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A Loyal Friend on Duty

Many times I have praised the habit of catching things out of the corner of your eye. It happened again today.

I was driving to town on an errand. Fifty yards off the road was one of the rental outhouses at this recreation area. There was a large chocolate labrador retriever (lab) close to its door. 

Clearly, his human partner was inside the outhouse, doing his business. The dog's head and body language were so curious, expressing the great importance and significance of the dog's supervising or guarding. The dog was unnaturally stationary for quite a long time. What an expression of loyalty it was!

The best I could do was take a smartphone photo from the van. It was disappointing. The photo doesn't seem to express the endearing behavior of the dog that I thought I "saw". But this isn't the first time I saw something out of the corner of the eye, fluttered my eyelashes over it, and then later, wondered if it was actually real.

This suggests that the ambiguity of seeing/imagining is what makes things interesting.  In either case, it was my favorite moment of the day.


XXXXX said…

We do project meaning into everything. Is it really unequivocal loyalty or just knowing where his next meal is coming from? However, I choose to think as you do about dogs and our special bond with them. Life can get pretty ugly if one doesn't stubbornly (and irrationally) insist on certain things being beautiful in and of themselves.


If we project meaning into the behavior of a dog, and the best meaning at that, why is it so hard to do the same thing to human beings?
XXXXX said…

Oh, Lordy. Best question of the decade!!!

Maybe because we know the dog will never stab us in the back.

“why is it so hard to do the same thing to human beings?”

Perhaps it’s because animals are not known to be cunning, devious and deceitful in order to mask their true intentions?
Posted same replay twice. Because the captcha wasn’t there I thought perhaps I had done something wrong.
My goodness Ed, Carol, and Gopher, if I had made your comment I would have been accused of pessimism and cynicism. (grin)
XXXXX said…

I don't hear anyone here accusing you of pessimism or cynicism. Maybe that's just the voice in your head. What's a better alternative? Optimism which romanticizes everything so we all end up disappointed in the end? No, thank you. Pessimism and cynicism are both useful exercises to take apart our spontaneous thought and get to the root of the matter. Just like Socrates did.