Deck Review: Simple Wisdom of the Household Dog, by Emily Carding.

Simple Wisdom of the Household Dog, card + book set.
Simple Wisdom of the Household Dog, card + book set.

Have you ever wondered what your dog may be thinking?  Sure you have!  I know I have – many, many times.  Now there is a way to figure the critters out, or you can use this deck as a tool for other matters in your life.  Emily Carding has created Simple Wisdom of the Household Dog oracle.  Housed in the high-grade thick cardboard laminated hinged box with magnetic closure at which Schiffer Books excels, the Simple Wisdom of the Household Dog oracle comes very nicely packaged, with a 112 page guide book that contains nearly full size images of each card throughout and commentary from Albus Dumbledog, who is Emily Carding’s dog friend.

The cards are on a nice light weight card stock that shuffles very well and is nicely laminated for years of use.  All images are in black and white.  They are photographs that Ms. Carding has taken of Albus Dumbledog around the home and during his walks, except for the Squirrel! card that was photographed by Moxie Nox.  There are 44 cards in the deck that measure 3 ½ x 5”.  The cards have a white border.  Card titles are printed in script in white or black on top of the image at the center bottom of each card.  The black and white photography give this deck a classic look that goes well with the romantic landscape of Cornwall, England where Albus makes his home with Emily Carding in a converted chapel.

Started as a joke between Emily Carding and her husband, while looking at pictures of Albus she realized some had a theme.  She posted them online where they enjoyed an immediate positive response and Simple Wisdom of the Household Dog was born.  This deck depicts a dog’s ability to simply exist in the now, taking each day and each experience as it comes.  According to the author, Simple Wisdom of the Household Dog is “a photographic journey into the daily life of a household dog, and within the experiences that Albus so kindly shares with us we can all find lessons and guidance for our own lives” (guidebook, page 11).

Each card is covered on two pages with a nearly full size image of the card on the facing page.  The first section for each card’s interpretation is entitled, “Albus Says …” and the second interpretative section is entitled,household dog oracle - deep thoughts“Owner’s Notes …”  The deck can be used as a tool for divination, meditation, and even as a method to understand your pets better.  I decided to run with the last suggested use.

Our dog Sheila, an Australian Red Heeler, has been moping around the house lately.  I had lost my cat, Dickens, of 17 ½ years to kidney failure on 2/22/12.  I had begun to wonder if Sheila had been growing increasingly lonely and depressed due to the lack of an animal companion.  You can shower an animal with all sorts of love and attention, but if they are used to having another animal in the house that leaves a huge gap in their lives.  Although Dickens and Sheila merely tolerated each other, I began to feel she may be craving animal companionship.

I asked of the deck what would Sheila say about this situation if she could talk.  I used the 3-Card “Stick” spread for this reading.

Gardian.  Copyright Schiffer Books & Emily Carding, 2012.
Gardian. Copyright Schiffer Books & Emily Carding, 2012.

The Throw:  a key past moment leading to the present:  Deep Thoughts.

The Chase: where you are & the direction you’re heading:  Guardian.

The Discovery:  where your chase ends & what sort of stick you end up with: Innocence.

I then drew one more card for further clarification and received Resignation.

Deep Thoughts is obviously about our dog being depressed.  I can understand that just from the photograph.  She was very sad when the cat died, however in a few days she seemed back to herself.

The Guardian card is about Sheila realizing her primary job is to protect her family and home.  She did seem much more protective after Dickens died & now she barks at anyone anywhere on our street who is within sight.  She never used to be that protective.  Now she appears to be taking her job to extremes, but I figure it’s how she is keeping herself busy.

household dog oracle - innocenceInnocence had me stumped, but just briefly.  Sheila, although now 8 years old, has always been a very playful dog.  Innocence is about that part of her that has never lost sight of her puppyhood. Sheila is always ready for a game at any time – even if we’re not ready.  She also has boundless energy.  This card represents her playfulness and her ability to be ready for anything at a second’s notice.

I took these three cards together to mean that Sheila was very depressed when the cat died, but like most humans, she threw herself into her work wholeheartedly to help her forget her loss.  She draws upon her sense of playfulness for strength.

I drew one more card for clarification & received Resignation.  household dog oracle - resignationSheila has resigned herself to a life without a furry friend.  This all changed on June 1, 2013 when we adopted an adorable Russian Blue 9 month old cat.  Blue Star made instant friends with Sheila & never showed any fear whatsoever toward the dog.  Sheila didn’t quite know what to make of her at first & found it very odd this cat kept rubbing herself all over the dog’s legs.  Yet, they are now great friends & they spend about 2 hours every morning chasing one another around the house until one of them collapses, and it’s usually Sheila who gets tired first.

When I asked Simple Wisdom of the Household Dog oracle how Sheila felt about having the cat around I received:  Family, Crossing, and Freedom.  Sheila knows Blue Star is now a part of our family and has accepted her.  Crossing tells me she is aware Dickens has crossed over and will not be coming back.  Freedom is how she feels, free from her sorrow and her pain over losing Dickens and now she’s free to run wild all around the house with Blue Star, her new best friend.

An amazingly insightful deck about not only your pets, but your own questions and issues as well, Simple Wisdom of the Household Dog is a lovely addition to any deck collection.

Please comment so I know you're out there. Thank you :)

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