Wednesday, July 13, 2011
We had animals when we all lived under one roof, cats, dogs, fish, occasional frogs and turtles.
Then, children grew up and left. Pets died.
My daughter and her husband have a big black lab/greyhound mix, and my son and his fiancee have a golden lab. All met during the Fourth of July weekend celebrations at my house.
After a few tense moments, they accepted each other's presence and began to play parallel games. In the same yard they chased their respective stick or her ball, always watching what their master/person was doing.
They kept an eye on their own people at all times.
They followed me if I moved to the kitchen and each anticipated the turn-about of my actions.
The black dog, who has known me the longest, feels quite at home in my place, even calls me a special name: Lasagna!
Yes, she says something like that.
She knows that in my kitchen, during her visits, she'll be licking pots with tomato sauce and eating scrambled eggs for breakfast.
They each know when their people are about to leave the house, to leave them behind. At that point, they grow anxious, and nothing can distract them except, maybe, real lasagna!
They know their people well.
Dogs can divine our moods, our intentions, by watching us carefully and sensing the next action. They have mastered the silent cues. They are instinctively better listeners than we are.
We OUGHT TO LEARN from what dogs do.
We can write better character descriptions by mastering these silent cues.
Each movement, tiny and subtle, will speak about intentions, needs, hidden problems.