2012, and others spawned things that are still with us: coalitions and alliances and senses of possibility and frameworks for understanding what’s wrong and what could be right. It was a sea-change moment, a watershed movement, a dream realized imperfectly (because only unrealized dreams are perfect), a groundswell that remains ground on which to build.

On the second anniversary of that day in lower Manhattan when people first sat down in outrage and then stayed in dedication and solidarity and hope, remember them, remember how unpredictably the world changes, remember those doing heroic work that you might hear little or nothing about but who are all around you, remember to hope, remember to build. Remember that you are 99% likely to be one of them and take up the burden that is also an invitation to change the world and occupy your dreams.

Rebecca Solnit, author most recently of The Faraway Nearby spent time at Occupy San Francisco, Occupy Oakland, and Occupy Wall Street in 2011 and wrote about Occupy often for TomDispatch in 2011-2012. This essay is adapted from her introduction to Nathan Schneider’s new book, Thank You, Anarchy (University of California Press).

Copyright 2013 Rebecca Solnit

The final element was from an email yesterday in from Chris Snuggs.  Chris has previously written guest posts on Learning from Dogs, the last one being In Defence of Politics back on July 8th.  In that email was the following photograph.

"You touch my mate and I'll have ya."

“You touch my mate and I’ll have ya.”

Let me draw out the thread that I saw in all these items.

That is that the 1% that Rebecca Solnit wrote about are incredibly powerful people, with access to more power, money and control than one can even imagine.  But what that 1% cannot control is the growing consciousness, the growing mindfulness and awareness of millions of people across this planet that something as simple and pure and beautiful as unconditional love will conquer all.

The most fundamental lesson that we can learn from dogs!

Opening our hearts.

with 11 comments

The magic of Internet connections.

Normally I take a lighthearted break over the week-end, as much for my benefit as I’m sure it is for yours!

However, in trawling through my email folder in which I store LfD ideas, I came across an email sent out by Dan Gomez to a number of his friends shortly before Christmas.  That led me to connect to a more broader theme and I sat down to write the following reflection.

The video that was in Dan’s email was this one.

Jim Stenson who uploaded the video to YouTube described it, thus:

Published on Sep 22, 2012

I found this video online it’s not mine (no copyright), but I thought it was so special I had to put a song behing it. To me, the female Lab is trying so hard to mother the child, I believe this is the first time they met, I DONT KNOW. The boy is cautious but curious at the same time.

I searched but could not find any info on the person who took the video but I did keep his laugh of amazement when the dog puts her paw on the boy’s shoulder as if to say, I love you, everything will be ok. I had to edit the video to fit the song but it’s all original content and BTW this is my first VIDEO edit. I’m just sayin :) If you saw it once, check it out again.

I think you’ll like it. Much love to all who Appreciate it for what it is. Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas :) BTW you can find the original uncut version on here by searching down syndrome with dog.

At the time of writing, the video had been seen 2,897,945 times!  So there’s a good chance you have come across it before.

Often I read the comments to get a feel for how a video has been received.  Here are the top four comments to that video.

Some people find fault with everything in their life. This video was beautiful and it made me smile today when all I could do is cry. Thank you to all who had a part in putting this Video together.

we have much to learn from dogs on the subject of unconditional love.

I’ve had the opportunity to work with a few Downs Syndrome/Autistic children over the yrs. I’ve used my horses to establish trust/open that door to communication. Leading a big horse around the paddock w/one of these children mounted – the horse knows & steps carefully. The children’s faces lights up gloriously and a bond is made. IF there was ANY fear in the children, it never showed. The boy here does hug the dog @ one point. The dog appears more loving/persistent than any human teacher.

Some of you don’t get it…this was great! I had a dog that was so protective over my daughter with Down Syndrome, you can’t understand until you stand in that persons shoes how wonderful this is!!!

Try not to read more of this piece until you have watched the video.  Please!  The video is less than three minutes long.

Back to Dan’s email.  In it were these words, “This video reminds me of the book The Story of Edgar Sawtelle which is told in many parts through the thoughts of the family dog.  In it a boy is born deaf and the dog knows, “I at last have a job –to look after this boy for the rest of life

I had not heard of the book.  But very quickly I came across the appropriate entry on Amazon.  Here’s how the book is described there.

Book Description
Release Date: September 8, 2009 | Series: P.S.
The extraordinary debut novel that became a modern classic

Born mute, speaking only in sign, Edgar Sawtelle leads an idyllic life with his parents on their farm in remote northern Wisconsin. For generations, the Sawtelles have raised and trained a fictional breed of dog whose remarkable gift for companionship is epitomized by Almondine, Edgar’s lifelong friend and ally. Edgar seems poised to carry on his family’s traditions, but when catastrophe strikes, he finds his once-peaceful home engulfed in turmoil.

Forced to flee into the vast wilderness lying beyond the Sawtelle farm, Edgar comes of age in the wild, fighting for his survival and that of the three yearling dogs who accompany him, until the day he is forced to choose between leaving forever or returning home to confront the mysteries he has left unsolved.

Filled with breathtaking scenes—the elemental north woods, the sweep of seasons, an iconic American barn, a fateful vision rendered in the falling rain—The Story of Edgar Sawtelle is a meditation on the limits of language and what lies beyond, a brilliantly inventive retelling of an ancient story, and an epic tale of devotion, betrayal, and courage in the American heartland.

Just as quickly I came across the author’s website.  His name is David Wroblewski.

David Wroblewski

The book is certainly on my reading list.

So to my final connection.  I subscribe to the wonderful blog written by Sue under the name of Dreamwalker’s Sanctuary.  Yesterday, Sue published a further essay under the overall theme of My Soul Journey.  Just read a little of what Sue wrote.

I never intended this journey of mine to read like some sort of Biography. And While I need to explain how I opened my own self-awareness and how I found myself upon my path, I’m still a very private person.

The Journey of discovery first starts with oneself.

Wolf Reflections Within

And to find oneself, sometimes you have to lose yourself if only for a little while in order to find yourself again. I did that too…. Many years later experiencing A nervous breakdown… through stress, over work, juggling career, family, guilt, inadequacies, rejection from my Mother, a whole range of emotions.. 

I wouldn’t wish that upon anyone.. the feelings of isolation, sorrow, remorse, guilt, panic attacks,  all rolled into one big ball, making me  a twitching blubbering emotional wreck as my limbs literally would shake taking on a life of their own as I tussled with myself over the years of working  through guilt while my children were small…Feeling I wasn’t a good Mother as my own Mother who now had been one of the triggers rejected me which resulted in her not speaking for 10 years despite many efforts to begin with to heal the rift.

I came to understand I was only hurting myself even more by trying to mend that bridge which had grown  ever wider, only to find another door of rejection slammed in my face each time I tried, which would bring on more hurts and more wounds which needed inner healing. The last time I tried she ran in the opposite direction and 5 months later she had died, the rift never having been mended. Which again led to more healing work.

It was during that time of my nervous breakdown that my real journey of self began.. when I asked the question..

WHO am I?

It matters not what caused my breakdown, but it was how I recovered that is important..

Who hasn’t at some time in their life asked that same question, who am I?  And, as tempting as it may be, closing this reflection with a nice quote or an apt cliche devalues the beauty and power of such journeys into our self.  No, let me allow Sue’s closing words to sign this off.

An important part of Waking up is that we wake up to ourselves.. and that we learn to stop blaming ourselves. To find ourselves we need to find our inner selves and understand you are neither Good nor Bad, you are simply you…


Winds of Change

with 7 comments

A guest post from Sue Dreamwalker.


Sue has been a wonderful supporter of Learning from Dogs for which I am very grateful.  Sue is the author of the blog, Dreamwalker’s Sanctuary and I do recommend that you pop across there and read her wonderful Posts.  Recently, I read a beautiful poem that Sue had written and not only did she give me permission to republish that Post but also offered the following introduction.  Thank you, Sue.  The rest is all Sue!

First my thanks go to Paul who continues to awaken our knowledge to the Earth and our environment and whose posts are in-depth and informative posts on subjects which we should all be immersed in.

For Planet Earth is our Home and she is dying.  And we Humans are still in a slumber as to the destruction we have inflicted upon her.

Our Native American Brothers knew long ago that we have to balance nature and we should only take that which we need.. But we have used Greed as our cutting tools and we as a species have become out of balance with nature and ourselves.

Paul has kindly asked if he could re-blog my poem .  This poem speaks of those changes we all feel is happening within our world.  I firmly believe like the Native Americans that we are united in Consciousness and that extends to our Earth Mother. We are linked together As One.


The Winds Of Change

The Winds of Change.

The Winds of Change flow across our land

Sweeping us up like the grains of sand

Twisting us round to look in the mirror

Cutting us deep to make us consider…


Our past which holds so many stains

As Ego rules in a world full of pain

The winds of Change are here to uplift

It’s time for Humanity to embrace all her gifts


But before we fly along with the wind

Mankind is reaping all his sown sins

The Anger, the Hatred, the Greed and his Pride

Will no longer have any places to hide


For the Winds of Change a tornado will swirl

As into the Abyss the Material will hurl

A river so deep into Oceans will run

With all tears cried from when time first begun


A cleansing of hearts as each soul will cry

As the Winds of Change blows into our eyes

Eyes that will open as we come awake

And Mankind will realise he can no longer take


The road of discovery can often be hard

A lonely walk as the Winds they bombard

It strips us bare to reveal our true souls

In a journey we’ve walked from Millennia of old


And as our tears fall they wash us all clean

Of the lies of the Past and all that has been

The Winds of Change it whistles in our Hearts

Get ready to fly – for we’re soon to depart.


Many things are happening around our world right now, and for many we are all going through some personal changes.. Change is always hard, and painful, for we resist it as we cling onto that which is familiar. But without Change we do not grow, or progress..

Some of those Changes which are taking place around our Earth are bringing with it tears..

Tears we weep help cleanse our inner-most souls as we wash ourselves from within and we release our emotions.

So, too, our Earth Mother is getting ready for Change… her Winds too are blowing a warning, as she is releasing her tears as she lets them spill as rain..

Too long has she held them within…

We are One with Mother Nature… Watch her, as she is stirring..

Be Ready..

She is Changing, and as she does we will feel her shake, as her body sobs.

By sending out your love,

By loving your selves we are helping each other over these Changes..

We are helping Unite ourselves and Mother Earth once again in Harmony


A tree knows how to bend in the wind, or it breaks and falls..

Water finds its path as it flows into ALL to find its own level

So too we must go within that flow and follow our hearts

We need to be that Oneness,

We need to stop hurting one another,

We need to breath in that Light of Love

And Share it in Unity of Oneness

This is the Time of Change

Let the Winds blow

Love into your


 Native American Indian Quote

“You must teach your children that the ground beneath their feet is the ashes of your grandfathers.
So that they will respect the land, tell your children that the earth is rich with the lives of our kin.
Teach your children what we have taught our children, that the earth is our mother.
Whatever befalls the earth befalls the sons of the earth.
If men spit upon the ground, they spit upon themselves.”
~ Unknown ~

© Sue Dreamwalker – 2012 All rights reserved.


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