Thread: Dog Question
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Old 12-14-2016, 01:52 PM
wolfpup wolfpup is offline
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 8,078
Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
Dogs have a sense of their own personal mortality to the extent that they recognize dangerous situations and react with fear to them. Like, for instance, most dogs (not counting terriers, because they're insane) upon encountering, say, a bear, would back down, because they rightly fear the bear. But a dog accompanying a loved one (puppy, human, whatever) who encounters the same bear might instead fight it off, likely losing in the process, but giving the loved one the opportunity to escape.
Exactly. Dogs have no philosophical concept of mortality, but they do have an instinctual one.

One of the things I find the most admirable about dogs is their almost insuppressible optimism, that perennial doggie smile. The don't waste their lives fretting about the future -- they have the enviable freedom to fully embrace the here and now, because really, that's all there is. It reminds me of this quote from Wendell Berry:
When despair for the world grows in me and I wake in the night at the least sound in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be, I go and lie down where the wood drake rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds. I come into the peace of wild things who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief. I come into the presence of still water. And I feel above me the day-blind stars waiting with their light. For a time I rest in the grace of the world, and I am free.