Wednesday, May 01, 2013
A Good Dog
In January, we adopted a new dog. His name is Tai, and he only has one eye. The folks at the Anti-Cruelty Society didn't know what happened to him, but I suspect that another, larger dog attacked him. Tai has gradually settled into our household. He isn't very big, but he has a big dog attitude. He has a focused spirit - beams in on his favorite humans and can pick up on tone of voice, moods, gestures and a surprisingly long list of words. He is tolerant of his fellow pets in our house. Oh, and he believes that Life Is A Ball. When you throw a ball for him, he is fulfilling his purpose in the world. Focus on the ball, be the ball, chase the ball, fetch the ball. He would rather play ball than eat.
Tai has a small bag of tricks. He can give "high fives" (but you have to give him a treat afterwards). He will dance on his hind legs. But his best trick is the one-eyed stare. He will sit and watch you, looking for signals. I feel that he sometimes reads my mind, but of course this is a ridiculous idea. He is just a little, scruffy, one-eyed dog who is dialed into the human who feeds him.
While dogs probably don't feel "love" the way we humans define that emotion, there is certainly some kind of deep connection between dogs and people. Of course, dogs don't understand the details of human lives so they are never judgmental. If you have done something that has brought scorn down on your head, your dog doesn't know about that and will still be glad to see you. If you come back from the gym smelling ripe and gross, your dog will not complain - he probably prefers you in that condition.
So I talk a lot to Tai. He cocks his head at me and trains his remaining eye on my face; he focuses and gives me silent attention (which is quite rare in human society). After a while, he brings me his ball and seems to say "enough with the blah blah - let's get down to the Meaning of Life - MY BALL!"