Horowitz introduces the reader to dogs’ perceptual and cognitive abilities and then draws a picture of what it might be like to be a dog. What’s it like to be able to smell not just every bit of open food in the house but also to smell sadness in humans, or even the passage of time? How does a tiny dog manage to play successfully with a Great Dane? What is it like to hear the bodily vibrations of insects or the hum of a fluorescent light? Why must a person on a bicycle be chased? What’s it like to use your mouth as a hand? In short, what is it like for a dog to experience life from two feet off the ground, amidst the smells of the sidewalk, gazing at our ankles or knees?
With a hat tip to Frank whose emails end with the Attention quote.
IF you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:
Walking down from Wansfell into Troutbeck on Saturday, the sheep. The orange sheep. That way to deter sheep rustlers. ‘Don’t mock the flock’ repeated in my mind to the rhythm of my striding. No, Don’t mock the flock! I guess we are all part of a flock, one way or another.
Let not this day end without acknowledging the truely decent, humble, dedicated and above all peaceful gathering of fungus explorers from Kew Gardens who I had the honour to go walk-about with today.
Not only was it a window on a whole area of the natural world largely hidden from the naked eye but also an insight into the minds and hearts of people, unknown and unsung, who care about the wellbeing of unglamorous – fungus!
It was not a day for ‘racing’! Five hours didn’t get us far physically however in terms of the micro world we traveled to the moon and back! Who would have imagined what fungus get up to! It’s a circus down in the woods – everyday.
From the way dogs thump their tails, invade our laps and steal our pillows, it certainly seems like they love us back. But since dogs can’t tell us what’s going on inside their furry heads, can we ever be sure?
The scientists found that dog owners’ aroma actually sparked activation in the “reward center” of their brains, called the caudate nucleus. Of all the wafting smells to take in, dogs actually prioritized the hint of humans over anything or anyone else.
So the word is out our doggy friends delight in us because…of our smell and what it represents, in their brains. Who would have thought!