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the dog at the gate

Stella   |   August 2004 ~ February 2018



 

The Divine Old Dog is restless tonight   
she circles and circles   
she licks at her paws   
she does not hear her name   

is confused and uncertain   
she is abashed at her accidents   
she tried to say but could not.   

Are you at the gate great creature?   
are you proud, old girl tired of   
this cold winter day   

these human needs and dramas   
this winter world   
does the cold make your legs ache?   

Divine Old Dogs accept   
the ways of the world   
the nature of life   

they come when they choose   
leave when they are ready   
they have all sorts of ways to tell us   
when it is time   

and they always decide   
never us.   


Excerpt from the poem 'Divine Old Dog at the Gate'   
Jon Katz at Bedlam Farm   
 

doubledig

Dog photographs by Susan Bein of wizmosis, and the poem Nietzsche Possessed by Brooks Haxton on Notes from the Pack.

Dreamcat. Fonk. What? Scurrr. Ah,      
canfood. We’re awake now: canfood.      
Canfood. Good. Lickbowl. Good.      
Door. Dooroutnow. Look. I’m looking.      
What? Doorwhat? Doorout right? Right?      
Knobnow. Good. I’m gone. Cat.      
Realcat now. Hot damn. Damncat.      
Fence! Same fence. Yep. Same fence.      
Yep. High. Yep. Yep. Strong. Yep.      
God. God, rip same fence. God,      
schnauzer down same fence. No? Cat,      
now: catfeet spookaway fence: spring:      
cat flies: cat balances on top. Me: dig.      
Dog dig, did dig, do dig, doubledig.      
Now… underground now… fence.      
Piss on same, on fence, on fencepost.      
Me: I mark this. This is mine.      

'Nietzsche Possessed'      
~ Brooks Haxton      

Photography:  Susan Bein of wizmosis      

Dog photographs by Susan Bein of wizmosis, and the poem Nietzsche Possessed by Brooks Haxton on Notes from the Pack.


'Nietzsche Possessed' is from "Unleashed: Poems by Writers' Dogs"      
Editors - Amy Hempel & Jim Shepard      




almost nothing


Andrew Wyeth painting with dog on Notes from the Pack


A dog can never tell you what she knows from the smells of the world, but you know, watching her, that you know almost nothing.

~ Mary Oliver, Dog Songs

Paintings: Andrew Wyeth


Andrew Wyeth painting with dog on Notes from the Pack

… Dogs' sense of smell overpowers our own by orders of magnitude—it's 10,000 to 100,000 times as acute, scientists say... "If you make the analogy to vision, what you and I can see at a third of a mile, a dog could see more than 3,000 miles away and still see as well."

… Dogs can detect some odors in parts per trillion. What does that mean in terms we might understand? … while we might notice if our coffee has had a teaspoon of sugar added to it, a dog could detect a teaspoon of sugar in a million gallons of water, or two Olympic-sized pools worth.

… Experts have reported incredible true stories about the acuteness of dogs' sense of smell. There's the drug-sniffing dog that "found" a plastic container packed with 35 pounds of marijuana submerged in gasoline within a gas tank. There's the black lab stray from the streets of Seattle that can detect floating orca scat from up to a mile away across the choppy waters of Puget Sound. There's the cancer-sniffing dog that "insisted" on melanoma in a spot on a patient's skin that doctors had already pronounced cancer-free; a subsequent biopsy confirmed melanoma in a small fraction of the cells. And so on...

From “Dog's Dazzling Sense of Smell” – NOVA
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/nature/dogs-sense-of-smell.html



Andrew Wyeth painting with dog on Notes from the Pack

the cure for anything

Dog photos by eyeSpice Photography, aboard Sail Beluga, Turks and Caicos Islands. Notes from the Pack, July 2016.


The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears or the sea.

- Isak Dinesen

Photos:

Jon Nickson - eyeSpice Photography
Aboard Sail Beluga
The Turks & Caicos Islands
July 2016


Dog photos by eyeSpice Photography, aboard Sail Beluga, Turks and Caicos Islands. Notes from the Pack, July 2016.

Dog photos by eyeSpice Photography, aboard Sail Beluga, Turks and Caicos Islands. Notes from the Pack, July 2016.

Dog photos by eyeSpice Photography, aboard Sail Beluga, Turks and Caicos Islands. Notes from the Pack, July 2016.

Dog photos by eyeSpice Photography, aboard Sail Beluga, Turks and Caicos Islands. Notes from the Pack, July 2016.


the blue dog

The Blue Dog from Edward Gorey's tarot pack The Fantod Deck on Notes from the Pack


'October / loss of one of the senses / weltschmerz / unnatural voices / disorders of the knee / diseases of the tongue / disturbances / miscarriage of a child / an accident in a garage / dementia / fraud / a quarrel / wispiness'

- from Edward Gorey's tongue-in-cheek tarot set, The Fantod Deck

The Blue Dog from Edward Gorey's tarot pack The Fantod Deck on Notes from the Pack





the old dog for the hard road

Stella the Ridgeback, Notes from the Pack


The old dog for the hard road and leave the pup on the path.

- Irish proverb

Photo:

Stella
Cornwall, Connecticut
January 2016





in the company of dogs

Photo of Stella the Rhodesian Ridgeback on Notes from the Pack
( Photo by Ren Nickson ) 

'There is a cycle of love and death that shapes the lives of those who choose to travel in the company of animals. It is a cycle unlike any other. To those who have never lived through its turnings or walked its rocky path, our willingness to give our hearts with full knowledge that they will be broken seems incomprehensible.

Only we know how small a price we pay for what we receive; our grief, no matter how powerful it may be, is an insufficient measure of the joy we have been given.'

Suzanne Clothier
'Bones Would Rain from the Sky: Deepening Our Relationships with Dogs'


los perros perdidos


"We are separated from other animals by language, technology, and a fatal arrogance
that causes immense pain."
- Martin Usborne


Martin Usborne is in our opinion the photographer who is doing really amazing things with his portraits of dogs. They are not just beautiful pictures; they capture something of the noble spirit and gentle sadness of a neglected dog. His first series, Dogs In Cars, was haunting in its depiction of lonely, isolated dogs in a dark and urban setting.


His latest work is more powerful still - check out the National Geographic article about Usborne's time in Spain, photographing the hunting dogs that are often abandoned or killed after the hare-coursing season ends.


See more of Martin Usborne's work here.   

The National Geographic article on his work in Spain is here.   

And here's a link to a rescue group that focuses on the galga and podenco hunting dogs of Spain.  




a dog of peace and tranquility

William Eggleston's photograph of a dog in the road

Sir, this is a unique dog. He does not live by tooth or fang. 
He respects the right of cats to be cats although he doesn't admire them. 
He turns his steps rather than disturb an earnest caterpillar. 
His greatest fear is that someone will point out a rabbit and suggest that he chase it. 
This is a dog of peace and tranquility.   

- John Steinbeck   

building the dog


For reasons both practical and whimsical, man's best friend has been artificially evolved into the most diverse animal on the planet—a staggering achievement, given that most of the 350 to 400 dog breeds in existence have been around for only a couple hundred years.





The breeders gave no thought, of course, to the fact that while coaxing such weird new dogs into existence, they were also tinkering with the genes that determine canine anatomy in the first place.





Scientists since have assumed that underneath the morphological diversity of dogs lay an equivalent amount of genetic diversity. A recent explosion in canine genomic research, however, has led to a surprising, and opposite, conclusion: The vast mosaic of dog shapes, colors, and sizes is decided largely by changes in a mere handful of gene regions.






Excerpts from 'Mix, Match, Morph'   

Musical dogs and their album covers - various   




benefits


The psychological and moral comfort of a presence at once humble   
and understanding - this is the greatest benefit that   
the dog has bestowed upon man.   


Photo of Stella the Rhodesian Ridgeback by Ren Nickson.   



lunch



'After the sun rose, we followed three of the Hadzabe men into the bush. Within minutes they were darting through the thicket directing each other with bird calls, shooting Kanga by bow and arrow with uncanny accuracy.

Four birds later, in a shaded patch along a clearing, they made a perfect fire in minutes using sticks and cooked one of the Kanga to perfection. They put the meat on a bed of fresh leaves to cool.

As we ate together, scraps and bones were tossed to their dogs.'

- photograph and words, Markus Jarrow







schooner the potcake

Ren is editing a documentary right now about an expedition at sea to find the true place of Columbus' first landfall in the New World.

The photographer, Jon, kept saying in some of the footage "I am not going on this trip if Schooner can't come" and we were wondering who the heck Schooner was...


Meet Schooner.

A Potcake, long-time crew member on Sail Beluga, and famous resident of the Turks & Caicos Islands.

Unfortunately, Schooner wasn't able to go on the 'Following Columbus' expedition, but here he is, with all his sugar-faced charm, photographed by Jon for the Turks & Caicos SPCA calendar.




All photos by Jon Nickson / eyeSpice




divine old dog



Miguel Macaya's Painting 'Capricho Con Perro' - Notes from the Pack

The Divine Old Dog is restless tonight   
she circles and circles   
she licks at her paws   
she does not hear her name   

is confused and uncertain   
she is abashed at her accidents   
she tried to say but could not.   

Are you at the gate great creature?   
are you proud, old girl tired of   
this cold winter day   

these human needs and dramas   
this winter world   
does the cold make your legs ache?   

Divine Old Dogs accept   
the ways of the world   
the nature of life   

they come when they choose   
leave when they are ready   
they have all sorts of ways to tell us   
when it is time   

and they always decide   
never us.   


Excerpt from the poem 'Divine Old Dog at the Gate'   
Jon Katz at Bedlam Farm   

Paintings by Miguel Macaya   


Miguel Macaya's Paintings of Dogs - Notes from the Pack

Miguel Macaya's Paintings of Dogs - Notes from the Pack