I am a trouble maker.
And so is my dog.
There, I said it, admitted it, and got it out of my system. Sort of.
I have a bit of a problem, and it goes like this: Most people aren't programmed to think the way I do. (Curious as to what I mean when I say programming? Click HERE! to find out!)
Because of that, I have a hard time communicating with other people.
See this picture? What do you see when you look at it?
Most people would see something along the lines of a submissively postured border collie, right?
I - and obnoxiously so - refuse to make any conclusion about what the dog is doing or trying to communicate.
As a funny example, one day when I was in high school and deigned to grace the place with my presence, I was happy to find out that I'd come on a day when we were doing a rather interesting experiment in physics class.
Physics happened to be the only class I liked, never mind the fact that I slept through it, never did my homework, and doodled on my tests.
There was a visiting professor who took half of the first class to tell us that we were entirely too stupid to make it in college physics.
He talked about how we wouldn't know objectivity if it bit us in the ass and then proceeded to have us do an experiment that would prove just that.
We were sent into the lab room with orders to observe an individual and report back with scientific observations.
My lab partner and I went first. He came back and noted that the guy in the room was worried and on a time budget.
The professor nodded approvingly and I wanted to hide under a desk. What my lab partner had said didn't even come close to my observations and I no longer wanted to answer.
Nervously, I shuffled my feet and refused to look up when the professor cleared his throat - a noise most likely aimed at me and my lack of answer.
He asked me three times to state my conclusions and finally, in a very meek voice, I said, "I am sorry; I am not prepared to make any conclusions based on the data I've collected."
His eyes widened for a moment, as though astonished, and then he furrowed his brows thoughtfully. After a momentary pause, he said, "All right, then; tell me about the data you've collected."
Terrified and thinking that I must have messed the entire experiment up and also thinking that he must be right and I was stupid, I nervously told him of my observations. I'd collected data about the subject of the experiment. A LOT of data.
I took almost twenty minutes to explain something that happened in less than five.
The professor laughed and sent us back to our desks with orders for me to see him after class.
He grilled me for fifteen minutes about why I'd chosen to report back the way I had. Confused - and nearly in tears - I told him that that was simply the way I'd been taught to think and that it made no sense to assume I knew what was going on in another person's head. What may have appeared as nervousness to me could have very well turned out to be excitement, too much caffeine, or the side-effect of long term use of anti-psychotics. Yes, I did say that.
Yes, you are more than welcome to roll your eyes.
So, with that:
Dear Doggy Dog World,
I have no idea about what is going on in another person's head, let alone a dog's.
I can't claim to know the why of any individual dog's behavior, although I can speculate based on the research of my peers and based on the research of those who are much smarter than I am.
PS: Please forgive my annoying objectivity when it comes to talking about or explaining any dog-related behavior. I am aware of the fact that I tend to offend people by not giving credit where credit is due to those in our field who are actively doing research, writing up studies, and making conclusions about those studies. I just hate conclusions; it's a personal problem.