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Monday, 28 July 2014


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Do you remember how we were all taught as kids in science class that we humans were completely rational and that animals behaved purely on instinct incapable of thought? Or that humans were the only beings with souls? Those folks must never have spent much quality time with animals. No, they are not people, but they are wondrous beings unto themselves and have enriched my life both at home and in the wild.

Yes, that is true! But so do cats, they just have a lot more independence- which typically leads to hurt feelings, on your part!

That is one red nose! Glad he's doing okay! I for one love the dog updates.


Dogs are great companions - We have adopted several with the Humaine Society. Keep up the great work with your blog. I read it most days and enjoy the combination of photography and personal thoughts on life.

Chris - Grafton, WI

We lucked out big-time with Butters-boy. He's a very affectionate, smart, personable guy. He seems to love being with me at all times. He curls up at my feet when I write.

And, Butters knows he lucked out as well.
Smart pup indeed!

Mike wrote, "He curls up at my feet when I write."

When between dogs I miss most their habit of being quietly and unobtrusively wherever I am inside the house. I miss second most not having to clean up spills in the kitchen.

Dogs tend to become more attached to their owners.

Cats also do likewise, however on the terms of the cat, not the owner of same. Mind my 14 year old rescue cat likes to sleep at night cloe by me, however not on the bed. Ditto when I am working somewhere in theh ouse. Wants to know his source of food is "nearby."

What a terrific story, thank you. I mentioned in a comment when you adopted and first starting writing about Butters it seemed that he would be a great dog and loving companion, and it's wonderful that that is true.

I'm very, very happy for you, and in a small way, a bit envious, too. I would love to have a Butters in my life, also.

(PS: More pictures of Butters, please)>

What a heart-warming post! I know in my heart that dogs improve life. Mine died two years ago in September. Struggling with the decision: do I get a dog or not? The answer is tipping towards yes, in spite of some complications.

[Hi there friend Yvonne--I would urge you to take the plunge, but also to listen very intently to your instincts or "gut feeling" when choosing an animal. Wait until it feels really right. And really, best of luck. --Mike]

Quote from Mike: "No question about it: dogs improve life!

Yes Mike...Yes they do. I miss my recently departed mutt. Soon another will fill the void & restore order to the universe! Well my universe anyway.


You and Butters are very lucky to have found each other. Your local humane society sounds great with all the support you have gotten for your new adoption. BTW my husband is a huge fan but never comments on anything and sent me a link to your post. We are also huge South Park fans and love your dogs name.

I'm glad Butters is sociable among his species and likes "strange" humans. Both of our rescue dogs are terrific household companions. Our senior dog, Jazz, loves people. However she was separated from her mum and siblings at such a young age that she never developed the neural pathways and behavioral cues necessary for getting along with other dogs. Our Chiweenie is a lovely companion too. However, he is wary of most people and dislikes all dogs. Both dogs are eager to please us, so we cater to them. We typically wait till 10 p.m. before we'll take the dogs out for their nightly stroll. We do not want to run into other folks walking their dogs. If on occasion a neighbor happens to be out walking his/her dogs the same time we are, they quickly do a 180. Here's a simple photo essay on doggie etiquette. The photography is rather pedestrian, but the pictures do illustrate proper behavior between two dogs meeting for the first time: http://goo.gl/6td8ZI

It's obvious that not only has Butters become a positive addition to your life, but you have made a huge positive difference in his. Kudos for that!

I'm not sure if you realize that such an article - a simple, positive recording of a great weekend, and a happy pooch - is a real treat after all the horrible news about. My immortal pug, 15-18 years and still ticking(she's a rescue so we're not certain of her age), is happily snoring at my feet right now. Dogs do make life better - and here i am, a self-described cat guy.

Hope the move doesn't spook Butters too much, and hat tip to you for rescuing her - although often it's the dog that does the rescuing just as much:)

This Butters fellow is a very fortunate young lad to have you.

That's a wonderful ongoing story. Thank-you, Mike.

As usual, I enjoyed your writing very much, especially since it was on a subject to which I also have an emotional attachment.

Speaking of which, you may find it worth your while to read some of another professional writer's words on the subject of dogs and family. These can be found at:


- Tom -

Dogs improve life for their owners, but at a cost to everyone else and the environment. Next door's cats eat the birds in my garden and shit on my veggy patch, while I have to dodge dog shit on the streets outside and my daughter has to give a wide berth to certain gates where dogs leap up snarling and barking.


I took a school group camping last year and the outdoor pursuits instructor felt it was fine for his pitbull cross to run around off leash, claiming it was harmless and slept at night in his 4 year old child's bed. Idiot.

Wonderful story, Mike. The joy a dog's company (and trust) brings is indeed priceless. We have had 3 rescue dogs in our lives, each with a distinctive and equally winsome personality. We cannot love them enough. The only downside is the heartbreak of seeing them progress from puppyhood to infirmity in such a short span, and then to lose them altogether. Otoh, as someone once said, the reason god gave dogs such short lives is so that we get to know -- and love -- more than one. Not a good reason, if you ask me. But it'll have to do.

He looks so attentive and poised, ready to leap up for hugs.

And there's no greater honour than a dog wanting to share company by sleeping at your feet.

Lovely stuff.

Perhaps I'm a little crazy, but he looks like a Mr. Butters to me.

Love the dog posts and Butters is a handsome dog and very lucky to have found you. My lab is right here waiting patiently for her morning walk. Leads are like passports for dogs, when I get the lead off the hook by the front door my dog gets as excited as I do when I travel overseas. Every walk is an adventure.

Pet photography might be a valid topic of discussion. Perhaps in the same format as the "How to get the best performance from your camera...etc." The images you made of your dog were excellent as I recall.

Dear Mike,
with some reluctance I have removed the TOP icon from my computer screen. When I first came across the Sunday Morning Photographer by chance, I was delighted! At last, someone who talked common sense about cameras and photography, without all the patronising backbiting I found on other blogs. I've been a loyal follower ever since. However, in the last few months or so, TOP has changed. In the place of wise words of experience from a real photographer, there are more and more money-making print sales, gadgetry - coffee roasters, cars, hifi - things which may or may not interest me, but I don't want to go to a photography blog to read about them, or dogs. Instead of carefully weighed articles about equipment, there are more and more un-followed-up enthusiasms, the D800, for example, or the Chamonix, or the disappearing darkroom. The new TOP obviously appeals to a great number of people, and I am happy for the author that this is the case, but it's not for me. So, sadly, it's goodbye, Mike, and thanks for all the wonderful previous articles - I really miss them!



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