Book Review: The Dao of Dog by Clifford Herriot

Book Title: The Dao of Dog

Authors: Clifford Herriot, the pseudonym for Rysa Walker and her husband

Publication Date: September 6, 2020

Available OnAmazon as an eBook and as a paperback

Indie Athenaeum Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars


Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu, believed to have lived in the sixth century, wrote a book about Daoist philosophy. This philosophy proposes ideas about how to live a “balanced, simple life, living in harmony with nature.”

In this book, these ideas are matched up with photographs of dogs that complement the text. The text accompanying each photo perfectly shows each concept through a dog’s behavior or expression. It simply shows how dogs live the Daoist philosophies. Sometimes, it is a clever pairing of text and photos. Other times, it makes you laugh with what it has to say and how the dog conveys it.

All the dogs in the photos are wonderfully adorable. This book also demonstrates how much smarter they are than humans might have given them credit for, given how well they live the Daoist way of life.

Some of these sayings you will already know, but you may not have properly attributed them to Daoist philosophy. Sayings like “a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Others encapsulate the wisdom that comes with life experience, such as “compassion is the most powerful force in the universe.”

While this book is a great primer on Daoism, it also serves to focus your mind away from the distractions of life, as well as the more complicated emotions that come with it. Whatever you might be experiencing, this book is a great pick-me-up and might even serve to brighten your mood. I know it made me happy just reading it, appreciating what it had to say and how perceptive each point was.

This non-fiction book is something that can be read multiple times. Not just for the endearing photos and their text, but also to say something about how to live life in a way that makes you content.

Lest you think it’s just dogs in the photos, there are cameos from puppies, humans, and even cats as well!

If you don’t know who Chinse philosopher Lao Tzu is, that’s all right. You don’t have to be to enjoy this book. It’s an excellent gift for dog lovers everywhere.

It’s clear how much thought and consideration was given in each loving photo and the text that is paired with it. At thirty-three pages, it’s easy to read in one sitting and might even help you ruminate on how you might want to change your life.

This would also be a great book to put near the cash registers of pet supply stores as an impulse buy or just for plain old fun.

Ultimately, this book will illuminate these carefully chosen insights for you while ingeniously demonstrating how dogs masterfully embody these ideas.

If you found this review to be helpful to you, please click here to go to the review on Amazon. Then navigate to the bottom of this review and click on the “helpful” button.

Previous Indie Athenaeum book reviews about non-fiction books by Clifford Herriot include “What to Expect When Your Humans are Expecting“.

Previous Indie Athenaeum book reviews about stories by Rysa Walker and Caleb Amsel include “When the Cat’s Away – Enter Haddonwood, Book Two” and “As The Crow Flies – Enter Haddonwood, Book One“.

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Previous Indie Athenaeum book reviews about stories by Rysa Walker include “Now, Then, and Everywhen: Chronos Origins, Book One“, “Simon Says – Tips for the Intrepid Time Traveler,” “Clones – The Anthology“, “The Delphi Effect – The Delphi Trilogy, Book 1“, “The Delphi Resistance – The Delphi Trilogy, Book 2“, “The Delphi Revolution – The Delphi Trilogy, Book 3” and “The Abandoned – A Delphi Novella“.

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