He does not judge

Berger Picard / Berger de Picardie / Picardy Shepherd Dog / Bacardi Shepherd

“A dog is better than I am, for he has love and he does not judge.”

— Abbot Xanthios, ancient Christian mystic, quoted by the Monks of New Skete

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A beautiful sentiment — and a true one, I think. I love the wisdom of the Desert Fathers. If you have any taste for ancient Christian mysticism, I highly recommend Thomas Merton’s edited collection of their sayings.

Hope you have peaceful weekends ahead! It’s hard to believe that summer is nearly done.

Checking in on me

Checking in on me

Wherever I go, I always get the sense that someone is following me…

(Truthfully, I like having such a sweet dog who likes to keep constant tabs on me. This might annoy some people, but I love it. Yes, even when she tries to squeeze herself into our tiny bathroom with me. And all this from a dog who would formerly hide from us in corners of the house! She is such a gem. I can’t help it; I like to gush about her sometimes. It always makes my day to remember how far she’s come.)

The best deal

A woman and her dog. by Stepan Obruchkov, via Flickr
(c) Stepan Obruchkov.

“Dogs have given us their absolute all. We are the center of their universe. We are the focus of their love and faith and trust. They serve us in return for scraps. It is without a doubt the best deal man has ever made. ”

— Roger Caras

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I agree with you there, Caras!

We are going to visit my in-laws this weekend, with the primary aim of meeting baby Georgia! FINALLY! I am so excited. Thanks for all of your advice about Pyrrha and the baby; I will strive to make Pyrrha feel loved and not incite any jealousy between her and her new aunt. I hope it all goes well and that Pyr doesn’t play too roughly with her. Will be coming home with lots pictures! Have a great weekend, everyone.

Until one has loved an animal

Now I'm relaxed
Pyr, in the yard.

“Until one has loved an animal, part of one’s soul remains unawakened.”

— Anatole France

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As much as I may try to avoid oversentimentality toward animals, I do really believe this is true. Loving animals feels like unlocking a different chamber of the heart. Especially when the animal in question is a dog.

Thanks for all of your advice about nail trimming. We are still working on it. I fear I may have to resort to calling in a professional. I think she would actually have to be physically restrained to get her nails trimmed at this point. (Or do I just need to run her on asphalt more often?? But those dew claw nails are really getting bad.) Anyway. I’ll keep you posted. Sigh. Why is it that some dogs never seem to need this done? That we could be that lucky…

Wishing you warm and happy weekends!

My little dog knows me

A fashionable woman in Berlin and her dachshund. Source: Glamcanyon.

“I am I because my little dog knows me.”

Gertrude Stein

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Hope you all have cozy and pleasant weekends! I am looking forward to a weekend at home, sans house guests, to take Pyr on long walks around town and enjoy the gorgeous autumn foliage. Wishing the same to all of you!

Filling an emptiness

Photo: Henning Nilson.

“Dogs have a way of finding the people who need them, filling an emptiness we don’t even know we have.”

 — Thom Jones

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It’s true, isn’t it?

Have had a totally crazy week, and I have been feeling guilty, because Pyrrha has gotten fewer walks and less attention than normal. The guilt! It is suffocating. Maybe next week will be a little better?

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Pup links!

At the end of the fence. By Flickr user meeganz.

Dog-related links from around the Web this past week:

The Search-and-Rescue Dogs of 9/11. As we remember the tragedy of 11 September 2001 today, I was very moved to reflect on these series of beautiful portraits of rescue dogs from Ground Zero, shot by photographer Charlotte Dumas. (The Hydrant)

DIY Physical Exam: An “Owner’s Manual” for Your Dog. Have any of you been following The Bark’s DIY physical exam guides? I’ve found them to be extremely helpful and informative. I confess that I really should know more about how my dog’s body actually works and how to read concerning signs. This is part two of a four-part series. (The Bark blog)

Scent Games: Educating Your Dog’s Nose. Lots of interesting links featured on The Hydrant, apparently! I loved this article by John Rice and Suzanne Clothier about games to play with your dog that utilize her nose. Pyrrha is extremely nose-oriented and I’m looking forward to playing some of these scent games with her. (The Hydrant)

Do You Just Love Dogs? Or Do You Respect Them? This post by Pamela really caught my attention. I know a lot of people who profess to just LOVE dogs, and I don’t doubt that they do, but they don’t seem to have any grasp on reading dog body language, or recognizing when a dog is too tired, too scared, too what-have-you to engage. Props for this post. Her question is a good one, too: How do we encourage more dog lovers to actually respect dogs, too? (Something Wagging This Way Comes)

7 Years After Katrina, New Orleans Is Overrun by Wild Dogs. It is easy to forget cities struck by natural disasters, particularly once the disaster has faded into distant memory. The devastating consequences of Hurricane Katrina on literally thousands and thousands of domestic animals was apparent from the outset, but seven years later, stray dogs are continuing to multiply and spread across the city. An eye-opening account of the difficult situation of abandoned dogs in New Orleans. (The Atlantic Monthly)

Ian Healy: Dog Portraits. This is the style of a dog portrait I can really get behind: Modern and fun, but accurate and talented. Now I’m kind of wanting one of Pyrrha for our sea-foam green walls… Have you had a work of art commissioned of your dog? Would you? (The Hydrant)

The Reverse Romney. As many of you in the United States, I am sure, I am getting sick to death of hearing about the November election. I’m ready for it to be over! But this did make me chuckle. (Maddie the Coonhound)

Also, just for kicks: Pyrrha was featured on F-Yeah German Shepherds. ♥