A recent photo posted to Twitter — of a dog’s image in a piece of wood — gets me to thinking: Why is almost always Jesus (or sometimes his mom) and dogs (or sometimes other animals) that show up in inanimate objects, i.e. inside wood, on grilled cheeses, in potato chips, Cheetos, peirogies, tortillas or cinnamon buns?
There are exceptions to the Jesus and dogs rule — potatoes that look like George Washington, chicken nuggets that resemble Abraham Lincoln — but even then it’s commonly what we cherish most (such as beloved presidents) that we think we see.
Chris Blundell recently posted the image at the top of this post on his Twitter page.
There, it was quickly joined by more reader submitted photos of dogs in wood:
I won’t sink to pointing out what dog spelled backwards is, but I’ll say this:
If Jesus showed up on my grilled cheese, I’d eat it anyway. If there was a dog visible in my wood paneling, on the other hand, I wouldn’t paint over it.
With the rise of social media, we’re seeing much more of this type of thing.
But it has always gone on — so much so that there are names for it.
Pareidolia is seeing (or hearing) something significant in a random image or sound. The word is derived from the Greek words para, meaning something faulty, and the noun eidōlon, meaning image, form or shape.
Sightings of spiritual or religious images in objects are called simulacra.
Those are the most famous, and the most often reported — the faces and or bodies of Jesus or the Virgin Mary having been perceived, by both believers and non-believers, in toast, frying pans, grilled cheese sandwiches, the facade of buildings, firewood, rocks, tortillas, cinnamon buns, pretzels and more.
By the way, that grilled cheese Virgin Mary, seen directly above (some people thought the image more closely resembled Bernadette Peters) went on to sell on eBay in 2004 for $28,000.
Jesus, too, has been seen in grilled cheese sandwiches, including this one — though when I look at it, I see a dog. (Then again, I’m the guy who spent countless hours during my year-long road trip with Ace, looking for the image of dogs in kudzu.)
It’s really nothing to be ashamed of, this spotting of things within other things. To the contrary, I think those who spot them, while they might not be blessed with eternal life, are blessed with an active imagination. They are able to look at clouds and see something else entirely.
Leonardo da Vinci wrote about pareidolia, saying this: “If you look at any walls spotted with various stains or with a mixture of different kinds of stones, if you are about to invent some scene you will be able to see in it a resemblance to various different landscapes adorned with mountains, rivers, rocks, trees, plains, wide valleys, and various groups of hills.”
Georgia O’Keefe used it in her paintings of flowers, embedding hidden images that more often than not left us feeling guilty for having dirty minds.
Psychologists used it with their Rorschach tests, which had us interpret random inkblots that more often than not left us feeling guilty for having dirty minds.
Then again, we tend to see in random objects the things we long for, the things that make us happy.
There are exceptions to that as well. Some hated and feared faces have been spotted in objects over the years — with Satan being the most common.
But far more often we see something that soothes us, like dogs, something that gives us hope, like dogs, something that makes us smile, like dogs.
So, if you’re seeing things within things, don’t rush to a shrink. Don’t join a pareidolia support group. Instead, celebrate and savor your pareidolia — whether it be through pieces of wood, your morning toast or with those fluffy white clouds dancing like … you name it … across a deep blue sky.
(Photos: Twitter, Wikipedia, Imgur)
Posted by John Woestendiek February 14th, 2017 under Muttsblog.
Tags: cheetos, chicken nuggets, clouds, dog, dog in wood, dogs, grilled cheese, image, imagination, inanimate, jesus, kudzu dogs, objects, pareidolia, photo, photograph, piece of wood, potato chips, psychology, random, rorschach, see, sightings, simulacra, social media, tests, toast, twitter, virgin mary
One abused dog comforted another this week at a veterinary clinic in South Carolina, and this saintly image of their meeting is one for the scrapbook.
Sammie, on the table, is a three to four-month old puppy who has dragged behind a car, shot in the head and spray painted.
He was dropped off at a shelter by a woman who claimed he was a stray and said she had brought him there “because he wouldn’t die,” according to Rescue Dogs Rock NYC.
While that’s still a possibility, Sammie, a boxer mix, is being treated for a bullet hole in his head and two seriously injured legs, one of which he may end up losing. He underwent three hours of surgery on Tuesday.
Earlier this week, another dog at the clinic, a border collie named Simon, found his way into the room where Sammie was, and offered what — to human eyes — appears to be some comfort.
Simon also was a victim of some abuse and neglect, and is currently being treated for mange.
Both were rescued from shelters in South Carolina, and ended up at the same vet in Columbia, thanks to the efforts of Rescue Dogs Rock NYC.
You can read more about Sammie’s story on the organization’s Facebook page.
Contributions to help pay for Sammie’s continuing medical care can be made through a YouCaring page set up by Rescue Dogs Rock.
Rescue Dogs Rock is a not for profit animal rescue founded in 2015 whose mission is to raise awareness of the plight of homeless animals — both those in shelters and those who are strays.
(Photos: Rescue Dogs Rock NYC)
Posted by John Woestendiek May 6th, 2016 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abused, animals, columbia, comfort, comforting, cruelty, cruelty to animals, dog, dogs, dragged, neglected, painted, pets, photo, photograph, rescue, rescue dogs rock, rescue dogs rock nyc, sammie, shelter, shot, simon, south carolina, veterinarian
Two days before Thanksgiving, a woman brought this dog to the Collin County Animal Shelter in McKinney, Texas, saying she’d found her on the street.
The woman later walked out, but not before the young pup wrapped her front paws tightly around her leg, as if to say, “No, please don’t leave me here.”
The gesture was captured in a photo.
It hasn’t gone as viral as those hugging death row dogs, but give it time. It’s one of those photos that says so much more than mere words ever could.
Given the kill shelter is full, the fearful dog’s outlook wasn’t too good when she arrived.
But the League of Animal Protectors (LAP), an animal rescue organization, has promised to pull the dog — said to be a Great Pyrenees/Australian shepherd mix — before her time at the shelter before her time runs out.
(She doesn’t have a name yet, but we’d suggest Corporal Clinger.)
LAP posted the photo on its Facebook page with a note saying the “sweet terrified” dog needed a “Thanksgiving miracle.”
The organization is trying to find her a foster home, and a forever home, as well — assuming she doesn’t get adopted while still at the county shelter.
For more information, contact LAP at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Collin County Animal Services at email@example.com. The shelter is closed today and over the weekend, but will reopen Monday.
(Photo: From LAP Facebook page)
Posted by John Woestendiek November 27th, 2015 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adopt, adoption, animal shelter, animals, cling, clinging, clingy, collin county, dog, dogs, fearful, foster, league of animal protectors, Mckinney, pets, photo, photograph, rescue, shelter, texas
By way of wishing you a happy Thanksgiving, we present this photo — and offer our thanks to the photographer, and his dog, Bailey, who posed not once but six times.
Bailey played all six roles for the re-creation of this family scene.
The photos were taken by her owner, John Nebbia, of Omaha, Nebraska. Photoshop probably deserves some credit too.
The image appears to show a holiday gathering of six different dogs, but they are all Bailey, who was decked out in six different wardrobes.
“We just moved her from chair to chair and gave her a break in between shots,” Nebbia told the Huffington Post. “When she was in the position, we were snapping a few pictures every second.”
It took about 40 minutes to shoot and about an hour to edit, he said.
Nebbia posted the photo on Bailey’s Facebook page.
Bailey is also the star of a 2016 calendar featuring some of Bailey’s best poses. It can be ordered at GoldenBailey.com.
Nebbia also put together a video showing what was involved in making the Thanksgiving photo:
Posted by John Woestendiek November 26th, 2015 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, bailey, calendar, dinner, dogs, edited, gathering, golden, golden retriever, golden retrievers, image, john nebbia, pets, photograph, photoshop, retriever, thanksgiving
Hachiko has been memorialized in everything from movies to statues, but a fuzzy, 81-year-old, black and white photograph of the famed Japanese dog is being greeted with excitement on the Internet since it surfaced on the Internet last month.
The old school photo of the Akita who became a symbol for loyalty after his owner’s death was found among the belongings of a Tokyo bank employee who died in 1947, The Japan News reported.
In the rare photo, by Isamu Yamamoto, Hachiko is pictured around 1934 laying on the pavement near the Shibuya railway station ticket counter in Tokyo, where he was known to wait every day for his master, Hidesaburo Ueno, to return home from work.
Ueno, who died in 1925, was an agriculture professor at the University of Tokyo. Hachiko would follow Ueno to and from the train station every day in the early 1920s.
While numerous pictures were taken of Hachiko, most were with other people, or taken as close-ups. Yamamoto’s photograph is reportedly one of the few that shows the train station in the background.
“Hachiko was a familiar sight to those living near Shibuya Station. I hope the photo my father took will be preserved carefully,” Yamamoto’s daughter, Yoko Imamura said.
Imamura said the photograph of Hachiko was found in one of her father’s photo albums.
Yamamoto’s family gave the photograph of Hachiko to Takeshi Ando, who created the second statue memorializing Hachiko. In 1934, Ando’s father, Teru Ando, erected the first bronze statue of Hachiko in front of Shibuya station.
“I have never looked at such a photo that caught the atmosphere of Hachiko’s everyday life at that time so well,” Takeshi Ando, 92, said.
The photo was first shared publicly by The Yomiuri Shimbun, which carried an article in its Oct. 22 edition. It was later translated into English and appeared in The Japan News and on its website on Nov. 5.
Since then the photo has drawn tens of thousands of “likes” on Facebook.
(Photo: Isamu Yamamoto)
Posted by John Woestendiek November 16th, 2015 under Muttsblog.
Tags: akita, animals, dog, dogs, hachiko, hidesaburo ueno, japan, loyal, movie, pets, photo, photograph, station, statues, train, wait, waiting
Here’s a picture that turned out to be worth much more than a thousand words.
When an Atlanta rescue organization posted this photo on Facebook of one dog hugging another — a shot taken at a shelter shortly before both were scheduled to be put down — it was only a matter of hours before they were taken in by a foster parent.
Along with the photo was this explanation from Angels Among Us Pet Rescue in Atlanta, written from the perspective of one of the dogs:
“I’m Kala. This is Keira. We’re so scared in here. The people working in the shelters see how scared we are but just told each other that today is our deadline.
“We have to have someone rescue us or we’ll be ‘next.’ Keira is black and not a ‘real boxer,’ just a mix. She’s so brave and tells me it will be okay no matter what happens. She tells me to be brave too but I don’t know if I can be.
“Can you see our faces. Keira knows what will happen. You can see it in her eyes. She’s putting on a brave face for sure but I can feel her heart beating fast while I’m clinging to her.
“If no one saves us, someone will take her away from me. I’ll see her as she goes down the hallway. She won’t come back and I’ll cry.”
Within a few hours, both dogs were taken into foster care by an unnamed veterinarian from the Atlanta area, according to MyFoxAtlanta.com.
The photo was shared thousands of times on social media, and received thousands of ‘likes.’
(Photo: by Malena Evans, courtesy of Angels Among Us)
Posted by John Woestendiek July 22nd, 2015 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adoption, angels among us, animals, atlanta, care, death row, dog, dogs, euthanasia, facebook, foster, home, kala, keira, pets, photo, photograph, rescue, saved, shelter
A friend recently emailed me this poster she came across online — because the dog with the noose around his neck is the spitting image of my dog, Ace.
Or is it Ace?
For a while, I thought it was my dog, and wondered whether someone had copied one of the many photos of him that have appeared on ohmidog! and elsewhere, and then photoshopped a noose around his neck.
It reminded me of a photo I took of him in Montana about seven years ago, but that was noose-less, and in the middle of a snowstorm (hence the downward cast face). I guess snowflakes can be removed as easily as nooses can be added, though.
I have no problem with the message on the poster, even with its misplaced comma: “Abandoning a dog, means killing it.”
That is, usually, the case.
But, if it is my dog, and my picture, someone should have checked with me first before looping a noose around his neck — even if it was done only through photo manipulation.
Is it Ace? I’m not sure. (That’s him to the left.)
The dog in the poster looks like him, with his big head, little ears, and high-rise legs. And that seemingly contemplative pose is one Ace strikes frequently.
Then again, the dog in the photo might be just a little grayer around the muzzle than he is.
To try to get to the bottom of it, I turned to tineye.com a reverse image search engine that allows you to play detective on the Internet by uploading a photo and getting a list of websites on which it has appeared.
It, after searching 5.283 billion images in an amazing 0.001 seconds — which is harder than I will ever work — found six results.
Three of them were in English, and two were this French version:
Another one was in Italian, and it was the one that had been on the web the longest.
I clicked on that link and it took me to an Italian government webpage, listing public service campaigns the government had sponsored over the years.
The Ace lookalike appeared in a 2011 campaign aimed at informing the public that abandoning dogs is illegal, and that abandoned dogs usually die.
The slogan,”Chi abbandona un cane lo condanna,” means roughly that one who abandons a dog is condemning that dog to death.
The campaign made use of billboards and TV and radio spots, with most of the publicity coming at peak times of holiday travel. As a computer-translated version of the web page explained:
“It was decided to carry out the campaign at this time in view of the fact that the problem of stray dogs is sharpened so evident during the summer, when they touch the peaks of dropouts due to the difficulty of managing the presence of the animal in a recreation area.”
I’m sure it makes more sense in the original Italian.
What did come across clearly were the potential punishments for dog abandonment — a year in prison, or a fine of up to 10,000 Euros.
If that is Ace helping make the Italian public more aware of the problem, I’m proud to have him serve in that capacity. If it’s not, I can only assume it’s another Rottweiler-Chow-Akita-pitbull mix).
With Ace being a mix of four breeds (according to DNA tests) it’s not as common as it is with purebreds to come across nearly exact replicas of him. But I have seen a few doppelgangers.
One thing I found while researching “DOG, INC.,” my book on commercial dog cloning, was that — rather than spending $100,000 to have your dog replicated in a laboratory in South Korea — you can generally find a lookalike in a shelter, if not in your hometown, probably not too far away.
I’m guessing Ace is not the poster boy in this case, and I’m assuming that Italy used an Italian dog for its public service announcement.
As for the Ace photo it reminds me of, it’s on my other computer — the one that’s not working right now — so I can’t call it up and compare. And the post I may have used it in apparently tunneled its way out of the Internet (which is the only way of escaping).
If anyone in Italy knows about the dog in the photo — assuming an English to Italian computer-translation of this account makes any sense at all (and I bet it doesn’t) — get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted by John Woestendiek June 3rd, 2014 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abandon, abandoned, abandoning a dog means killing it, abandonment, ace, altering, american, animal welfare, animals, awareness, campaign, dogs, french, government, homeless, image, italian, italy, john woestendiek, noose, ohmidog!, pets, photograph, photographs, photos, photoshop, poster, psa, public awareness, public service announcement, rescues, reuse, reused, share, shared, shelters, slogans, stray