When Paul asked me if I would review his book “Learning from Dogs”, I was rather expecting a book about his life with his German Shepherd Pharaoh (who sadly passed away just before I received the book). Having my own book about my first 18 months with Ray (“Who Said I was up for Adoption?”) in the back of my mind, I was all ready to read about the trials and tribulations of another human adjusting to life with a canine… but I was so wrong!
While Pharaoh was clearly a driving force for the book, and was also (along with other dogs) the foundation upon which it was written, there was so much more to read than a series of human/canine experiences!
Paul has presented a very systematic sequence of personal thoughts and perspectives, supported by frequent quotations, which not only explore the human/canine history, but also present many logical reasons why we can (and should) learn so much from dogs.
This book would be a really interesting read for anybody who is questioning the direction that we as a species are going in our development. It could also cause some revelations in how to correct the current trend towards self-focus, isolationism and materialism.
We really should be trying to get back to a culture of caring, sharing, compassion and respect and to do that, perhaps our greatest teachers are our dogs. Learning from Dogs? It may be an odd concept to some people but, after reading Paul’s book… why not? He covers in detail their apparent intuitive skills; their ability to sense highs and lows in us; their loyalty; their ability to adapt; their demonstrations of love and protection, and so many other attributes that could be considered ideal human traits!
Having read the book, I am now looking at our beloved Ray and thinking, what a great teacher he is! What could possibly be better than role modelling by example?. I wonder if he knows just how influential he and his species can be to those of us who are receptive to the concept of “Learning from Dogs”?
Thanks so much Paul. It was a really interesting read.