The Wise One

Fond memories of June, 2007.

I have been trying to tidy up my office these last few days and came across a tribute that I wrote for Pharaoh in 2007. I flew out to California in June, 2007 and stayed with Dan Gomez and, quite by chance, Suzanne, Dan’s sister, called by and invited me to stay with her and her husband, Don, in Mexico. I flew from Los Angeles to Hermosillo on the 14th December, 2007. That was where Jean and I met for the first time!



June 3rd, 2003 – June 19th, 2017

Just being a dog!

I am your dog and have something I would love to whisper in your ear. I know that you humans lead very busy lives. Some have to work, some have children to raise, some have to do this alone. It always seems like you are running here and there, often too fast, never noticing the truly grand things in life.

Look down at me now. While you sit at your computer. See the way my dark, brown eyes look at yours.

You smile at me. I see love in your eyes. What do you see in mine? Do you see a spirit? A soul inside who loves you as no other could in the world? A spirit that would forgive all trespasses of prior wrong doing for just a single moment of your time? That is all I ask. To slow down, if even for a few minutes, to be with me.

So many times you are saddened by others of my kind passing on. Sometimes we die young and, oh, so quickly, so suddenly that it wrenches your heart out of your throat. Sometimes we age slowly before your eyes that you may not even seem to know until the very end, when we look at you with grizzled muzzles and cataract-clouded eyes. Still the love is always there even when we must take that last long sleep dreaming of running free in a distant, open land.

I may not be here tomorrow. I may not be here next week. Someday you will shed the water from your eyes that humans have when grief fills their souls and you will mourn the loss of just one more day with me. Because I love you so, this future sorrow even now touches my spirit and grieves me. I read you in so many ways that you cannot even start to contemplate.

We have now together. So come and sit next to me here on the floor and look deep into my eyes. What do you see? Do you see how if you look deeply at me as we talk, you and I, heart to heart. Come not to me as my owner but as a living soul. Stroke my fur and let us look deep into the other’s eyes and talk with our hearts.

I may tell you something about the fun of working the scents in the woods where you and I go. Or I may tell you something profound about myself or how we dogs see life in general. I know you decided to have me in your life because you wanted a soul to share things with. I know how much you have cared for me and always stood up for me even when others have been against me. I know how hard you have worked to help me be the teacher that I was born to be. That gift from you has been very precious to me. I know too that you have been through troubled times and I have been there to guard you, to protect you, and to always be there for you. I am very different to you but here I am. I am a dog but just as alive as you.

I feel emotion. I feel physical senses. I can revel in the differences of our spirits and souls. I do not think of you as a dog on two feet; I know what you are. You are human, in all your quirkiness, and I love you still.

So come and sit with me. Enter my world and let time slow down if only for a few minutes. Look deep into me eyes and I will know your true self. We may not have tomorrow but do have now.

(Written on the 14th September, 2007 to reflect the special relationship that I have with me and my 4-year-old German Shepherd.)


I first got Pharaoh as a puppy from a breeder. When he was sufficiently old to start training I learnt that he was a beta dog. Let me explain. In a dog pack there are three dogs with status. The first is always a female and she is the pack leader, or alpha dog. The alpha has first pick of the male dogs as a mate. The second-in-command is the beta dog and is always a male. The beta dog is to keep control and break up fights and squabbles. The third dog, either gender, is the omega dog or the clown dog and its role is to keep the pack happy.

The training was suitably modified and Pharaoh quickly became a perfect friend to me.

On the beach in Devon

Taken near the end of Pharaoh’s life.

So you can see that the above tribute to Pharaoh makes more sense. Especially as on the 20th December, 2006, the 50th anniversary of my father’s death, when I had turned 12 on November 8th 1956, my then wife walked out on me.

Pharaoh was a huge comfort to me at that time. I wasn’t to know then that on the 14th December, nearly a year later, I was to meet the woman of my life. Then in 2008 I flew out to Mexico with Pharaoh to start the most beautiful relationship I have ever had. Pharaoh died in June, 2017.

I still miss him badly. But that, dear folks, is life!

10 thoughts on “The Wise One

  1. Well, this post really got to me. I am waiting to take Mags to the vet for what may be the last time. She suddenly fell ill and I fear my friend may not be long for this world. So, for the past week, I have been with her, taking care of her and just sitting still, communicating without words. My heart is breaking but no matter what happens, she will always be with me.


    1. Susan, I can’t really say in words how sorry I am to hear this. You need a hug from me and that is impossible in this virtual world. All I can offer is if and when you feel the need to write a tribute then I will publish it on Learning from Dogs. Love and death are so interconnected! For all of us, no exceptions. Please give Mags a cuddle from Jean and me.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Thank you so much. Mags is still with us. The vet prescribed pain medication and therapy for her. Right now, we are working on getting her appetite back which is coming slowly but surely. I appreciate your concern.


      2. What a sad day that is going to be. I stared at my iPad for a long time thinking of what else to say but nothing came to me apart from the obvious that we humans think about the end in a more sophisticated manner and are sadder as a consequence.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Paul, I remember reading this before but this time it was as if I was reading about your journey with Pharaoh for the first time. At the end you say “this is life” and that is true but I like to think of the beginning of life as this “is life”. Your journey with Pharaoh still hurts my heart at the ending. On a brighter note, I love the photo of you and Pharaoh in the airplane.


    1. Belinda, Pharaoh was special in a very meaningful way. For when my father was alive he brought back a German Shepherd called Boy. Boy’s owners were in the middle of changing to a new public house (my father was a chartered architect for the brewery) and I think I was about 10. I fell in love with this magnificent dog immediately. He was with us for, I guess, a month then Boy went back to his new home, the Jack & Jill in Couldson in South London. That was the reason when I got my first dog it had to be a GSD! Memories that will be with me forever!
      That photograph of Pharaoh sitting in my Piper Cub is a little misleading. Pharaoh was so happy sitting there and I was planning to take him flying. But then I thought that if he panicked when I was in the air I couldn’t help him for there was no autopilot. So reluctantly we just posed for the photograph!
      Your words are beautiful!


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