Thursday, July 12, 2012

Dog Days

Have you ever wondered what's going on inside a dog's mind? Granted, I have no proof that they think like you and I do, but there is that possibility. Do they have a stream of monolog constantly reeling? Do they ever get a song stuck in their head? Do dogs ever wonder if their human likes them as much as they like their human?

I have to assume they dream. I know a dog that chases rabbits in her sleep. She'll be lying on her side on her pillow, then she'll start growling a little bit and bark. Pretty soon she is running full speed. At least she would be if she was standing. Watching a dog run while she is lying on her side is a perplexing image. I've never seen Emma run that fast when she was awake.

There are 5 love languages that every person uses to show love and feel loved. Do these apply to dogs? Lets see...Touch would definitely be one of them. Quality time, I'm sure. Does feeding your dog count as Gifts? Words of Affirmation always got my dog's tail wagging. Now, Acts of Service. That's a tough one. How does one serve his or her dog? Going for walks would be quality time. Bathing the dog could be an act of service, but the dog definitely doesn't feel loved by it.

There have been times when I talked to my dog for what seemed like a long time and she had a look in her eye that said I was holding her attention. She was never disinterested in what I was saying. What did she get from those conversations? "Conversation" is a generous term. She never said anything back to me. Well, not very often at least.

"Hmm. There's my human making all these weird noises at me. Some of the sounds I recognize. But the rest sounds like a load of rubbish."

Because my dog used the word "rubbish" in her thoughts.

Have you ever heard a dog laugh? I've seen them smile. I've seen what I thought was a laugh. It would be a dismal existance if one couldn't laugh. Radiolab did a bit on laughter, and in it they tickled rats. A very interesting program if you get an hour to listen.

At the end of the day I would like to say that we have a give and take relationship with our dogs, but I wonder how much we take from the love they give us? They run up to us when we come home (words? of affirmation). They nudge you with their noses (touch). They sit with us in the living room or take walks with us (quality time). They protect our property (service). And sometimes they bring us dead gophers (gifts).

You've heard it said to love your neighbor as yourself. Would it be more tangible to say "Love your neighbor like a dog"?

Mmm... maybe not.

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