Really, truly listening


These two girlies aren't friends and they probably won't ever be ...
they're as different as salt and sugar, with different needs
and quite opposite approaches to living in this world of humans
where they depend on us for most everything.
They both crave human companionship
but you won't find them trying to acquire it in the same way.

What do you see when you look at this photo ...
how would you interpret Quinn's busy-ness with her stick
while Isla stands nearby on such high alert?

They are about six feet apart.
I'm inside the house with a long lens - Quinn is watching me through the window
because she knows from past experience [see that light green ball in the right foreground?]
at any moment, I may come out the door to play fetch with her.
Isla, on the other hand, is ruled by a fierce prey drive
and has her attention focused on the lower branch of a nearby tree.
This drive - stronger than her drive to play - keeps her fixated on her "prize" ...
which on this morning is the resident bald eagle who's just landed on the lower branch
of the fir tree on our southern boundary.   She's prepared for a chase.
[Don't worry ... this game has been going on for years ... the eagles pay her no mind.]

What struck me today when I re-found this picture from winter 2012
was how these girlies communicate so perfectly via body language.
How they read each other [I know you're there, but I need some distance],
read humans [I know you're there, wanna play? ... or ... I'm busy right now],
read their environment [it's a cold, frosty morn but I'm so happy in the sunshine] ...
all the while watching for signals to interpret and react to
in one millesecond.

They speak Dog     and
I speak English ...
but I ask you, what language do we ultimately speak together?


  1. Love, and Codependence. Three dogs are in our family. Terry and I often discuss how they are different but in some ways the same and how they interact with each other and with the humans that live here.

    NOTHING soothes my soul more than a quiet moment with one of my dogs.

    xx, Carol

  2. ...the language of love, affection, gratitude....

    ...they all fit for them and us.

    x C

  3. The "language" between dog and human isn't verbal.
    It's all in the eyes.
    How I love to look into my dogs eyes.
    Wonderful, wonderful post Sweet Pea.

  4. We are all of one mind here, I think ...
    thanx all
    for the lovely comments

  5. i'm reminded frequently that my dear wendy retired from earth, and my steps still anticipate her hereness. we learned a language that included many things i've never understood with other dogs, even with friends. but you're right, this language is superior to inadequate words, though words are very very good.

    1. I am hearing you so clearly, Velma. I may have some understanding of what you are missing, too. From the moment I brought the fluffy one home, I knew I was doomed to one day lose her ... that I would have to go thru that and altho I knew it would be as painful as heart pains can be, I still knew that every second I had with her would be worth it. Thank you so much for leaving this heartfelt note.