In an essay by Daniel Kolitz entitled “Do animals have a sense of competition?” I was very surprised to read the following quote from canine researcher Professor Clive Wynne of Arizona State University: “But everything in a dog’s life is pretty short-lived. It’s over quickly.” I totally disagree, but let go of it when i read it. And maybe he really didn’t mean it as literally as some people assumed.
I thought again about what Dr. Wynne said after getting a couple of emails about it. The first read, “Given the essays you wrote against the argument – the myth – that dogs live in the present, I wonder what you are thinking of Dr. Wynne’s testimony.” In another note, the wrote Person: “I really can’t believe he said that. Has he really observed dog behavior or has he ever haunted or worked with a dog that was molested as a teenager?” When I was talking to someone about whether or not dogs really live in the present, someone who knows a lot of facts about dog behavior, they said that they too are really surprised when people say something about how dogs “according to Zen “are-like” and just live a meditative life in the present, without thinking about the past or the future.
Dogs are influenced by past events and think and plan about the future
I like to think about and study the cognitive and emotional life of dogs and other animals. The dog cognoscenti emails and discussions made me think more about how dog behavior is influenced by past experiences and thoughts about the future.