It’s hard to say whether dogs are philosophical observers of the universe around them, wondering at the world as it flits past their existential mindset … or if they are simply easily distracted.
I think I’d like to think it’s the former.
My dog and I go on three walks a day lately. This time last year, just as the snow was starting to fall, she was a two-month-old puppy and was limited to exploring the world on a short leash in the containment of our backyard.
A year later, and we’re touring the neighbourhood by foot with regularity, often meeting new people and new dogs, stopping to sniff virtually anything … well, she does most of the sniffing.
I’m not oblivious to the world around me, but after forty-five years something as mundane as a patch of grass sticking from the snow or a blue jay sitting on the branch of a tree is ordinary enough that I think my brain just naturally tunes it all out.
But not her.
Everything is a curiosity. Everything is worth stopping and savouring. If that’s not the definition of existential delight at the world … and if we can’t learn a even just little bit from that .. I don’t know what else there is to say.