Tag: The Secret Life of the Dog

The book! Part Four: The integrity of dogs.

Dogs are the one species that man has lived with longer than any other species; by a mile. So when we reflect on the qualities of the dog, the great part of our instinctive appreciation for those qualities comes from that very long association. One should be quick to add that man has bonded with many other animals, the horse immediately coming to mind, but, nevertheless, the bond between man and dog is most certainly the longest. As has been mentioned elsewhere in this book, dogs were certainly around when man developed speech and set out from Africa; about 50,000 years ago.

But surely it is a step too far, a touch bizarre, to go from the bond between dogs and man to attributing the quality of integrity to a dog! Integrity, with its sense of moral and ethical principles, surely applies to the cognitive understandings of the human psyche!

In the first chapter of Part Four: Setting the scene, I recounted my time with Jon Lavin back in the early months of 2007. How Pharaoh always came with me and how Jon was very happy for him to be with us as we talked. How Pharaoh seemed to enjoy the sound of Jon and me chatting away and always quickly settled down on the beige carpet behind my chair.

One day, Jon was talking about integrity and how it applies to us. Jon was using Dr. Hawkins’ book, Truth and Falsehood, referred to in the previous chapter, to enlighten me about the whole concept of integrity, how David Hawkins went on to develop his map of consciousness; much of which I have explained in the previous two chapters.

Back to Jon speaking of integrity. I had been listening to Jon for some time, me fascinated with what Jon was explaining, when I distinctly recall Pharaoh letting out a long sigh with just the hint of a happy groan as his exhaling air passed over his vocal cords.

Jon paused and said, “Paul, You do know dogs are integrous creatures don’t you!

I was stunned by Jon’s rhetorical question, pleasantly so as you could imagine, and urged Jon to continue.

Yes, David Hawkins had measured the consciousness of dogs and has logged the value in the range of 205-210. In other words, dogs are firmly on the truthful side of the boundary between truth and falsehood.

Looking at the values from 200 and upwards, the log range from 200 to 250 is described by David Hawkins as: God-view Permitting; Life-view Feasible; Level Courage; Emotion Affirmation; Process Empowerment.

Not immediately, but slowly over the coming weeks and months, especially when Pharaoh was working as a teaching dog, I came to understand that quality of integrity in Pharaoh and, by implication, in all dogs. No better underlined than by my life here in Oregon with Jean and Pharaoh, and eight other dogs in our family. Despite being an assertive dog, Pharaoh has always demonstrated a consistency of behaviours; of integrity.

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, in January, 2011, the BBC screened a programme under the heading of: The Secret Life of the Dog. The hour-long programme demonstrated just how important has been the history of the relationship between dog and man. How scientists were taking a very close interest in dogs and why they have such a special relationship with man, perhaps critically enabling early man to prosper as hunter-gatherers.

Indeed, within the first few minutes of the programme, one of the contributors said that without that early domestication of dogs, the civilisation of man might not have taken place!

Thus, if you are a dog owner, prepare to see your dog friend in a totally new way.

As in: Dogs behave with integrity, they don’t cheat or lie, nor have hidden agendas, they are loyal and faithful, forgive so quickly and easily, and, above all else, love unconditionally. Dogs value and cherish the ‘present’ in a way that humans can only dream of achieving and are, by eons of time, an incredibly more successful species than man.

And finally, dogs have poetry written for them:

Inner Peace (from an unknown author)

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!

818 words Copyright © 2014 Paul Handover

Why the Blog is called Learning from Dogs.

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.