Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Don't underestimate your dog!

Here is an extract from Barbara Smuts about her dog, Safi, in J.M.Coetzee's book, The Lives of Animals;

"From the instant of our first meeting, I experienced her as a wild animal possessed by an instinctual wisdom akin to that of my baboons. Because I had so much respect for her intelligence, I did not consider it necessary to "train" her. Instead, I discuss all important matters with her, in English, repeating the phrases and sentences over and over in particular circumstances to facilitate her ablility to learn my language. She understands (in the sense of responding appropriately to) many English phrases, and she, in turn, has patiently taught me to understand her language of gestures and postures." 

I often hear, "dogs don't understand English." What nonsense! A person says, "sit" and a dog sits. Therefore, the dog understands at least one English word. It is arguable how much English a dog can understand. But we are very intuitive and can also understand a lot from body language, picking up on energy and mind reading. 

Mandy said, "Where's Tim?" and I went to Tim. Tim was a bit sceptical at first. Now he is beginning to understand that I understand a lot. People can be a bit slow to catch on sometimes but dogs, don't underestimate people. They are actually very intelligent. 

So, in conclusion, dogs don't underestimate people. People don't underestimate dogs. Dogs don't underestimate dogs. People don't estimate people. Most importantly, don't underestimate yourself! 

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are younot to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."
Marianne Williamson


Dughallmor Beagles said...

"...patiently taught me to understand her language of gestures and postures..."
Love this!

Ruby Isabella said...

Yes. We must be patient with humans. They don't always get it but usually they eventually do.

Mango said...

Duh, of course we can understand full sentences. Its a matter of survival. The peoples are always trying to trick us by S-P-E-L-L-I-N-G words. Come on, how dumb do you think we are?


Henry the Dog said...

My mum generally communicates with me through body language and sometimes dog noises (she growls when she wants me to stop doing something) and sometimes english. She was quiet most of the time when I was a pup. We played a lot. She only used her voice when she thought it necessary. So I tended to listen to her instead of ignoring her. She can make me wag my tail just by opening her eyes wide, raising her eyebrows and giving me a big, open mouthed smile - 'cause that's her 'play' face. I'll sit when she raises her eyebrows, narrows her eyes and lifts her head whilst looking straight into my eyes. That's her serious face. We dogs are intelligent, it's a different type of intelligence from you humans, that's all.

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