Just reading some articles on TIME magazine's website now, one of interest that had me clicking immediately was: The Secrets Inside Your Dog's Mind.
And one paragraph that got me smiling proudly for dog lovers (including me) everywhere, and a big "Haha!" to cat supporters (although I've nothing against cats, but it seems to be the ultimate rivalry) was:
Hare's later research revealed that while chimps and even wolves lack an innate ability to understand what pointing means, dogs come by the knowledge naturally. They're not limited to reading hands and fingers alone. Dogs understand what Hare means if he points with his foot or sets a piece of wood on top of a container with food inside. Even puppies understand, which means it can't be a skill they need to learn. "This is something that dogs just do," says Hare.I don't know enough about cats to say if they understand pointing or not, but let's say that perhaps you point to an object to a cat, and they don't do anything. Let's not just assume that they are too proud to listen to you or too lazy to indulge you. Let's be open to thinking that maybe they just aren't as attuned to understanding us humans.
And maybe that's how cat lovers like it. Maybe they like having this mysterious creature around that they can't control and who does what they like.
But for me, I like dogs. I like how they include themselves in every part of my life and are such an active part of it. And how they just know how to make me feel better and put a smile on my face, even when they've no idea what I'm sobbing about.
The biggest challenge to the new experiments, Hare says, will be not the giant pack of dogs he'll be studying but their anxious owners. "When a puppy does badly, people get upset," says Hare. "You have to emphasize that this is not the SATs."
Perhaps that's the most telling sign of just how evolved dogs are. They have us very well trained.