I notice that during these days a lot of humans look back at the past year. We dogs normally don’t do that: we do not muse about the past, we do not dream about the future, we are always and totally living in the present. But I can make an exception for my human readers. Actually, it is quite nice to look back on the last year! If it was a good year, that is.
My year was certainly a good one! I made some great new friends:
We did a lot of nice long walks:
We had awesome holidays, in the mountains and near the sea!
There was plenty of time to snooze in the sun:
And new culinary experiences:
Yes, it was a good year. I hope you had a splendid year, too!
Humans have a very odd relationship with animals. They keep them as pets, some humans even treat them as human kids. But they also eat them and even torture them in terrible animal farms, for their meat or their fur.
In this time of year this attitude is even more puzzling. For some reason humans associate animals with the festive season. Not just for eating (which I don’t mind, I hope we will eat a big fat turkey!), but also for decorating. Humans buy these things to fill their houses. Like this one: stuffed fluff in the form of a shockingly white reindeer.
Or a very silly looking bird with fake feathers:
And even a plastic fox!
What is the fun of that? All this fake stuff can’t run so it is not good for chasing. When you eat it you will end up with a stomach ache or a mouth full of feathers. It won’t give you any joy because you can’t play with it. It won’t give you any love either.
Humans are so very odd sometimes. I really do not get it. Why have a fluffy owl or a plastic fox when you can have the real thing? It is much more fun!
Yesterday M was ill and I stayed by her side all day. I do not want to go out when she is ill, I want to stay with her in case she needs me. She is much better today, so I took my usual position near the window to guard my street, again. But that is not what I want to tell you about today – I want to show you the walk we did a couple of days ago. It was awesome! We went to a place that is not familiar to me. The sun was shining:
There were nice smelly woods, dunes and sand and loads of rabbits and little lakes shimmering in the distance:
And then, there was the beach! The sea is never far off where we live. I had smelled it already when we were walking in the woods and was hoping we would go there. I like the woods, but I love the beach.
We went down to it and I did some thorough running, chasing seagulls and all that. Then we returned to the woods again. It was a really nice walk.
Yesterday I met a dog on the beach who asked me who is on top of the hierarchy in my pack. He had read my blog about knowing one’s place, where I state that Chuck is at the bottom of this hierarchy. The dog was curious where I stand. I thought it a very stupid question. I am on top, of course!
The dog who asked me this is not the brightest one and therefore it is not good if he uses his tiny brain for subjects that are too demanding for him. He’d better focus on necessary tasks (like finding food). That is why I gave him this answer. The correct answer to his question is not that simple. You see: a hierarchy in a group of dogs or humans or a mixed group is not static, but dynamic. Who is ‘on top’ depends on the task that needs to be done.
As I wrote before about the misconception of dominance, dogs and humans work together in a way that is best for a certain situation. Every group consists of leaders and followers, but they are not always the same humans or dogs. The human or dog who is most able to perform the task required is in the lead. So it depends on the task who is ‘boss’. I read in these management magazines (P reads them too) that it works exactly the same way in modern human organizations. There is no boss who tells everybody what to do, but there are specialists, working together.
That is exactly how it works in packs of dogs and humans, too. Humans know the way in the complex human world, so they guide us there. It is their speciality. Dogs know the way in the natural and spiritual world, so we guide our humans there. We teach them to be patient (when we do not come when called, for instance), to be clear in their intentions (you cannot lie to us, we see right through you) and we give comfort in hard times. Our hierarchy is fluid, it changes according to the circumstances.
Anyway, that is too difficult a story to tell the dog with the tiny brain, so I just told him I am the boss in our little hierarchy. He is a terrible newsmonger, I am sure he will tell all the beach dogs that I am the boss. Good! That’s great for my image.
This is so cool, I have to share it with you. It is a video by the band Playmen and it features dogs in the shelter in Athens, the one I come from!
I must admit I even cried a little because of the lyrics. ‘All I need is you – life is a game for two’. And this one: ‘The love I got for you is true’. That is sooooo true.
Too bad they did not ask me to be an actor in this video, I would love to be a movie rockstar. But I guess they did not ask me because I already have a home. Fair enough. I hope my brothers and sisters in the video will find a loving home of their own too, soon.
Just click on this weblink to see the video. Sorry I can’t show it here, M won’t pay for the WordPress package-thing that allows to embed video’s directly into posts (she is such a tightwad).
I am a cool dog. Now that I am grown up I know what I like and which dogs & humans I want to be friends with. All else, things and dogs and humans, I ignore. So I can stay cool, all the time.
However there are some things that really annoy me. Like these:
1. Dogs that come creeping towards me, with their gaze focussed on me. When this happens, I snap. Humans don’t understand this, some of them even get angry. They say ‘but my dog just wants to play!’. Play, ha! This is not playing, this is what we do when we start the hunt. I do it when I see rabbits, cats and toy dogs. In which case, by the way, M loses her cool. But that is a different story.
2. Nervousness. When I was little I got nervous too whenever I encountered a nervous dog or human. Now I just get angry and I want to discipline that human or dog. It helps, you know, because then they go from nervous to scared or from nervous to angry. Both are much better emotions! These emotions lead to action, while nervousness paralyses. So it is a good thing that I lose my cool when I meet nervous humans or dogs.
3. The neighbors’ dogs. They are way too often trespassing my territory, my street. How I would really really like to have a good fight with them! Not playing rough, but truly fighting. I don’t know why humans do not allow us to fight. A good fight solves so many things, grudges and other problems. We dogs should get the change to fight more often. It can be a big relief!
In a way, losing one’s cool isn’t too bad. It relieves, it helps others to take action and it gives good strong energy you can use for something you love. Like chasing a friend.