What's the spirit of the dog?

19:00, Nov 22 2012

I couldn't easily sum up the spirit of the dog, and it'd be hard to capture it in one photo. So much goes into that spirit - devotion, tenacity, joy, dopiness, strength and more. But here's an attempt in 24 photos to record a bit of the spirit of the domestic dog.

Does it come close? Let me know. And if you leave a comment, you'll be in the draw to win a copy of The Spirit of the Dog, a stunning new book exploring the history of the dog and its special place in human hearts (thanks to New Holland).

Playfulness: a ball, a yard, and a sunny day are Brodie's reasons to be happy.

Eagerness: Neo is ready to play whatever you want to play.


Dignity: Ludo, in his wedding outfit, gives a confident stare. Perhaps he does not quite realise the extent of our view.

Spring: Digby levitates.

Alertness: Mila guards her master's front door and gumboots.

Stoic spirit: Mr Poppy dresses up for the cold.

Pride: Archie makes sure he looks perfect for the camera.

Sleep of the innocent: tiny Kelpie pup Scout runs out of puff.

Sleep of the tuckered out: Betty Boo gives it 100 per cent.

Duty: Miss Piggy feeds her new family.

Quiet: Chloe checks out, just for a while.

Sweet-naturedness: Molly and Kita are adorable, and both seem to be thinking about food.

Insight: the penetrating Dachshund gaze of Mithu. He sees right into you...

Patience: not, perhaps, a true canine virtue, but Marlee seems to be showing it.

Determination: Ridgeback pup Tui makes her entrance. But it's not such a good fit these days.

Readiness to please: Arlo is a dream to train, I'm told - he's learning how to shut the door, which is a holy grail for any dog owner.

Loyalty: Odin sticks with his favourite toy.

Modesty: Eddie is master of the table.

Chase: Clio goes for the ball.

Catch: Teef claims the frisbee.

Return: Ollie brings it back.

Magnificence: Teddy, Tui and Scally Wag wonder who invited you.

Joy: The beauty of a dog's spirit shows on the face - Amber, Lexi and Shadow.

Thanks to all for posting your photos. Please email me your own photos, or go to the Four Legs Good Facebook page and use the Upload Photo button. While you're there, browse through the 2000 photos that readers have posted by clicking the Photos link.

The Spirit of the Dog, by Tamsin Pickeral and Astrid Harrisson, is published by Quintessence and is on sale at $59.99.