Fascinating read here about modern culture in this recent Atlantic post by Joe Pinsker.
The headline “There’s a dog in this story, so more people will pay attention to it,” propelled me to immediately do exactly that. (And the cute dog sitting in a car in a parking lot only hastened my interest.)
The observation—that has now been studied by academia—is that when a dog is mentioned or highlighted in an article, more people actually read it. Here’s a pull quote from the piece:
“The presence of a dog can effectively propel a story from the back page of The New York Times's National section to the front page.”
So why exactly is that? What draws us so directly to canines, particularly in the cluttered world of the web?
My own theory: Dogs are exceedingly simple, an often missed aspect of living in a complicated, over scheduled culture. They are also by and large pure in their intentions, something we also innately crave as humans. No hidden agendas, no complicated communications. And as many people have pointed out, dogs model unconditional love, something we actually have to work at to manifest in our own lives.
So a good dog story can actually change our moods and remind us of our own potential. A powerful reminder, obviously, for so many people.
What’s holding you back?
My journey with horses is ongoing and fluid—it’s a state of constant learning and evaluation. Each time I work with a horse I learn something about myself, about others and about the world as a whole.
When it’s not hands-on learning with these remarkable animals, it’s reading about the work of people much further up the road than I. I’m currently rereading Zen Mind, Zen Horse—The Science and Spirituality of Working with Horses by Allan J. Hamilton, MD.
This passage from the book stood out for me today:
“Horses are like a band of Legendary Zen masters. They are perfect teachers because they uncover your real motivation. They tell you when you’re wholeheartedly committed or faking it, when you’re making a sacred vow or just paying lip service. Horses see what’s holding you back. And when you find the courage to confront those shortcomings, horses will always reward you with a way to overcome them.”
What might a horse show you?
Photo of Romeo connecting with a client by Margie Fisher at Buffalo Run Farm in Bellefonte, Pa.
personal development and Equus coach, former Penn State journalism instructor and professional writer.