Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Lessons from Dogs

Last night as the girls and I were out for an aurora-watching walk, two loose dogs suddenly came running up to us from behind. It was too dark to see their intentions, and I assumed that they were being aggressive, and shone my headlamp into their eyes and yelled at them.

One spun around and ran away whimpering, with his tail tucked down, and the other crouched down in the universal animal-kingdom-wide posture for play. My girls happily bounced toward him, exchanged butt sniffs, and danced together for a bit before we continued on. I felt horrible about making the other dog cry, but what else could I have done? I hadn't known whether the two had been about to attack us!

What we can learn from dogs:

1) If you approach someone and he has no way of knowing whether your intentions are friendly, he may assume the worst based on his own past experiences and react defensively. This has nothing to do with you.

2) Even once you are given a defensive response, it is still possible to break down the barrier by being friendly and inciting joy.

Oh, my gift to SH finally arrived (I guess it spent some time sitting at Canadian customs), so here is a photo:

That was SH's email quote for several years. I liked it.


mdr said...

I want to add on a 3rd lesson learned not from doggies but Confusious and I will try my best to translate:

"Do not hurt others with caution (intentionally); but more importantly, do not get hurt by others for lacking of caution"

Chinese know this because it was in the elemantary school's textbook

Arvay said...

That's exactly what happened! I used caution and yelled at doggie so as not to get hurt by others. But, unfortunately, I hurt his feelings with my caution. But it was (unintentional).


Arvay said...

Confucius said that, or "Confucius" (speaking as Mudder, *wink *wink*) said that?

mdr said...

Yeah for Arvay :-)

It was Confucius :-)

What means the same in English = "Better be careful than sorry", "One ounce of prevention worths more than one pound of cure".