A reflection on the starting point of this Blog.
It struck me recently that many of you readers that come to Learning from Dogs on a regular basis, say, over the last 18 months, may not be clear as to why it’s called what it is, and the deeper issues behind the name.
First, the name. Quite a few years ago I was sitting chatting with Jon Lavin, the co-founder of the Blog, in his home in South-West England. My German Shepherd, Pharaoh (that’s him on the home page) was sleeping on the floor while Jon and I were nattering about the works of Dr David Hawkins of Veritas Publishing. Jon mentioned that David Hawkins had measured the consciousness of dogs and that they came out about 205. In other words they were integrous creatures and firmly on the truthful side of the boundary between truth and falsehood.
I was fascinated by that idea. Later, back at my home, less than an hour away from Jon’s house, I was idly looking at domain names that were available, and imagine my glee when I discovered that learningfromdogs (dot) com was free. It was rapidly grabbed.
A rather chaotic period of my life descended upon me but the notion that we have much to learn from dogs stayed with me. Much later, when I was happily settled with Jean, the vision and purpose of the Blog got me under way. The first post was published on 15th July, 2009.
The ideas behind the theme that dogs have an extraordinary relationship with man is contained in a very early piece written for the Blog back in July 19th, 2009. That article is called Dogs and integrity. But nothings stays still. In that piece, I wrote,
Because of this closeness between dogs and man, we (as in man!) have the ability to observe the way they live. Now I’m sure that scientists would cringe with the idea that the way that a dog lives his life sets an example for us humans, well cringe in the scientific sense.
However, on Sunday evening we watched a video from PBS that showed that scientists are now taking a very close interest in dogs and why they have such a special relationship with man, perhaps even a critical part in enabling man to prosper as hunter-gatherers. Here’s a preview of that video programme.
Unfortunately, the video is not freely available from PBS. However, it was based on the BBC Horizon programme, The Secret Life of the Dog, which I wrote about back in the 25th January, 2011. (The YouTube link on that post appears to have been curtailed.)
Luckily there are a couple of options to watch this fascinating and very revealing documentary. You can either watch it in sections from YouTube, the first 10 minutes is below, or you can watch it in full, if you don’t mind some Chinese translations here. Your choice.
That’s enough for today, I shall return to this theme next week.