Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Three Years of Kindness

A few of you have asked for more doggie quotes, so here are some from the newly published, The Mythology of Dogs.

"Friend is the name of a dog" -- Jamaica

"If a man lives up to a dog, he is a saint." -- Zanzibar

"Faith is found in the dog kennel." -- Germany

"He who would stike my dog strikes me." -- Ireland

"A dog will remember three days of kindness for three years." -- Japan

All of these are ways of saying that we love dogs not only for themselves but for what we wish to be ourselves.  For more than 5,000 years we've been with dogs in caves, hovels, houses and mansions.  We cannot live without them.  Nor can we speak too highly of them. Which is why we gathered and collected the stories, legend and lore of over 67 breeds.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Mythology of Dogs -- updated, revised and re-published

Dog riddles and proverbs from our past show that the dog is not just an icon, but a creature whose "moral sense" as Mark Twain put it, surpasses our own.

For example, where does "dog eat dog world" come from?  Our book says it comes from ancient Greece. But American Indians said it this way: "Dog won't eat bear". This meant the dog was too close in kinship to the bear to eat him.  So the saying also meant: "Dog won't eat dog."  In time Indians and Europeans alike were saying it that way.  Today's relatively modern saying, "Dog eat dog world" is a euphemism for the human condition. It's the unsettling world we live in.

There's also "dog tired", "a dog's life", and just plain "dogged" -- all these say something about our world.  But don't blame the pup, the poop, the doggie bizness, because dogs didn't come up with these phrases. They're innocent, honest, absolutely faithful, fabulous furry friends who sometimes do "talk" or say things like we do.

Once at a conference for veterinarians we were thrilled to see an entire audience of seeing-eye dogs and their partners.  It was musician Paul Winter's greatest moment of glory, we think.  He stood before a full crowd of dog people and doggies, and he said, "Time for the dogs to have their say, to let a little howl go out to the universe."  Every dog in the place sat up and howled at the same time. 

We've seen and heard some amazing things, but this was the most amazing.

All in a dog's day, and all in our book . . .

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Metaphysical Cat

The thing about cats is the way they come and go. Fluidly. In The Metaphysical Cat we talk about
how cats do this and we quote authors from around the world. Here's one from a girl in a middle school classroom in Florida:

MY cat is so, so, so, you know, 'I gotta go.'
Where? is what I wanna know
but she doesn't show
because MY cat's so . . . in the flow.

There's a chapter in our book about come-and-go-cats and we mention our Siamese named Sammie. She used to disappear for weeks, months, and sometimes, years. We heard from some ranch neighbors who lived great distances away from us. They said, "I saw your cat the other day." According to our friend, the syndicated columnist (Animal Doctor) Dr. Michael W. Fox: "The dissonance between local (solar) and internal time (set by the sun's position at home) is how the translocated animal is able to find his square mile on the globe." Translation: an internal compass in the feline brain that gives the cat a geo-magnetic directional sense.

So, "this feels like home . . . this doesn't."  Isn't that the way we get around as humans?  We're just not as well-tuned, or well-magnetized, so to say.

This was a fun book to compile, write and experience over the years.  The Edgar Cayce Foundation liked it and helped to get it translocated to many readers around the globe. Cats, we suppose, did the rest, and it's as our old friend Jeff Lindsay (author of DEXTER) says: "The book is a must-read for anyone sensible enough to live with a cat."