Welcome to Sharing Our Horizon, a selection of poems and photographs from the popular blog Whippet Wisdom that capture daily moments in the Scottish Highlands with our two adopted whippets, Eivor and Pearl.
Like most dogs, Eivor and Pearl love spending time in nature. They have taken us to places we had never visited before and the restorative energies of those quiet beaches, mountains and glens have played a big part in their rehabilitation.
The poems and images show the beauty in each moment and the potential for the healing that spending time in nature brings. The prologue and title poem ‘Sharing our Horizons’ invites us to pause and see the gifts in these moments. The opening poem ‘Before the Daffodils’ is a distilled version of conversations and observations in and around animal rehoming shelters. It reminds us that sometimes, dogs are surrendered when people realise that simply loving a dog is not enough. A dog also deserves regular exercise, regular stimulation, socialisation and play-time. A good home provides all of this, in addition to love, food and shelter.
The majority of poems are a modern take on the ancient Japanese poetry forms of haibun, haiku and tanka. Traditionally, these poems begin with quiet poetic observation and conclude with a moment of philosophical of spiritual insight. They are written in rhythm with the seasons and the fluctuations of the weather within those seasons.
Like the traditional haiku poets, I would describe haiku as a way of life, a way to look and marvel at nature and see the magic in the ordinary. To me, this is very much in the spirit of how Eivor and Pearl look at the joys of the everyday and the beauty nature offers. By capturing these moments in a few words others can experience a glimpse of what we see and connect it to their own experience.
For those who are interested in finding out more about the history of these Japanese poetry forms, the book offers a helpful section ‘About the Poetry Forms’ at the back of the book as well as a Bibliography for further reading.
The overall theme of the poems and images is how rewarding adopting a rescue dog can be, how they enjoy being part of a pack and how they thrive when allowed to spend time in natural settings. The natural beauty of the Scottish Highlands is visible in the images throughout.
Sixty per cent of net profits from the sale of this book will be shared with animal rehoming charities at the end of each financial year.