After spending almost twenty years living with cats, our first dog came to live with us in 2012. Having a dog has changed my life in so many ways. First and foremost, it has made me see the world in a different way, which has not only benefited my life, but also acted as a source of inspiration for my creativity. These are a selection of posts about how my dog and other animals have inspired me. Click on the title links to read the full posts.
It seems that I’m often on motorways at this time of year, in the weeks leading up to Lammas, when the fields are golden with wheat and yellow with rape, and cylinders of gathered hay scatter the land. There is something rich and hopeful about this part of the season and something calming about viewing it at speed from a long straight road that cuts through the landscape.
This post is about the progress of my dog following a stroke.
In a shady corner of a local park, a clutch of small stone markers lie almost forgotten. Sheltered by elderly sycamores, adorned by moss, framed by shrubs and wildflowers, the markers show the signs of age.
This post describes an old pet cemetery in our local park.
There is an old episode of the Twilight Zone, in which an elderly man and his dog die and make their way to the afterlife. They approach what they believe to be heaven, only to be told that the dog isn’t allowed to enter. The old man decides that it can’t be much of a heaven if his dog isn’t welcome, so he walks on by.
This post explores the interior life of animals and how that relates to our creativity.
For the first few months of our dog’s life with us, ‘up’ didn’t exist. He lived his life at nose level and below. Sometimes, he was puzzled at the noises he heard, such as the gulls above us, because he hadn’t yet realised there was another dimension to the world. But already, there were things he knew that I could never know.
This post explores the way a dog sees the world through his nose and how this relates to the way writers view the world.
‘Do you remember what it’s like to experience the world for the first time? As writers and artists, it’s our job to help people to see the world in a different way. At our best, we throw light on a part of experience that wows someone, gives them a moment of epiphany, encourages them to appreciate the beauty (or sometimes the ugliness) of the world in a way they’ve never experienced it.’
This post explores the way my dog inspires me to view the world with fresh eyes.
‘The world is a different place when you have a dog. Strangers approach to talk. People greet you and smile. Walks are punctuated by stops for conversation and new encounters. A whole community of fellow dog lovers opens up and welcomes you in.’
This posts talks about the life lessons I’ve learned from living with a dog.
‘Earlier this month, I went for a walk with 20,000 dogs. Tiny chihuahuas, enormous Saint Bernards, families of huskies and all kinds of dogs in between. We walked three and a half miles with our eleven month old puppy to complete the Great North Dog Walk.’
This post describes my experience of taking part in the biggest dog walk in the world.