Muse #439 - always observing, always
My dog is an anthropologist. He is always observing the humans and surroundings with a deep anthropological curiosity to learn from those patterns he observes.
My dog has anxiety to be alone. So to quiet his senses I often talk to him about what I am doing. That reinforces the fact that I am only going for a specific task and I would be back soon. Like he knows that if I go to make coffee, I will come back with a cup of coffee. Which I let him smell. So, when I tell him that I am going down to make coffee he knows where I am going and that I will be back. Similarly when I go bath. He doesn’t like baths so he lets me go. And waits for me. And I have also taught him “not going anywhere” which means I will be back. And soon.
But he has a strategy. I call it “safer to be safe”. So once we leave the room, he will turn and orient himself and lie down in a way he can observe the entry and exit points. Like he knows that there is no way out from the bathroom and people have to come back that way. So, often when left alone, he will reorient his lying-down position strategically to observe better. One of his limitations is that having had back surgery when he was just two years old, we have trained him not to jump or climb. So he has to wait for us to change locations and is not allowed to do it on his own.
I wonder why we humans are not deeply anthropological like him. If we actually train ourselves to be curious and learn to observe patterns around us, we see a lot that we miss seeing. And this is a continuous work in progress on awareness and asking ourselves the multi-order answers that are behind things, rather than first-order cause-effect responses. But yet, being humans we are built to be biased, come up with superficial opinions as answers in the way survival has built us as a species to survive.
So next time you want to improve your anthropological curiosity and observations, watch your dog (or cat) closely and learn from them. You would be amazed at how much you can learn from them and what they are capable of teaching you.
And by the way, when you can, talk to them a lot. They do understand, make connections and interpretations and use excellent pattern matching and observation skills. So, just keep talking to them. Dont stop. And top of it, they never ever judge you the way we judge fellow humans without any clue to the reality or understanding of our fellow humans.