A friend recently sent the following list to me about dogs.  It provides insight into their needs and why they are such great companions.  They love to share their life with us!  And dogs – when connected to humans – will actually worship their human with total love and devotion.  Not a bad example of living, don’t you think?


1.  My life is likely to last 10-15 years.  Any separation from you is likely to be painful.

2. Give me time to understand what you want of me.

3. Place your trust in me.  It is crucial for my well-being.

4. Don’t be angry with me for long and don’t lock me up as punishment. You have your work, your friends, your entertainment, but I have only you.

5. Talk to me.  Even if I don’t understand your words, I do understand your voice when speaking to me.

6. Be aware that however you treat me, I will never forget it.

7. Before you hit me, before you strike me, remember that I could hurt you, and yet, I choose not to bite you.

8. Before you scold me for being lazy or uncooperative, ask yourself if something might be bothering me.  Perhaps I’m not getting the right food, I have been in the sun too long, or my heart might be getting old or weak.

9. Please take care of me when I grow old.  You too, will grow old.

10. On the ultimate difficult journey, go with me please.  Never say you can’t bear to watch.  Don’t make me face this alone.  Everything is easier for me if you are there, because I love you so.

Remember – hug your dog today!  He lives for your attention and love.

Can Dogs be Good Teachers?

We think that we train dogs…but can they also train us?  We assume that because we are human and dogs are…just dogs, that we know more.  We may know more stuff, but do we really know more of the important stuff?

I began wondering about this whenever we visit the Bark Park, a patch of green grass in the midst of a concrete jungle.  It is the social time and place for the neighborhood made up of apartment dwellers – for the dogs and their humans.  The dogs have their own way to greet each other (it involves a lot of sniffing and turning) while their owners follow a different pattern (a quick glance, smile or nod, then maybe a short conversation).

I am certainly no expert on the sociological behaviors of the canine or human species, but perhaps we could learn something from our four legged friends.

The dogs who enter the park shy or reserved are treated differently than the happy, exuberant ones who fall all over themselves to be liked.  Just imagine the contrast between a Chihuahua and a Golden Retriever.  Or the aloof, aristocratic entrance of an Afghan Hound to that of a Great Dane.  While each breed has its own personality and characteristics, each one slightly adapts to the other dogs in the park.

Afghan Hound XXXIII Dogs Show in Ustroń, Poland

Image via Wikipedia

Last night, for example, our usually reserved Afghan actually started playing with the coal black Great Dane!  This only lasted for 30 seconds before Godiva (guess which dog she is) decided that she would revert back to her standard mode and she gracefully trotted off to another part of the park.  The Dane, not to be ignored, followed her and they seemed to have a quiet interlude under the small tree that overlooks Downtown.

Needless to say, both the guy who owns the Dane and myself were astonished.

“I have never seen him act that way with another dog,” he explained.  “Usually Max just bowls right over other dogs.  He NEVER is still!”

I just shook my head.  “Godiva NEVER plays with other dogs – I still can’t believe it!”

Just as we were trying to process what just happened, the two new friends calmly walked over to us, tongues hanging out and a joyful expression in both pairs of eyes.  There was no big announcement of  “look what I did.”  Instead, the attitude of both dogs was “that was fun, but now I am ready to go sleep.”

A total shift in behavior and then back to normal.

The dogs did not hide behind masks of social acceptance, trying to behave a certain way just to be part of the group.  Neither did they act differently than how God made them.  Each was true to himself and his breed, but both stepped out of their usual traits to learn more about the other.  Each dog was well grounded in who he was and what he was, but neither hesitated to try something new.

We should transition so easily and gracefully.

New Book and New Contest

Trade Paperback ISBN: 9781416556701

eBook ISBN: 9781451610550

$14.99; 352 pp.

October 2011 from Howard Books, a Division of Simon & Schuster

One of my favorite authors has a new book that will be available in November.  Called A Book of Dreams, it is an intriguing story of morality and the challenge of living a Christian life in an immoral world.  Please see the short synopsis below — be sure to scroll down to read the first chapter.

I will give away one copy of A Book of Dreams to the reader who correctly answers the following questions about Davis:

1.   What nickname is usually associated with Davis? What is it about his background that made the nickname possible?

2.   How many books did Davis complete before his first one was published?  How long did it take him to write that number of books?

3.  How many countries did Davis work in before he started writing?

Please provide your answers in the comment section below.  The contest will be open through the end of October. 

I will also be posting my review of A Book of Dreams in the near future, as well as an interview with Davis…so stayed tuned!

About Book of Dreams       

For Dr. Elena Burroughs, life is divided into two chapters—before and after the death of her husband. Today marks the point that her span of being a wife is equal to her span of being a widow. Even her success as a psychologist and her worldwide acclaim for a book on the interpretation of dreams is dimmed by an unspoken “If only.”

Then a new patient arrives, one so private only her first name is given. Impeccably dressed and escorted by two bodyguards, Sandra recounts a frightening series of recurrent nightmares. Elena agrees to consider her case more carefully, convinced that something ominous may be at work here.

Elena’s interpretation of Sandra’s dreams confirms that, indeed, the new patient and her family confront a powerful global network of dangerous forces. As the story unfolds, they face a key question of the Christian life: How do you understand and fulfill the will of God?


Read Chapter 1 of Book of Dreams for free

Direct link to Chapter 1:


Short link to Chapter 1: