Notes from “a Dog” on Writing.

20 09 2016

Dogs know the way to pen a tale. Any writer can learn how. Read on:

A Lesson In Storytelling From The Ultimate Dog Tease

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Dog Talk

21 11 2014

Let’s discuss etymology. For those out there challenged by syllables (i.e. certain men), I’m talking words.word

Science tells us that the humble dog is able to recognize more words than ever before thought. Beyond the simple “fetch”, “sit”, “shake”, “ball”, and the proverbial (literally) “no”.no-means-yes

Words like “impossible,” “never”, “stupid”, “stubborn”, and even (cringe) “neutering” have resided in the canine dictionary for centuries. And we didn’t learn them from man, we learned them because of man.caveman

The dog is inherently optimistic. The possibility of the “impossible” is a never-ending focus in our minds. Ever see a dog sitting statue-like at the base of a tree waiting for a squirrel to make a misstep?

Ever watch the canine attempt to bite the mailman through the front-door glass––every day, rain or shine, for a decade. the idea that it will never happen, dare I say “NEVER” occurs to him. Otherwise he would have given it up the second day.

“Stupid?” Not in the Webster’s Canine. Since wolf-times, dog has known that each failure up the ladder of success leads you closer to the prize. What dog is born with the knowledge they need to survive? Try, and try again, does not imply stupidity. It speaks to adaptation.

And “stubborn?” Nay, we use the word persistent. Part of evolution and natural selection. Give up and you die.images

“Neutering?” What self respecting canine would EVER invent the idea let alone the word?

The moral: Man is too easy with his labels, failing century-after-century to understand the root of his words, passing off traits he finds displeasing as failure, in one way or another.

Dog’s message to man: Relax. Take a Milk-bone.milk+bone1 Stretch out in a patch of sunlight pouring through the dining room window. Let your instinct guide you.

Trade your Webster’s for a dog.Dictionary Experiment

Ciao





Scent of a Man

6 12 2013

As a Dog, I am a good judge of man. No matter the look on his face, I can smell his heart.

I was never close enough to claim a whiff of Nelson Mandela, but his words are scented, and the odor is not unlike Dog’s. For as anyone knows, the core of Dog’s heart is love and wisdom. The core of Mandela’s heart shone in the same way. And will continue to shine on, his words a sweet scent on the eternal wind.

mandela-dog-224x300

“Where you stand depends on where you sit.” ― Nelson Mandela

(Dog knows his position in the family is defined by where he sleeps. Inside, outside, floor or bed?)

“It is said that no one truly knows a nation until one has been inside its jails. A nation should not be judged by how it treats its highest citizens, but its lowest ones.” ― Nelson Mandela

(Same as above: inside, outside, floor, or bed.)

“Appearances matter — and remember to smile.” ― Nelson Mandela

(All dogs know the importance of perky ears and a good tail wag.)

“After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb.” ― Nelson Mandela

(Dog understands the drawback to thinking you can be king of the mountain.)

“It always seems impossible until it’s done.” ― Nelson Mandela

(Like chasing squirrels.)

“ As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.” ― Nelson Mandela

(When Dog wags, man smiles at the world.)

“Lead from the back — and let others believe they are in front.” ― Nelson Mandela

(Why Dog sometimes hangs back on a wild boar hunt.)

“When a man is denied the right to live the life he believes in, he has no choice but to become an outlaw.”
― Nelson Mandela

(The way of feral dogs.)

“Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.”

― Nelson Mandela

(Cats exist to make Dogs realize this.)

“I am fundamentally an optimist. Whether that comes from nature or nurture, I cannot say. Part of being optimistic is keeping one’s head pointed toward the sun, one’s feet moving forward. There were many dark moments when my faith in humanity was sorely tested, but I would not and could not give myself up to despair. That way lays defeat and death.”
― Nelson MandelaLong Walk to Freedom: Autobiography of Nelson Mandela

      (Why Dog neither judges nor holds a grudge. Everyday is a new day for a Dog.)

Long may your scent last, Madiba.

south-africa-mandela





To Be or Not to Be: Doggish

1 11 2013

When it comes to philosophy, dogs have it boiled down to four points. Like Bernini’s Four Rivers fountain in Piazza Navona, this wisdom flows into every dog.

Man would do well to ride its waters, as well…Image

These few noble constants by which all dogs live are inborn. Every dog shares them, be they domesticated, feral, or ridiculous as I like to think of the curs on the Pincio.

First, dogs never let their past define them, and neither do they take life seriously. Every day is a new day for a dog; a new, exciting, anything-is-possible day. Any human can see that all dogs enjoy the charm of novelty.Image

Second, a dog’s heart is easily won and difficult to break. And though pride may be the downfall of many creatures, understanding their own fallibility makes dogs loyal to even the worst sort of human being. As a result dogs have learned that it is a far braver thing to stay in a disagreeable situation, helping dispel the misery of man, than to leave it. That is the charge of man’s companion. Dogs value bravery above all else; its degree, the measure of every dog. It is the noblest of canine virtues.homeless_sleeping_dog

Third, dogs are philanthropists. They never pass up an opportunity to give. A pact was made in the early days of their ancestors. Hunting expertise for a share of man’s kill. That reciprocity continues today, but now lies in the pleasure and benefits exchanged between human and dog. It’s innate. An affectionate thresh, an endearing lick, a fond sniff about the crotch: these are all traded for room and board. One gets what one gives.4d6b1c7d73228.hires_t540

Finally, dogs never pass up the opportunity to have fun. It is the very heart of every living spirit; the essence of every dog. It encourages strong bonds and deep affection. If there is no pleasure, there is no life. This is the simple and abiding truth of existence.

 It all comes down to looking at life with a kind eye, no?





Dog Looking at Man

6 10 2011

I am a dog, looking at man.  I know that genius and wisdom are not always combined.  Take the advent of the atomic bomb. What other creature even dreams of inventing something that might wipe it’s species from the planet?

Dogs are different.  We live in the moment, not in our dreams. No, we don’t invent the future (we have better things to do…).  Instead, we enjoy the ‘what is-ness’ of every day. No human to my knowledge can say the same–but all should.  I hate to think that it is only in the face of man’s own mortality that true wisdom kicks in, granting him understanding and peace at a final reckoning.  Is it too much to ask that man grasp the fleeting nature of creature-hood; the ridiculous lightness of ego and esteem before they realize that both are little more than self-reflection?

Perhaps, it matters not when they experience that epiphany but that it IS experienced.

Steve Jobs gave us all (yes, even the thumb-less dog) the ability to communicate in ways we never imagined just two short decades ago.  He lived, arguably, half a human life-time.  And, in all his achievement, notoriety and wealth, in the end, he understood the base meaning of this life we hold as true:

The physical is fleeting; the ephemeral, eternal. There is genius in wisdom.  I wonder if the opposite is true?

“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”

Thank you, Steve Jobs, for sharing your genius and your wisdom.

The universe is better for it.

May we all use it well.

Chow.





Secret of Life

22 10 2008

One of the greatest secrets of life is having both patience & wisdom.   

 

Wisdom Meets Patience

Wisdom Meets Patience

As illustrated by the uncommon dog…

Chow.








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