Friday, December 9, 2011

It's Good To Be A Dog: Reason No. 1

I love being human. Ok? Ok. But, being a dog, for some reasons, is also a very good thing. As I was looking through some photos, I found this one of Dingo. He looks relaxed, tired and maybe a little bit sad. Actually, what happened is that he got to go in the car and was really excited because he thought we were going for a walk. Once he realized we weren't and that we were just running around town doing errands, he just laid down in disappointment, but he looked so Handsome in the sunlight that I took a picture.

So, what does this have to do with Reason No. 1 of why it's good to be a dog? I'll tell ya. The beauty of a dog at rest, is that he or she is at rest. They don't think beyond the "right now". They aren't contemplating the future or thinking about the past. For me, the No. 1 reason it's good to be a dog is that they don't have to re-live any part of their past, ever again, in their mind. They don't have to remember times they did something stupid or completely embarrassing. They don't have to remember heartbreak or loss of any kind. They have the beauty of being able to just "be"

As humans, we re-live things over and over in our minds. If you are a Scorpio, like me, you might as well just know that you are cursed to be stuck in your mind. I live my mind. Want to know my address? It's "1990 In My Mind" San Jose, California 95124. Ack! I hate it. My mom used to always tell me, "Kimberly, I wish, for just a little while, you could turn off your mind". No such luck.

Humans have the wonderful ability to remember embarrassing, sad, stressful and crazy moments, even when we don't want to.  The reminders can be sudden and bold, like seeing someone from our past, hearing a song on the radio or finding that one picture in a box of hundreds. Sometimes, the reminders are more subtle, like a scent floating through the air or laughter heard in the distance.

 Of course, I know that dogs do have memory and they have certain times when they "remember". For example, my dogs hated our old mailman (even thought he was the nicest man ever) and they absolutely would kill the meter reader, if they could. But, in their moments of quiet, their moments of rest, they aren't invaded by their hate. It takes a trigger and, for my dogs, that trigger was in the form of the jingle of the mailman's keys! Believe you me, they heard that when he was like 5 blocks away.

We humans are also blessed (hope you can hear the sarcasm) with triggers, most of them unique to each person. These triggers invoke memories, good and bad. Even if we are quiet in our mind and aren't thinking about that the one time in our life we took a bold chance on love, made a complete fool of ourselves with reckless abandon, only to get kicked to the curb with the trash, we get a painful reminder just by seeing something as simple as white peaches in the grocery store, because those white peaches are what started it all! Even, if we aren't thinking about how much we miss our kids when they were small, we get reminded by something as simple as finding a video of our 6 month old laughing. Even if, in our quiet thoughts, we aren't thinking about how much we miss our way-too-young-to-die mom, we get a trigger in the form of unexpectedly meeting someone with her name and her beautiful red hair. That quiet Sunday morning, when you are not thinking about the day that you mortified yourself in front of the most dreamy Assistant Fire Chief of a major City, is, of course, the day you find a picture of your high school best friend's dog, named Augie, which is the first name of said Chief! (Alright. Alright. I digress. You get the picture. It's just that I keep thinking that if I talk or write about it, the memory will fade, along with the redness that must still be on my face.) No matter the memory, once that trigger is pulled, you might as well forget the rest of your quiet moments of the day because, then and only then, memory lane takes over completely, with you cringing all the way! "

Not dogs, though. No siree, Bob. Once that mailman leaves the yard, they go back to living in the moment. They did their job. They Woofed!. He left. End of story. They don't ruminate over it. That's why you can't reprimand dogs for doing something wrong, after the fact. The don't remember that they just peed on the carpet 10 minutes ago. "What? Who me?" The time Buddy ran so fast that he went head first into the sliding glass door? He was embarrassed, yes. Does he remember it? Nope. By the time I took the picture above, do you think Dingo even remembers that he laid down in disappointment about not going on a walk? Nope.
But, you know what? I do. I do remember and it makes me feel like a bad mommy. In fact, I'm gonna go take him on a make-up walk right this minute.

 It's good to be a dog. Don't you think?

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