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How Are You Perceived by Your Dog or Cat?

Sometimes you humans give us dogs more credit for sensitivity and intelligence than we deserve. After all, we are just dogs who happen to be lucky enough to share your home and your world, and we have become skilled at blending in. Most of us don't have a devious bone in our body; but cats?.

Does your dog or cat see you as an equal, a God or Goddess, or just a 'love object?'
Don't flatter yourself. Dogs aren't lecherous or romantically interested in species outside of their own. We're not romantically interested in you, and by the same token, you aren't interested in us. That doesn't mean that I haven't observed Isabel gliding around her boudoir in the buff, but Isabel is just -- Isabel; not exactly a pretty sight. What really does attract my attention is the copious quantities of Musk that she seems to dump on when she knows that Micah is going to be working in the kitchen or Ranger Matthew Tipton is coming in for biscuits and coffee. We dogs have very sensitive noses, and we definitely aren't blind. Too much perfume is definitely not cool.

I remember some years ago hearing one of Ray's old recordings of Jonathan Winters talking about some voyeuristic dog in his owner's bedroom. After the laughter and applause faded away, many of his fans undoubtedly began to examine and question the behavior of their own faithful pets, resulting in hours of needless anxiety and wasted time. Frankly folks, we just don't care.

The real point of this article is to let you know that we dogs aren't generally deep thinkers. We are not daydreamers, we don't fantasize, and we rarely internalize things; we are doers. We see, we sense, and we engage. That's it, plain and simple. We don't plan, plot, strategize, or worry about the social implications of our actions. Because our behavior is driven by instinct, not adherence to cultural morays, human-like guilt doesn't resonate in the typical canine mind. We are not devious, we are open and above board. What you see is what you get; no ifs, ands, or buts.

Now cats are another thing altogether. They are sneaky, devious, and they plan things way-y-y in advance. Revenge is a cat specialty. If you have ever insulted your cat, be very grateful that they can't light matches.

Next time your cat FAILS to hit the litter box, and you find their not so fragrant 'message' between your blanket and your bedspread, think back for a minute over the past few days and try to remember if you might have done something to slight him or diminish his God-given authority. Remember, they think that they own the house and just allow you to live in it. Chances are, this is some form of 'kitty recrimination.' Don't take my word for it; there are all kinds of articles written on the subject of 'feline passive aggression.'

Obviously, cats don't derive any real pleasure from what they witness, but they gossip using body language. They can sneer and roll their eyes like no dog can. They can dish out rejection in huge quantities without ever making a sound; its just another example of passive aggression. Remember the last time you put down a bowl of food that your cat didn't like? They can tell you in so many ways. They're clever and they're devious; just don't trust them. Luckily, we don't have any cats here at Faded Glory Farm, and I am the sole four-legged master of my destiny.

Okay, so maybe I do have a beef against cats. Let's get back to dogs. Contrary to cats, most dogs just aren't planners. We are too busy (not too lazy), to plan ahead. We live 'in the moment.' Most of us are simply. . . opportunists. Since we don't plan, virtually everything that happens to us comes as a surprise. When a hunter shoots a duck or a goose out of the sky and it falls toward the earth, do you think that the retriever expects it? We hear the shot, ponder it for a moment and. . . surprise! When we discover an unattended plate of warm chicken wings on your coffee table, do you think we somehow 'sensed' that it would be there and planned its demise? Will they still be there five minutes from now? Surprise! Even when we get caught . . . Surprise! So now you know that we also don't foresee the consequences of our actions. Of course, if I personally saw a tray of h'ors d'oevres being carried into an empty room, its minutes are numbered; so I'll have to concede that short term planning is fairly common in the more intelligent (coyote smart) members of our species.

Wouldn't it be wonderful if humans could view the major events in their lives as BIG surprises? Well, sometimes pregnancies are a . . .Surprise! Your kid steps up to the podium to accept his degree . . . Surprise! And, if you accidentally run a red light. . . Surprise! Of course, Isabel says that the outcome of many of our elections, kitchen inspections and our annual property tax bills are usually surprises. Surprise!

What it comes down to is that we dogs live a life filled with spontaneity. Every day is different. Results often vary. And here comes Isabel with a heaping broiler of pork chops ready for the oven . . ."hey, surprise me, Isabel!"

Okay, NO SURPRISE . . .and no pork chops for me. After all, Isabel IS Isabel.

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