What's the spirit of the dog?

NICK BARNETT
Last updated 08:00 23/11/2012

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.

Brodie

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

Neo

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

Ludo

Spring: Digby levitates.

Digby

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

Mila

Stoic spirit: Mr Poppy dresses up for the cold.

Mr Poppy

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

Archie

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

Scout

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

Betty Boo

Duty: Miss Piggy feeds her new family.

Miss Piggy

Quiet: Chloe checks out, just for a while.

Chloe

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

Molly

Kita

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

Mithu

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

Marlee

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

Tui

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.

Arlo

Loyalty: Odin sticks with his favourite toy.

Odin

Modesty: Eddie is master of the table.

Eddie

Chase: Clio goes for the ball.

Clio

Catch: Teef claims the frisbee.

Teef

Return: Ollie brings it back.

Ollie

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

Teddy Tui Scally Wag

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

Amber Lexi 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.

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