Recently I read a most interesting article about the ultimate number of humans in a group. It was an article about business organizations (all right, I’ll admit it: I was very bored at that moment and nothing else was around for reading or chewing upon). So I read the article – and afterwards chewed it. Anyway: it was kind of interesting. It stated that the ultimate number for a group of people, in an organization or any other group, is 50. With 50 humans know each other and feel related to each other. That makes their pack successful, because they feel responsible for the group as a whole.
I have been wondering about this. For 50 seems a very large pack to me. My pack of bandidos, the guys I hang out with when I am with my personal trainer Nicoline, is around 15. Which is a nice number, because we know each other thoroughly. Sometimes our pack extends a little, when we meet new dogs on the beach and we play with them. But it never exceeds to 50. Fifty dogs, that seems kind of a nightmare to me. Besides: it would never fit into Nicoline’s van!
I think it would be quite a sight, running with 50 dogs on the beach. A lot of humans and not-so-bold canines think it is already a bit unnerving when we storm at them with our pack of 15. Imagine what it would be like if there would be 50 of us…
So with humans it may be 50, but with dogs I think the ultimate group size is 15. I do not remember clearly how many of us where in the Greek shelter where I come from. I lived in the puppy quarters back then, and I don’t think we were with more than 15. We had great fun, that I can tell you! With 15 you can have fun. With 50 it becomes a bit crowded.
Sometimes I muse about what I would have become if I would have remained a stray dog. I suspect I would have lived my life with a pack, working together to get our food. Like I see packs of wild dogs doing on tv (yes, I watch tv. Of course, I am a city dog!)
When I see these wild dogs roaming the streets, I notice that the members of the pack all have their own specialization. Some of them are like scouts: exploring the surroundings, finding the best opportunities for food. When they find something that is worth it, they let the other members of the pack know and together they start the chase. I am certain that in a wild pack of dogs I would be one of those scouts. My nose, eyes and ears are exceptional: I sense opportunities sooner than most dogs. Besides that I am very fast. I can start a hunt and let the others follow me, figuring out our tactics as we go.
When I am out with my friends, the bandidos, I am a scout. I see potentially dangerous dogs (in which case Boss is coming to assist me), yummy seafood or humans carrying sandwiches or other food that is of interest to me. But unlike the scouts in the wild packs I do not wait for the bandidos to follow me: I take the juicy bits before any of them arrives.
Is that selfish? No way. We are very well fed city dogs, we do not need the food to survive as a pack. At the end of the day we all go home to our loving humans, who fill our stomachs with yummy things. And then we watch tv together. Yeah, life is good. I am glad I did not remain a stray dog.
Thanks for the pic, Nicoline!
Lately M is looking a lot at the big luminous device in our living room. She is watching a new Netflix series, she tells me: Narcos. It is about drugs and a guy named Pablo Escobar. I doze next to her when she watches, hearing a lot of new words. M tells me it is Spanish. Great, I am learning some Spanish!
I like some of the words I learned. For instance: ‘bandidos’. That is what they say a lot in this series: ‘somos bandidos’. It means ‘we are bandits’. I like this word because it is exactly what we dogs are when we are together. Like when I am with my friends in the pack of Nicoline, my personal trainer. We are always up to some mischief. Humans and other dogs that meet us are beware of us, some are even a little frightened. They should be! We truly are a gang of rebels. Somos bandidos!
This is a pic Nicoline made from some of us. She caught them in the act of an undermining activity, as you can see.