Valente is a Português word which means valiant, strong; vigorous in body; sturdy; powerful.
Our Valente is a Barbado da Terceira, a Português breed of herding and guard dog from the Atlantic island of Terceira in the Azores, for which it is named.
He came into our lives at the age of ten, with a history largely unknown to us. What we know is that the man he was with most of his life died, and after that V was passed around.
Probably the first person who kept him was of an old mindset, as Valente had his ears and tail lopped off for human convenience. Somewhat later, we heard, he was hit by a car. He still shows signs of back pain.
A sailor had him for awhile with the idea of having Valente on the sailboat with him. I can imagine how that didn't work for a dog bred to herd cows.
Then a kind-hearted woman adopted him but found that with her other dogs and being pregnant, Valente was too much. So he ended up in a shelter.
When he came to us, his soulful brown eyes were clouded and he seemed unhappy. His character is very sweet and non-aggressive, but his anxiety can trigger reactive behaviors.
He has a guarding instinct so is kept on leash on walks unless we're going through meadows with no one around. We think he never had much kind attention, and he still is wary generally of being petted.
Yet, on occasions such as when a dog-loving woman from France and later a small girl gushed over and cuddled him, he just soaked it up.
With all our other dogs, mostly female, I've gotten along well. Valente, a highly sensitive being, hasn't fully accepted me especially when I'm tense or anxious myself. So he is a good trainer when I relax into it.
It has not hit fully upon us yet, but as surely as the seasons turn, a dilemma for us with Valente is developing. We will be moving from the Azores, probably to mainland Portugal, most likely in Spring. Bringing him would be overwhelmingly complicated and despite our best efforts to re-home him, no options have appeared. So we hunker down for the winter.
Feeling my center of peace and embodying it in my energies and actions found new motivation with Valente in my life. From asking myself, 'what is peace'?, a new website page was composed, and this is its introduction:
"Peace is a concept of societal friendship and harmony in the absence of hostility and violence. In a social sense, peace is commonly used to mean a lack of conflict and freedom from fear of violence between individuals or groups. - Wikipedia
"Active peace is my term for something more than the absence of war. It is a self-existent innate quality of nature, one of the fundamental frequencies of the waves and particles which compose the song of existence, along with love for love itself. See the book, 'A New Science of Heaven' for insights from a perspective of plasma physics.
"The barriers which prevent the human experience of peace include stored trauma, inner tension, and over-thinking. Finding effective means of dissolving the barriers becomes an individual process and journey."