Dogs and integrity

Anyone who has owned a dog or got to know a dog well will have realised something fundamental.  The relationship that a dog has with humans is very special.  Just visit this article published on the 6th January, 2011 to get a taste of this relationship.

Old Drum – 1870

Anyway, I was speaking of how special is the relationship between dogs and humans.  Special in the sense that no other animal that commonly lives close to man creates such an intimate bond, although I expect horses come a close second.  Special in the sense that this bond goes back for tens of thousands of years, well into the mysteries of time.

Dogs are part of the Canidae, a family including wolves, coyotes and foxes, thought to have evolved 60 million years ago.  There is no hard evidence about when dogs and man came together but dogs were certainly around when man developed speech and set out from Africa, about 50,000 years ago.  See an interesting article by Dr. George Johnson.

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.  But man seems to be at one of those defining stages in mankind’s evolution where the forces bearing down on the species homo sapiens have the potential to cause very great harm.  If the example of dogs can provide a beacon of hope, an incentive to change at a deep cultural level, then the quicker we ‘get the message’, the better it will be.


  • are integrous ( a score of 210) according to Dr David Hawkins
  • don’t cheat or lie
  • don’t have hidden agendas
  • are loyal and faithful
  • forgive
  • love unconditionally
  • value and cherish the ‘present’ in a way that humans can only dream of achieving
  • are, by eons of time, a more successful species than man.

And have poetry written for them:

Inner Peace

If you can start the day without caffeine,

If you can always be cheerful, ignoring aches and pains,

If you can resist complaining and boring people with your troubles,

If you can eat the same food every day and be grateful for it,

If you can understand when your loved ones are too busy to give you any time,

If you can take criticism and blame without resentment,

If you can conquer tension without medical help,

If you can relax without liquor,

If you can sleep without the aid of drugs,

You are probably the family dog!

By Paul Handover


31 thoughts on “Dogs and integrity

  1. Learning from Dogs first saw the light of day on July 15th, 2009. The tagline that was to the right of the home page was “Dogs are integrous animals. We have much to learn from them.” However, for a long time despite being aware that there is no such word as ‘integrous’, I couldn’t think of a better option. Then in comments to a post published on the 11th July, 2013: Life’s Changes, Wen Scott offered a replacement of integrous with impeccable. I was delighted to make the change.


  2. I love this and it is so true! I had to check out your blog because my daughter adores dogs and always has, to the point she really wishes she was one. We have adopted two so far in her lifetime and your poem above is such a beautiful and prestigious truth to their capabilities! We really can learn so much from them, as people and the greater society. Thank you for honoring them!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Welcome! That is a welcome to you, your daughter and her dogs. Hope you enjoy this place. Plus if you fancy publishing a guest post about your daughter’s love of dogs then that would be lovely. More details when you click on the Get Involved link on the Welcome page.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Dogs are the most beautiful of animals in fact I think all animals are much more amazing than most people. I love your blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I just teared up reading your poem! Please tell me where I can buy this so I can hang it in my living room. It baffles me how people treat our pets as if they are not a member of the family, but in my honest opinion they need to be celebrated and included in all activities. They truly are the most genuine, innocent and fun being on the planet! Great work Paul!


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