Monday, April 12, 2010

dogs and other nations

Dogs have been our companions for ages. They may be descended from wolves or several species from the Canidea family, but we know we became fond of them long, long ago. In the southwest we can find their bones in the archaeological record sometimes buried with a person or with careful attention to their grave. Maybe they were offerings, maybe hunting companions or traveling companions. In the cool of a rock shelter, maybe they were warm sleepers. It's true that there are cut marks on some disarticulated bones. Perhaps some were eaten.

How we feel about our own dogs today is fairly diverse too. Some have jobs, some have homes, some I saw in Bolivia ran in packs and foraged for their food. The dog I knew was the kind of person I think of when I read Henry Beston's view of animals.

"We need another and a wiser and perhaps a more mystical concept of animals. In a world older and more complete than ours they move finished and complete, gifted with extensions of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear. They are not brethren, they are not underlings; they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendour and travail of the earth."
Henry Beston

I'm glad that as human beings we have for centuries founded friendships with these animal nations - to better enjoy the splendors and face the travails of life on earth.

Hanna pup
2000 - 2010

A dog's life must be a big adventure - and yours was . . . archaeological expeditions, escapes from peril, you were content with travel, dreaming rabbit-chase dreams. You kept us all company - you, a most loyal friend. Good dog. Good dog!


  1. This makes me smile and makes me sad.

  2. She was alert and focused to the end... as only a dog friend can be.


  3. I rather be and old dog than an old folk . .

  4. Hanna was blessed with such a beautiful life, full of adventure and fun! I have you to thank for that Gaea and I know Hanna thanks you as well.

  5. Gaea, you gave Hanna a wonderful life and her last hur-rah was a wonderful adventure at the ocean! I know we will be facing the same situation with Hans and Dascha as they are 12 1/2 now. I'm just thankful we have those wonderful memories to keep their spirit alive! Hanna will be missed!

  6. Thank you all for your very sweet thoughts.

  7. That makes me sad!! I took your class and I loooved reading your adventures with your dog! :( I'm sorry for your loss!