Tag: Dogs

CDICLCurious Daviddogs

Curious David Redux: Paean to My Best Friends

A few minutes ago I finished reading Sigrid Nunez’s beautiful novel The Friend (more about it can be found here).

I still am choked up in tears from reading it. It strikes close to home, and it triggered reflections about my best past and present canine friends.

Curious David Redux: Here are some of my earlier reflections about dogs who taught me lessons. As the biped protagonist in Nunez’s novel comments to Apollo, the Great Dane, “Remember, I’m only human. I’m nowhere as sharp as you are.”

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Dogplay2 (1)

Reflections:

Today I am “dog-tired”–it was a three dog night yesterday as we celebrated a birthday with dear friends.

Several summers ago I was humbled at how much I have yet to learn about teaching and about learning. A friend Mary directed her  beloved, devoted blind Newfoundland Ernie to “rescue” me by, on command, swimming out to a rowboat where I feigned being in distress.

Blind Ernie

I was saved as he towed me back guided only by the loving voice of Mary.

Reflections: It has been 6 months since Robin the Newf left my life. She leaves me with many fond memories and enduring lessons about patience, love, persistence, forgiveness, coping with pain, loyalty, and playfulness.

New parents

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Her successor, Leo the Great, already is reminding me of all those lessons and, in his own way, offering me new things to learn.

Leo2

 

Leo1

Reflections: Robin and Glenn the Big Dog and Mollie the Golden Retriever and Queenie and Duchess and Snapper and Freud and Leo have made me laugh and cry, exhausted and rejuvenated me, and constantly pointed out to me the frailties of being a human. My father-in-law, Walter G. Schmidt deep love of dogs was extolled in his eulogy given by the Reverend Charles Valenti-Heine:

…”And that world, for Walter, included his beloved Canines. Lucy, Canis, Oaf, Chaucer, Trollope, and Freud, the last-named because Walter was told that the companionship of a good dog was of greater worth to people than any other therapy! The one time I remember Walter speaking in church was when Trollope died, and he stood up during joys and concerns to opine: ‘If there is a place in heaven for Presbyterians, then surely there is a place for greyhounds.’

I have had many dog role models both real and fictionalized. As I child I fondly remember Mr. Peabody and his seven-year-old sidekick, Sherman. I am attracted to the nonsense of dog cartoons in the same way that my dogs are attracted to scents.  Though many of my friends claim I behave more like Scott Adams’ cartoon character Dilbert, I have often learned from the philosophies of his character  Dogbert and from Snoopy.

Rudyard Kipling  and Lord Byron have warned us of how dogs can capture your heart! Dogs continue to teach me so much! Some day soon I hope to be their full-time student.

Robin

 

Do dogs match their owners in physical appearance? in personality? There is an interesting body of research dealing with these questions. Under what circumstances does pet ownership reduce stress? increase it? Why in the world did I spend $250 tonight on pet treats? Perhaps I still am affected by my first reading of Argos‘ blind enduring faith. Robin, the patient gentle giant, knows.

Here is some anecdotal evidence provided by one of my playful students that owners like me (though there was sometimes confusion between Robin and me and, presently, Leo and me as to who is the owner) may start looking like their dogs!

Newfed

 

 

 

 

Carroll University USACurious DavidDogs

Dogs have often proven to be among my best teachers…

P1060473

Dogplay2 (1)

Today I am “dog-tired”—it was a three dog night yesterday as we celebrated a birthday with dear friends.

Several summers ago I was humbled at how much I have yet to learn about teaching and about learning. A friend Mary directed her, beloved, devoted blind Newfoundland Ernie to “rescue” me by, on command, swimming out to a rowboat where I feigned being in distress and he towed me back to shore.Blind Ernie

It has been 6 months since Robin the Newf left my life. She leaves me with many fond memories and enduring lessons about patience, love, persistence, forgiveness, coping with pain, loyalty, and playfulness.

New parents

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Her successor, Leo the Great, already is reminding me of all those lessons and, in his own way, offering me new things to learn.

Leo2

 

Leo1

Robin and Glenn the Big Dog and Mollie the Golden Retriever and Queenie and Duchess and Snapper and Freud and Leo have made me laugh and cry, exhausted and rejuvenated me, and constantly pointed out to me the frailties of being a human.

My father-in-law, Walter G. Schmidt deep love of dogs was extolled in a eulogy given by the Reverend Charles Valenti-Heine:

…”And that world, for Walter, included his beloved Canines. Lucy, Canis, Oaf, Chaucer, Trollope, and Freud, the last named because Walter was told that the companionship of a good dog was of greater worth to people than any other therapy! The one time I remember Walter speaking in church was when Trollope died, and he stood up during joys and concerns to opine: ‘If there is a place in heaven for Presbyterians, then surely there is a place for greyhounds.’

I have had many dog role models both real and fictionalized. As I child I fondly remember Mr. Peabody and his seven-year-old sidekick, Sherman. I am attracted to the nonsense of dog cartoons in the same way that my dogs are attracted to scents.  Though many of my friends claim I behave more like Dilbert, I have often learned from the philosophies of  Dogbert  and of SnoopyRudyard Kipling  and Lord Byron have warned us of how dogs can capture your heart! Dogs continue to teach me so much! Some day soon I hope to be their full-time student.


Curious David

Lionizing (and Suppressing Thoughts of Polar Bears)

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I’ve been thinking a lot about lions lately. Lions are so prevalent in art and literature across time and across cultures.

Lions are in the news today: I just read about the Copenhagen controversy concerning dissection as an educational tool. Not to long ago was the controversy about the  killing of Cecil. Two weeks ago I attended Benjamin Scheuer’s Milwaukee Repertory’s performance of “The Lion”. The songs follow me.

 

Such a majestic feline:

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And now I have Leo in my life, presently lying near me in his dog bed. Perhaps he is dreaming about his first day at Doggy Day Care where he had this photo taken. My lion sleeps tonight.

Leo at Central Bark Day 1

Getting him out of my mind is like suppressing thoughts of polar bears!.

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Canine Ruminations: Robin the Newf Helps Me Write a Blog Post

Robin

Robin the Newf is a guest collaborator tonight. Because of her presence (at my feet) I’ve been ruminating tonight about canine companions. My father-in-law, Walter G. Schmidt,  also loved dogs. In fact his love of dogs was extolled in his eulogy given by the Reverend Charles Valenti-Heine:

…”And that world, for Walter, included his beloved Canines. Lucy, Canis, Oaf, Chaucer, Trollope, and Freud, the last named because Walter was told that the companionship of a good dog was of greater worth to people than any other therapy! The one time I remember Walter speaking in church was when Trollope died, and he stood up during joys and concerns to opine: ‘If there is a place in heaven for Presbyterians, then surely there is a place for greyhounds.’

To which I add, amen!

Rudyard Kipling warned us of how dogs can capture your heart!

Do dogs match their owners in physical appearance? in personality? There is an interesting body of research dealing with these questions. Here is one citation. Here is another entire  article (Download Roy). Under what circumstances does pet ownership reduce stress? increase it? Why in the world did I spend $250 tonight on pet treats? Perhaps I still am affected by my first reading of Argos‘ blind enduring faith. Robin, the patient gentle giant, knows.

These might be questions to give my Introductory Psychology students to encourage them to conduct a scholarly literature review.  Perhaps in the process I’ll teach them about EvernoteDiigoDelicious,  Zotero, and  Google Scholar and have them help me compare the strengths and weaknesses of these tools in addition to comparing the kinds (and quality) of answers they get using Internet search engines versus library data bases.

Here is some anecdotal evidence provided by one of my playful students that owners like me (though there is a debate between Robin and me as to who is the owner) may start looking like their dogs!

Newfed

 Trivia question from Robin:

What was the name of the Newf who accompanied Lewis and Clark?

Answer is here if you fail to find out—and even if you do.