Tuesday, April 13, 2010

To Reason .. or Not to Reason?

I am back on my animal bent again.
Reading a great book called "One Good Dog" as we speak, about a guy who was high up in corporate America, with a life that was all that, including a father-in-law with the last name Carrington and a daughter named Sterling. Well, he falls from grace, as is so often the case and ends up on the street (ok, a little cliche). Cutting to the chase, but not spoiling the story, he adopts a pit bull cross from an animal shelter. The metaphor is obvious - a man and a dog both down on their luck get together and figure out what they may have once had may not have been the true panacea. And they can create a life that really matters together anyway.

Chance (the dog) teaches him, and us, a thing or two about relationships, trust, honesty, dignity and dare I say respect. So much of this seems to be missing today as we are all harried and rushing from A to B to C to Z in the space of a single breath.

It's a good book - worth picking up.

It also spawned a conversation tonight about whether or not dogs have the capacity to reason. I am firmly on the side of yes they do. My youngest of 3 Standard Poodles, Tailor, after only ONE incidence of being invited outside to throw and retrieve a toy while I BBQd has decided now that when I go to the deck door with tongs in hand it is her cue to do what she was bred to do - retrieve!

Ok, so that's memory right? That's reason my friends. Cause and effect. She knows if I go to the door there's a good chance there's some fun in it for her. Just like every other smart dog you know who figures out when you pick up their leash it means a walk.

So yes, I believe our canine friends have the full capacity to reason. They also have the beautiful capacity which we seem to lack, of not over-complicating life.

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