Well, I would like to know what he thinks. But he’s thinking something, I’m sure of it, even if it’s often a mystery to me because I think in words and he in dog language. There are sometimes problems with the translation, in both directions. But we are getting closer in our communication.
What was he thinking when he settled down in the flower pot? Perhaps:
- Ahhh, the thyme smells so good!
- Oh cool earth!
- I can take a nice nap here…
- Wow, boring! But at least the thyme smells good.
You don’t think he thinks? Of course, one could say that such a dog mainly feels . But what if he makes decisions? For example: “Should I rather trot to the boss, who calls me, or rather get the pretty rabbit going a little?” The decision isn’t always the same, that’s the point. It doesn’t just work according to a conditioned program. Even if we have practiced a command thousands of times, he still reserves the right to assess the situation before “obeying”. Sometimes he gives paws, sometimes he just doesn’t feel like it, regardless of whether he is rewarded or not. How many times have I put a treat under his nose and HE JUST WON’T DO IT! Then again, he does it immediately, even without a reward. And he can do a lot: sit, down, paw, give me five, right, left, stop, stay, come with me, wait, heel, quietly, loud, leave it, ugh – and so on. Of course we practiced everything until it was perfect. But he still decides whether it’s important now or not.
My point: my dog is not a machine, it does not run an automatic program when you press the right button. He is a living being. He has feelings and desires, likes and dislikes. And of course he speaks – with his eyes, with the pitch of his lute, with his posture and his tail, the direction of his ears, even with his smell and his fur. He hopes that I understand his language. If not, he resorts to other methods: staring into his bowl until he fills with food, using his snout to lift my hand off the keyboard when he needs to get out (he gets so intrusive that I don’t have a choice) , nudge me politely when he wants to go on the couch… He actually has a large repertoire when I think about it. I’m still learning and so is he.
One might think that this is self-evident. However, some approaches to dog training and the behavior of some dog “owners” still speak a different language. How often do I notice that someone snaps at their dog or wants to bring reason or gives a sharp command.
But that doesn’t work with Mowgli. He is not an order taker. His ears go wild when I give him a sharp command. He wants to hear a polite request. And he interprets my behavior.
That’s why we practice communication. Communication and cooperation instead of subordination or even dead obedience.
It may be that there are dog experts who see it differently. But I know that my dog follows me because he feels comfortable with me. He has voluntarily adjusted and adjusted because he sees no reason to rebel. Mowgli is a friendly, polite and frugal dog. But he would also step in if he saw his boss in danger. Our friendship is based on mutual trust and affection. We share the same sphere. Mowgli is not frantic because I am not. “Like the master, so his G’scherr”, they say.
If I expected my dog to function like a robot, a Tamagotchi would definitely be right for me. But I just enjoy communicating with a living creature of another species.
Of course he learned some commands that we practiced together. This is practical for peaceful coexistence. And of course the rules of linking and repetition apply. We humans learn in the same way. But there is more to it than that. For example, if we’re going for a walk and Mowgli meets a cat, but he can’t chase it because he’s on a leash, on his way back he’ll remember where he saw the cat and look for it. He anchors the experience to the place, the first time. He also knows what to expect from each of his humanitarians and treats each one individually. Simply intuitive. Sometimes he knows what I want before I tell him, like he can read minds.
There is still a lot to discover and explore here, I think. One researcher who found some very interesting results is biologist Rupert Sheldrake. He speaks of Morphic Resonance and Morphic Fields. I don’t presume to explain in a few sentences what he means by that. Rather, I suggest reading his wonderful, generally understandable books yourself, making your own reflections and pursuing a few questions yourself.
I also find the question of how Mowgli perceives time interesting. He seems to live the way many of us aspire to: in the here and now. Obviously, he doesn’t plan his day by putting his projects in a logical order. But he has adapted to my routine. Apparently he also anchors information or activity in a quality of time. For example, he senses when it’s late in the evening and reminds me that we should go to bed now. He locates , so to speak. How often do we not really perceive life because we are only busy working through our plan! Mowgli doesn’t have the problem, he lives with a natural wisdom.
We can learn a lot if we just listen to the animals and respect and appreciate their nature. We would automatically transfer this attitude to people because we would then have developed this behavior.
How much suffering could we avoid if we gave living beings their space!