Tag: Dog stories

This is the dog!


Yesterday, Julie, Richard’s wife back in England, sent me a photograph of what some unknown dog lover has put on one of the walls of their home.

I can’t find the words to better what is written on that wall.

To increase the impact for you, dear reader, seeing this for the first time, it is presented with a ‘read more’ link.

In other words …..

Continue reading “This is the dog!”

Suzann’s Dog Spot – Number One: Diamonte

Finding homes for wonderful dogs.

I’m delighted to announce a new feature for Learning from Dogs, a feature that will be close to many of your hearts; of that there is no doubt.

The background.

Those who have been long-term readers of this place will have been aware that Jean and I first met in San Carlos, Mexico in December, 2007. The result of a very generous invitation from Suzann and Don Reeve for me to spend Christmas with them. Suzann being the sister of Californian, Dan Gomez, whom I have regarded as a close friend for over 35 years. I have known Suzann and Don for nearly the same time.

Suzann and Jean, Mexico, December, 2007.
Suzann and Jean, Mexico, December, 2007.

Anyway, long before I came on the scene, Suzann and Jean had been working together caring for the countless feral street dogs that roam so many Mexican streets. In many cases that caring included finding new, loving homes for them in the USA. When Jean and I moved away from San Carlos in 2010, eventually ending up here in Southern Oregon almost 2 years ago, Suzann didn’t hesitate to continue caring for these Mexican dogs and, wherever possible, finding new homes for them.

Thus came the idea of promoting a wonderful dog ready for a new home here on Learning from Dogs. Who knows, maybe a reader somewhere may know of a family or a person looking for a dog and as a recent post highlighted, rescued dogs are life-savers.

Suzann caring for a feral Mexican street dog.
Suzann caring for a feral Mexican street dog.

Thus starting today I will be promoting a particular dog that Su has sent me the details of and, hopefully, we can keep promoting a new dog every two weeks or so.



by Suzann Reeve


Each day I travel to La Manga, a part of San Carlos, Mexico, to feed at least a dozen dogs, frequently more; plus two old men every day! I need to stop off at the market several times a week for food for both species!

One day, about five weeks ago, I happened to see a Mommy dog and her teenaged pup in the middle of the road. I got out of my car and called them over, hoping they would get clear of the flow of traffic. Thankfully that happened and they quickly came close to take advantage of a bowl of food and some water that I put in front of them. It was wonderful to see the mother move away so her pup could eat first.

A few days later I returned and was delighted to see the mother and puppy again. Once more I put down food and water and, again, the mother dog held back to let her puppy feed before her.

Several days later, yes, you guessed it! Once more I put out food and water, although this time I never actually saw Momma dog eat.

A further two weeks went by before I saw them both. But this time, Momma dog was not well. She crept over to lay under a car while her daughter ate the food I put out. Then a few days after noticing the unwell mother dog, I returned and knew there was a problem. There was a message I was picking up from the mother dog. She seemed to be saying to me that she wanted me to take her puppy. So I did.

I picked up the young puppy and put her in my car. As I did so, Momma dog slowly lifted herself up, went over to my car, sniffed one door and then went around to the other side and sniffed that other door. She then looked at me as if to say thank you.

Momma dog then wandered off and lay down in the shade on the other side of the door, never eating a thing. She watched me drive out of the parking lot and I have never seen her there again.

Who could resist such a lovely open, happy face! Please find a home for Diamonte.
Who could resist such a lovely open, happy face! Please find a home for Diamonte.

Diamonte is a happy, bouncy little girl, presently at about 30 lbs and my guess is that she will be around 40lbs at full growth. She is a very sweet dog, always wanting to please and I regard her as a sunny and bright little girl. Diamonte is as cute as a button, with a dash of freckles over her nose. She is a quick learner and would be a lovely pet for a family or an active single person or couple.

She will receive her 2nd puppy vaccination on the 20th August and hopefully before then she will be spayed.

Note from Su:

With any dog that is ready for a new home, I always try to get the dog spayed or neutered here in San Carlos together with any necessary vaccinations.

Regarding getting the dog to you, the new owner, there are a few regular people who drive to AZ that could hook up with you or with someone who could take it on another leg in it’s journey.

There are some pilots who also fly dogs from point A to point B as well as people who would transport a dog by car in a similar manner. It all depends on networking, trying to find the right person at the right time, activities that must be done by the rescuer as well as the adopter. In other words, a joint effort to try to find a way to get the dog to you. It can be done with people who are tenacious.


If Diamonte pulls at your heartstrings or you know of someone who may feel likewise, leave a short response to this post and I will put you in direct contact with Suzann. Thank you.

Oh, just to help those heartstrings along, here’s a repeat of a picture from last Sunday.


Learning from Joe’s death.

Safeguarding our dearest animal companions.

The story of Joe!
The story of Joe!

Yesterday, the guest post published by Suzan from Romania touched many of you.  In that guest post there was mention of the dog Joe.

Take Joe. Joe had been sold on Facebook and bought by dog-baiters, bitten so severely vets thought he would die. You’d think that’s turned him off to humans? But no! He was a beautiful 6yr-old Collie. He was awesome. He obeyed, loved and cherished us, giving cuddles, playing gently … I’ve never had such a beauty under my roof.

I also wrote that I would publish more today.  Taken directly from Mrs Skeats’ blog.


Joe died but his death is still carrying a message.

It’s 19th June 2014. Joe died 6 months ago on 23rd December 2013.

Joe was a 6 year old beautiful boy taken from us after only 10 months by a cruel twist .. an accident due to a lack of information .. so I started a mini campaign. And I’ve just read about another poor soul, a friend of a friend, having to wait to see if his dog will survive a stick injury. Heartbreaking.

Ok so writing about it channelled my grief but the whole thing goes beyond that.

What was to be thought a rare, freak accident turned out to be all too familiar to vets and families worldwide. What was thought to be a personal kick in the nuts turns out to be a case of ignorance that is most definitely not bliss.

I received hundreds of comments on my first post after Joe died. I received hundreds of facebook and twitter comments too. The current ‘WordPress’ views are at over 139,000 which is great, and yet not enough. Dogs are still being treated for nasty stick injuries, vets see a few each month. I can’t preach and say stop it, but I can let anyone and everyone who cares know what a potential danger stick throwing is: better than being totally ignorant of the risks.

What happened to Joe, and happens to dogs all over the world at a frighteningly too-often rate, was borne of ignorance, stupidity, even years of “that’s what we do with dogs”. We simply never thought about the consequences it could bring.

Historically, when man decided to have dogs as pets and not merely working companions (not all that long ago in the UK) chasing a stick was a favourite game. We’ve all seen the old adverts in faded yellows and reds with a boy, stick in hand and his faithful dog panting happily as he waits for the ‘toy’ to be thrown. Why should we think it’s dangerous? We see things like celebs on the One Show with their dog, happily throwing it a stick, or in videos…. Dogs and stick throwing seems synonomous.

These are but a few stories of reasons why we should try and change this ……………..

The story of Joe just a few days after he died.

London dog saved from near death in stick scare.

Narrow escape for a Border Collie.

The list goes on.

Please think twice before you throw a stick for your dog to chase.

In memory of a beautiful dog, whose life will not ever have been in vain, but will mean so much more if we save others from pain.
In memory of a beautiful dog, whose life will not ever have been in vain, but will mean so much more if we save others from pain.


Please follow those links that Suzan included and read the articles. The message is clear.  If you are the owner of a dog or play with dogs, don’t ever throw them a stick to catch.

As with yesterday’s post, please share this as widely as you can.

Thank you.

Five years old!

A part of me really can’t believe it!

Yes, on the 15th July, 2009, I published my first post!  Five years ago today!  That first post was called Parenting lessons from dogs; a shortish post that I republish now.

Much too late to make me realise the inadequacies of my own parenting skills, I learnt an important lesson when training my GSD (who is called Pharaoh, by the way).  That is that putting more emphasis into praise and reward for getting it right ‘trains’ the dog much quicker than telling it off.  The classic example is scolding a dog for running off when it should be lots of hugs and praise for returning home.  The scolding simply teaches the dog that returning home isn’t pleasant whereas praise reinforces that home is the place to be.  Like so many things in life, very obvious once understood!

Absolutely certain that it works with youngsters just the same way.

Despite being a very dominant dog, Pharaoh showed his teaching ability when working with other dogs.  In the UK there is an amazing woman, Angela Stockdale, who has proved that dogs (and horses) learn most effectively when being taught by other dogs (and horses).  Pharaoh was revealed to be a Beta Dog, (i.e. second in status below the Alpha Dog) and, therefore, was able to use his natural pack instinct to teach puppy dogs their social skills and to break up squabbles within a pack.

When you think about it, don’t kids learn much more (often to our chagrin!) from other kids than they do from their parents.  Still focusing on giving more praise than punishment seems like a much more effective strategy.

As was read somewhere, Catch them in the act of doing Right!

According to my stats page, Learning from Dogs has accumulated 1,000,624 viewings, with a ‘best-ever’ of 3,980 for Trust me, I’m an engineer, courtesy of Bob Derham in March, 2013. A total of 2,125 posts have been published.  Plus, it has been a wonderful journey for yours truly with ever so many great connections made across the world of blogging over these last five years.  As evidenced by the rest of today’s post.

Regular readers will have seen comments from Alex Jones.  He is a Brit living in Colchester, Essex in England and is the author of the blog The Liberated Way.  He and I follow each other’s blogs.

Recently, Alex posted under the title of Relating business to planet earth and these are Alex’s last two paragraphs.

I discover my values and personal insights from how I react to what I see and experience in the world around me. I reacted in anger at the greed and vanity of money investors in business ideas in the US reality television series Shark Tank on YouTube. I reacted in dismay at the wasteful stupidity portrayed in a video on consumerism: people queuing for a week to get hold of the latest iPhone, whose only enhancement from the last was its colour; IKEA marketing telling consumers to throw out perfectly good possessions; Apple designing a new type of screw on its smartphones in order to prevent people repairing damaged phones, thus encouraging waste; the extensive scams brands go to called obsolescence to make objects the consumer buys break quickly increasing waste and needless replacement. The contempt the modern economic paradigm has to this planet is at odds with our human ancestors, and at odds with my worldview.

I am part of a new business paradigm, where I can compete against rivals on equal terms with innovation and clever strategies, but where I care for the planet earth in the same manner as I cared for the grasshopper this morning and my oak saplings. In thinking on these matters in the garden this morning, my garden fox Amber appeared, yawned, then went to sleep in the sun.

Two days ago, another blogger signed up to follow this place.  He writes under the name of Cully and his blog is Ahaa. As I always do, I went across to take a look at Cully’s blog, liked what I saw, especially this ‘header’ post on Gaia.  Very promptly I was given permission to republish that post here.



It’s Time To Stop Living On The Earth and Start Cohabitating With Her – The Earth is a Sentient Living Organism

We are saturated with information and we are used to clipping and selecting segments of what news is thrown our way every day. We can process very little of it for use later on and it is well known that we only see ‘pertinent’ information as information that already supports our existing belief system. This narrow mindset is one of the main reasons why things don’t change. It is why we are happy to listen to shallow news, we simply don’t have time to do anything else. In this we kid ourselves we really don’t need to know which celebrity is dealing with addiction or changing partners.

On this page we hope to introduce a topic that will inspire you to contemplate, even meditate on its importance.

Gaia is more widely accepted now than when it was first introduced, and you’re not being asked to believe it wholesale and certainly not see it as a part of the New Age or hippy movement. Hopefully though whatever you think about our planet you will find it to be a useful platform to consider AND TAKE ACTION on the health of the environment that we are leaving our children.

It is easy …as with all the other scares that we hear about every day to think that we are too small, or that it is a governmental or corporate problem, so why spend any time considering it.

Whatever your particular mindset, Gaia related activities will become increasingly connected and important to leaving a beautiful world behind us. The study of planetary habitability is partly based upon extrapolation from knowledge of the Earth’s conditions, as the Earth is the only planet currently known to harbour life

The Gaia hypothesis, also known as Gaia theory or Gaia principle, proposes that organisms interact with their inorganic surroundings on Earth to form a self-regulating, complex system that contributes to maintaining the conditions for life on the planet. Topics of interest include how the biosphere and the evolution of life forms affect the stability of global temperature, ocean salinity, oxygen in the atmosphere and other environmental variables that affect the habitability of Earth.

The hypothesis, which is named after the Greek goddess Gaia, was formulated by the scientist James Lovelock and co-developed by the microbiologist Lynn Margulis in the 1970s. While early versions of the hypothesis were criticized for being teleological and contradicting principles of natural selection, later refinements have resulted in ideas highlighted by the Gaia Hypothesis being used in subjects such as geophysiology, Earth system science, biogeochemistry, systems ecology, and climate science. In 2006, the Geological Society of London awarded Lovelock the Wollaston Medal largely for his work on the Gaia theory.

It will take an enormous amount of time to create a menu that covers everything related to Gaia, please be patient or if the time help out in any small way that you can 🙂


[If you haven’t watched this BBC programme about James Lovelock and his history of scientific understanding about how our planet works then settle down and watch it.  I assure you that you will be entranced. PH]


What can I say!

Other than to be extremely grateful for the opportunity to ramble on and make so many good friends, WordPress style, over these last five years.

Thank you.

Picture parade fifty-two

Can’t believe how quickly a year flows by!

Yes, fifty-two Sundays ago, I had the idea of posting a set of photographs.  That first set was published on the 30th June, 2013 and just for fun I’m going to repost them.

Plus, I can’t resist adding a photograph that Chris Snuggs sent me.


Sit back and be amazed!

A friend from Payson, Arizona, Lew Levenson, recently sent across a set of 38 astounding photographs, all on the theme of perfectly timed shots.

They are so fabulous that I have decided that for today and the following four Sundays I will post a selection.

So today, the first set of 8 photographs. Trust me you will love them, so a big thank you to Lew.  Do say which are your best ones!

















To close here is that picture courtesy of Chris Snuggs.

suspicious of people

By the way, if you would like see again the rest of Lew’s photographs just leave a comment to that effect.

You all have a great week.

Celebrating Pharaoh.

Today is the eleventh anniversary of the day Pharaoh was born.

Yes, Pharaoh was born on the 3rd June, 2003.

Last year, I celebrated Pharaoh’s tenth birthday with posts over two days.  Being ten seemed such a significant milestone for him.

So rather than repeat those two posts, as much as I am tempted to so do 😉 , I will just offer you the links and repost one photograph. Thus here is that first post, Meet the dogs – Pharaoh (pt 1) and the second part is here.

Here’s the photograph of Sandra Tucker, owner of Jutone Kennels in Devon, England, holding puppy Pharaoh the day I first met him: 12th August, 2003.


It would be so easy for me to gush over having Pharaoh in my life these last eleven years.  But I shall resist, dear reader! Will just repeat a few words that were said a year ago.

The biggest, single reward of having Pharaoh as my friend goes back a few years.  Back to my Devon days and the time when Jon Lavin and I used to spend hours talking together.  Pharaoh always contentedly asleep in the same room as the two of us. It was Jon who introduced me to Dr. David Hawkins and his Map of Consciousness. It was Jon one day who looking down at the sleeping Pharaoh pointed out that Dr. Hawkins offered evidence that dogs are integrous creatures with a ‘score’ on that Map of between 205 and 210. (Background story is here.)

So this blog, Learning from Dogs, and my attempt to write a book of the same name flow from that awareness of what dogs mean to human consciousness and what Pharaoh means to me.  No, more than that!  From that mix of Jon, Dr. David Hawkins, and experiencing the power of unconditional love from an animal living with me day-in, day-out, came a journey into my self.  Came the self-awareness that allowed me to like who I was, be openly loved by this dog of mine, and be able to love in return.  As is said: “You cannot love another until you love yourself.

Which, serendipitously, brings me to tomorrow’s post: Celebrating Who I Am.

Obviously, I wanted to include some current photographs of the birthday boy but, try as I did, the perfect image wasn’t captured.

Thus will leave you with these two, both taken yesterday afternoon.




Happy Birthday, my dear friend!

Taking a pause!

Ran out of time to write anything of value.

And this joke sent to me by Chris Snuggs was too good to put off sharing with you.


A man in a casino walks past three men and a dog playing poker.

Wow!” he says, “That’s a very clever dog!

He’s not that clever,” replies one of the other players.


Every time he gets a good hand he wags his tail!



Love, trust and faith!

The most important lesson that dogs offer us.

The following photograph was sent to me by Suzann who in turn received it from Joyce.  Thanks to you both.  Included with the photograph is the background to the picture.

Indianapolis International Airport
Indianapolis International Airport

 “One of our photographers returning to the Indianapolis International Airport took this photo of a soldier getting special guard duty from man’s best friend as she catches a nap in the terminal. About 10 soldiers and two dogs were in a group at the airport tonight. It wasn’t clear if they were coming home or heading out, but we thank them (and the dogs!) for their service!” – WTHR-TV

I’m going to skip the many comments that have been attached to the photograph, however smart and witty they are, and focus on the fundamental lesson that dogs, and many other creatures, offer mankind.  It is this.

Our society only functions in a civilised manner when there is a predominance of trust about us.  When we trust the socio-politico foundations of our society.  When we trust the legal processes.  When we trust that while greed and unfairness are never absent, they are kept well under control.

Having trust in the world around us is an intimate partner to having faith in our world.

At a time when inequality is making frequent headlines and Russia is sabre-rattling over Ukraine let us never lose sight of the primary importance of trust.

For without trust there can be no faith and without trust there can be no love.

Here’s another photograph of the greatest ‘dog-teacher’ of them all; the German Shepherd dog.

Love, trust and faith.
Love, trust and faith.