They say you shouldn’t put human emotions on an animal. But I prefer to think of it as interpreting their body language in human terms. After all, the “experts” will tell you that a dog that is poised and still with their mouth closed, may be about to attack out of fear or aggression. And what is aggression but anger on steroids? You have fear and anger there, both human emotions/reactions. So neener neener to the academia macadamia (college degree toting nuts), my dog communicates himself in human terms. How does he express himself? Let me count the ways…..
When I first saw him it was in this photo he had just been sprung from animal control on Friday, because they wouldn’t guarantee he would be there on Saturday. Nobody wanted him. Nobody came for him. He had been wandering the streets “for a while”, hungry and blind. At this point in his life, I don’t think he knew where he was.
Grady was transported from Albany, NY to Calais, ME by a wonderful group of dog lovers. The number of changes to his life in just a few days was staggering: from a shelter, to a rescue, being neutered, then passed along a chain of people in strange vehicles…and yet he did not fight against what was happening to him. He took it in stride, even though he couldn’t see where he was going, from a physical or emotional perspective.
Over 600 miles later, in the back seat of my car, I’m sure he wondered if there was ever an end to the new cars and new people.
Grady is a great thinker. But I have gone from wondering if he’s just pondering the mysteries of life, to fearing what he would get up to next. These moods were often followed by one of his silly faces. See above.
He wasn’t the only one. And no, it wasn’t because he is wearing ladies panties. Grady had a tumour removed from the back of his left haunch. Because we had no alternative, he needed to wear the hard cone, which deprived him of his freedom and the ability to use echo location to find his way around. There were so many more emotional expressions over those two weeks, including panic, frustration, hysteria, disbelief and guilt. The last was mine. It was the worst two weeks of our first year together.
As always I am amazed at his resilience. While it’s true that animals don’t focus on their misfortunes, they still suffer from reactions to and the consequences of illness, mistreatment and stress. Yet by October, Grady was back on top of the world, enough to give me “back talk” about wearing a costume for Halloween.
Although cats may not have been a big part of his life before, Grady took them along with the other changes and made the most of it. Only a secure dog is going to share his bed with three of them.
Afraid not. He couldn’t see the roses I put down there for a prop when he came and laid his paw on my knee as he so often does. Still, and despite being blind, I swear there is love in his eyes.
I can’t tell you how many times I have had him out and people say “oh what a patient puppy!” or “What a well behaved dog!” He’s fooled the groomer, the vet techs, the pet store staff, the Tim Horton’s girls…..
Taken a nano second before he launched himself at me.
Joie de vivre
Which he is always willing to share with his best bud, Fuzzy.
Now….tell me that dogs can’t communicate their feelings. I think not.