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!
This is about a dog that lives near a golf course.
This was a story that appeared on The Dodo website in September. Unfortunately I can’t seem to republish the video nor the entry in Instagram but it is still a cute story and worth sharing with you all.
Friendly Dog Who Lives Near Golf Course Loves Begging For Pets
Loni Gaisford was out golfing with her family last Sunday at the Mick Riley Golf Course in Murray, Utah, when she saw something unusual by the fourth hole.
Golf balls were attached in a ring to the metal fence separating the green from a neighboring house. Gaisford decided to investigate, curious why someone would make such a strange display.
“When we pulled up to the tee box … we noticed the golf ball ring in the fence with a sign next to it,” Gaisford told The Dodo. “I walked over to read the sign thinking it was a memorial for someone.”
The sign read: “Hi! My name is River. I’m a 5 Y.O. female. When I find your lost ball, I will add it to my necklace. Good luck!”
Gaisford finally understood the hilarious meaning behind the golf ball ring — and then she spotted the dog from the photo, playing nearby.
“We noticed River was in the backyard with a toy,” Gaisford said. “[She] walked over to the hole in the fence but the toy was too big to stick her head through the window so she just let us rub her back.”
After Gaisford teed off, she returned to say goodbye to River. The dog suddenly dropped the toy and stuck her head through the “necklace” to receive a few head scratches
Gaisford posted the video to her Instagram later that night, and as the comments came in, she realized that River was something of a local celebrity. “Every time I play that course she never does that … Jealous,” one commenter wrote.
Another commenter couldn’t resist making a few golf puns: “What’s the best type of fence for a dog who lives next to a golf course!? A fence with a hole in one!”
When the video made it to Reddit, more golf lovers shared stories of their own special experiences with the pup: ”One day, I was at McRiley and the owner of that dog was walking her (no leash) and she jumped right into our cart and sat down,” la_fern72 wrote on Reddit. “She was super friendly.”
Gaisford couldn’t be happier that her video has reached so many people — including those who will never set foot on a golf course. “Meeting River brightened my day,” Gaisford said, “and I knew the internet would love meeting River as much as I did.”
Well I tried ever so hard to find a way of showing you the video, and unfortunately it is not on YouTube, so you are going to have to go across to the website to watch it. Sorry!
When Shauna Darcy first brought Ruby home, the plan was to have Ruby act as a service dog to help her with anxiety, depression and agoraphobia. Ruby was an incredible service dog and companion from the very beginning — and quickly showed Darcy just how far she would go to help her.
“While she was training to be a service dog I noticed that she started picking up on changes in my heart rate and would act funny — for example, paw at me, try to get my attention, get on top of me, etc.,” Darcy told The Dodo.
Picking up on Ruby’s cues, Darcy went to the doctor and discovered she had health issues she hadn’t known about, including a rare heart condition called vascular Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. Ruby had known something was wrong even before Darcy did, and her main focus as a service dog quickly switched to Darcy’s cardiac issues.
Every day, Ruby helps her mom with things like monitoring her heart rate and blood pressure, helping her during panic attacks and retrieving emergency medications. She also carries groceries, picks up dropped items and gets things her mom can’t reach, and is trained in deep pressure therapy.
“When I pass out she gets on top of me and applies all her pressure on me and licks my hands and face until I come around,” Darcy said.
Ruby is there for her mom every single day — even when she doesn’t realize she needs her.
Last week, when Ruby started alerting her mom that something was wrong, she had no idea why. At that point, Darcy was feeling fine, but decided to trust Ruby and call an ambulance anyway, just in case.
“It turns out my heart was going into atrial fibrillation,” Darcy said. “By the time the paramedics came, I was in pain and barely conscious.”
As the paramedics rushed Darcy to the hospital, she realized that Ruby had saved her life that day.
While Darcy was in the hospital and the doctors worked to get her stable again, Ruby refused to leave her mom’s side. Even while Darcy was unconscious, Ruby lay in her hospital bed, pressed up against her, hoping her mom could sense she was there and that her presence would make her feel safe.
During their stay at the hospital, so many people stopped by to meet Ruby. She’s always very popular whenever she and her mom are at the hospital and loves saying hi to everyone — but also makes sure that she’s never too far away from her mom. She loves her so much, and her mom loves her just as much right back.
Without Ruby, Darcy’s life would be very different. Ruby helps her mom stay healthy and safe every single day, and her mom is so grateful for everything she’s done for her.
“I wouldn’t be alive without her,” Darcy said.
“I wouldn’t be alive without her,”
I’m emboldening that last statement.
This is a wonderful story.
For Darcy has articulated what millions of other dog lovers know in their hearts. That the relationship between a dog and a human is extra special!
I was pondering that I really should return to sharing stories about dogs. After all this is a blog that is called Learning from Dogs.
Then I recently saw this story from Turkey. It’s about a stray dog and it is in Turkey and it’s from The Dodo so is republished with permission.
That did it!
Security Camera Catches Man Sharing Adorable Moment With Stray Dog
In the early hours of Saturday morning, Metin Can Şener was walking home along a street in Turkey when a figure emerged from the darkness in front of him.
It was a pup — his tail wagging eagerly at the sight of Şener approaching.
Şener had seen the dog before, but apparently only during the day; he often hangs out at Şener’s local coffee shop, where this random encounter at 2:51 a.m. took place.
“He comes to that street all the time,” Şener told The Dodo. “I always see him by the café.”
On this particular early morning, however, Şener and the dog became much better acquainted. As if compelled by the same joyful spirit upon seeing a familiar face on that empty street, the two of them reacted in the sweetest way: “We started dancing,” Şener said.
The adorable moment was captured on video.
Şener and the dog were passing strangers no longer.
“We became good friends,” Şener said. “I already have four dogs, so I couldn’t take him home.”
Fortunately, despite apparently living as a stray, the dog appears to be well-fed — perhaps having endeared himself to people in the area. Their random meeting this particular morning certainly had that effect on Şener.
Neither Şener nor the dog knew at the time that their heartwarming encounter had been caught on film. The owner of the café had evidently reviewed the security footage and shared it with Şener the next day.
And since posting it online, the happy scene has gone viral.
“I was surprised to see it had been caught on camera. I thought it was so much fun,” Şener said. “I always like to dance with animals like this. I love animals even more than people.”
The video on YouTube follows. But before I go let me comment about that last photograph, the one just above, because this is what having a dog in your life is all about!
Associate Professor of Outdoor Education, Montreat College
Today Americans live in a world that thrives on being busy, productive and overscheduled. Further, they have developed the technological means to be constantly connected to others and to vast options for information and entertainment through social media. For many, smartphones demand their attention day and night with constant notifications.
As a result, naturally occurring periods of solitude and silence that were once commonplace have been squeezed out of their lives. Music, reality TV shows, YouTube, video games, tweeting and texting are displacing quiet and solitary spaces. Silence and solitude are increasingly viewed as “dead” or “unproductive” time, and being alone makes many Americans uncomfortable and anxious.
We study and teach outdoor education and related fields at several colleges and organizations in North Carolina, through and with other scholars at 2nd Nature TREC, LLC, a training, research, education and consulting firm. We became interested in the broader implications of alone time after studying intentionally designed solitude experiences during wilderness programs, such as those run by Outward Bound. Our findings reveal that time alone in nature is beneficial for many participants in a variety of ways, and is something they wish they had more of in their daily life.
Reflection and challenge
We have conducted research for almost two decades on Outward Bound and undergraduate wilderness programs at Montreat College in North Carolina and Wheaton College in Illinois. For each program, we studied participants’ experiences using multiple methods, including written surveys, focus group interviews, one-on-one interviews and field notes. In some cases, we asked subjects years later to look back and reflect on how the programs had affected them. Among other questions, our research looked at participant perceptions of the value of solo time outdoors.
Our studies showed that people who took part in these programs benefited both from the outdoor settings and from the experience of being alone. These findings build on previous research that has clearly demonstrated the value of spending time in nature.
Scholars in fields including wilderness therapy and environmental psychology have shown that time outdoors benefits our lives in many ways. It has a therapeutic effect, relieves stress and restores attention. Alone time in nature can have a calming effect on the mind because it occurs in beautiful, natural and inspirational settings.
Nature also provides challenges that spur individuals to creative problem-solving and increased self-confidence. For example, some find that being alone in the outdoors, particularly at night, is a challenging situation. Mental, physical and emotional challenges in moderation encourage personal growth that is manifested in an increased comfort with one’s self in the absence of others.
Being alone also can have great value. It can allow issues to surface that people spend energy holding at bay, and offer an opportunity to clarify thoughts, hopes, dreams and desires. It provides time and space for people to step back, evaluate their lives and learn from their experiences. Spending time this way prepares them to re-engage with their community relationships and full work schedules.
Putting it together: The outdoor solo
Participants in programmed wilderness expeditions often experience a component known as “Solo,” a time of intentional solitude lasting approximately 24-72 hours. Extensive research has been conducted on solitude in the outdoors because many wilderness education programs have embraced the educational value of solitude and silence.
Solo often emerges as one of the most significant parts of wilderness programs, for a variety of reasons. Alone time creates a contrasting experience to normal living that enriches people mentally, physically and emotionally. As they examine themselves in relation to nature, others, and in some cases, God, people become more attuned to the important matters in their lives and in the world of which they are part.
Solo, an integral part of Outward Bound wilderness trips, can last from a few hours to 72 hours. The experience is designed to give participants an opportunity to reflect on their own thoughts and critically analyze their actions and decisions.
For some participants, time alone outdoors provides opportunity to consider the spiritual and/or religious dimension of life. Reflective time, especially in nature, often enhances spiritual awareness and makes people feel closer to God. Further, it encourages their increased faith and trust in God. This often occurs through providing ample opportunities for prayer, meditation, fasting, Scripture-reading, journaling and reflection time.
Retreating to lead
As Thomas Carlyle has written, “In (solitary) silence, great things fashion themselves together.” Whether these escapes are called alone time, solitude or Solo, it seems clear that humans experience many benefits when they retreat from the “rat race” to a place apart and gather their thoughts in quietness.
In order to live and lead effectively, it is important to be intentional about taking the time for solitary reflection. Otherwise, gaps in schedules will always fill up, and even people with the best intentions may never fully realize the life-giving value of being alone.
I would modify that advice from Thomas Carlyle and that is to include a dog.
For in my experience when one is in the mood for a bit of solitary reflection your dog seems to sense it as well.