Tag Archives: humans

Subtle ways of getting what you want

In the last four years I have developed sophisticated ways of telling humans what I want. One has to do that, because humans tend to miss the most important things around them. They for instance focus on one thing when the action is elsewhere.

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So to make sure they do not miss what I want, I developed The Method. When humans are eating something delicious, I have a subtle way of letting them know I want to eat it too:

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Something else I developed over time is a method for making sure I go with them when they leave the house. Usually I don’t mind being alone in the house, it gives me an opportunity to doze in the sun undisturbed. But sometimes I do very much want to go with M and P. So when they start putting their coats on, I do this. Now it is impossible to pass me, obviously, so they will have to take me with them:

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With canines, of course, one does not need this kind of method. We sense what another dog wants and give it – or not. Although some dogs are amazingly incapable of sensing another dog’s intentions. With them there is only one approach to get the message through.

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The art of fetching ball

Most dogs love to fetch balls. I have been thinking about this – I like it too, I like it a lot, but why? Sometimes I muse about things like this, when I am snoozing in my favorite chair.

When we dogs fetch balls, we experience a lot of different emotions and feelings. First there is anticipation. The human takes the ball into its hand and we focus on that: we see the ball, we know what is coming, we feel our muscles straining, ready for action. It is the sheer joy of knowing a human will throw a ball for us.

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Then the moment is there: the ball leaves the hand of the human and flies through the air. This is when we start running, but not at full speed immediately. At least, that is how I do it. I run and look at the ball at the same time. I make sure I follow the orbit of the ball, adjusting my speed to the speed of the ball. While running, I calculate where it will come down. I enjoy the wind on my coat and in my ears, I feel the ground under my feet, I spread my toes for optimal balance and power. I experience all these sensations at the same time, which makes it thrilling.

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When I have figured out where the ball will land, I accelerate. I love to use all the strong muscles in my body. I race towards the spot where the ball comes down, because I want to catch it before it hits the ground. I am most peculiar about this: the best way to do ball-fetching is catching it in the air. I want to do the same with pigeons, but so far they are flying too high – pity.
I stretch my long legs and jump.

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Then, when I have catched the ball, another part of the play begins. My muscles relax a little, because full speed is not required anymore. I feel the gritty texture of the ball in my mouth – mostly we play this game on the beach, so there is always some sand involved. I turn around and face my human and I start running back to her, fast but not too fast. This is the moment when I enjoy the feeling of fulfillment: I have got the ball, I catched it flying, it is totally mine. Sometimes I savour this moment a bit longer, by digging a hole and burying the ball in it.

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Then I take it out and bring it back to my human. And we start all over again (that is why I bring it back)!
All this: the anticipation, the speed, the part where we need to calculate which way the ball is going, the joy of catching it… all this is why we love to fetch balls.

Appearances

Humans look at the outside a lot. When they see a big dog, they assume it will be bold and brave. Little dogs they think are weak and therefore in need of caring. For us dogs this is not so. We do not look so much at the outside, but we feel and smell what is inside. The energy of a human or a dog tells us everything we need to know.

Some little dogs are very brave. Take this one, part of our pack of beach dogs. I mean the little one standing on the far right, the one with the crooked legs:

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One would not tell by it’s looks, but this one is a leader amongst us, the Bandidos. Whenever we meet a new dog, some of us go out to sniff the new dog and then we make way for Koko. That is his name. Koko will determine whether the new dog is accepted as a temporary friend of our pack. If not, Koko will turn his back on the new one and we will chase the dog away. Koko is a rescue dog from Spain, a real fighter and afraid of nothing. You would’t tell that by his looks, right?

Some other dogs in our pack aren’t to be messed with either. Despite their small appearance, they are tough. Like these two.

Little friends

Their looks do not tell you who they really are. I guess with humans this is the same. Humans have more means for decorating their outside (only take the amount of clothes they have! Astonishing!), but they can’t fool us. They can wear impressive clothes, but if they are unsure of themselves we feel it immediately.

I think dogs are not the only species with the ability to detect the true character of others, I think every specie can do this. Including humans. They also can feel the energy of another human or canine. They just have to open themselves to it. And practice on it, a lot, since they misled themselves for a long time by focusing too much on the outside.

Losing my cool

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.

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Yoga

I have been with humans for almost three years now (I’m turning three in October), but I am still surprised about them. Take yoga. Sometimes M and I do this together and then we call it doga. M really likes doing yoga and she even reads books about it. Yoga is a bunch of exercises, some of them hilarious, but it is also what humans call a philosophy about how to lead a good life. Key aspects seem to be living in the now and concentrating on the breathing.

That is funny. Why on earth would you concentrate on the breathing, something that comes natural to every living being? It doesn’t need concentrating in order to work! I think there are loads of other things worth concentrating on, things that need concentrating because otherwise you will miss them. Like good food.  Humans can really make things complicated!

I find the other key aspect, living in the now, very silly too. Of course you live in the present, where else would you be? It is the only time there is! I know a lot of humans are busy regretting things that happened in the past and they worry about things that might happen in the future. That is such a waste of time. You can not change things that happened in the past and you have absolutely no clue what will happen in the future. The only sensible – and by far the most enjoyable – thing to do is live in the now.  To us dogs this is common sense. Have you ever seen a dog regretting things he had done? Or concentrating on his breathing? It would be very funny!

Apparently humans need yoga to tell them basic knowledge like this. That is odd. I must add to this that M does do a lot of yoga, but she breathes naturally so she has no need to concentrate on that (except when she tries to run with me). And she lives in the now, always. Well, most of the time. In this picture she is doing yoga, not doga because I didn’t join her. I was just enjoying the soft mat, as you can see it was kind of rocky on this campsite.

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Boy friend

All my friends are dogs, with one exception. I find it hard to call a human a friend, because humans are a very different category. We don’t understand each other all the time and I believe friends should (okay, maybe I am a romantic kind of dog).

Anyway, there is one human who is my true friend. His name is Mats and this is him:

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Mats looks a lot like me: he is skinny and bouncy and very energetic too! He wants to play with me all the time, he throws balls and we run together, very fast. We even play my favorite shoe game: he shuffles his feet and I jump around and nibble on his shoes, loosening his laces. I like him very much.