As writer and teacher Joseph Deumer says: There are some simple truths inside the world's complexity, and the dogs know what they are.
Progress by Cesar Millan September 21, 2014
Greetings from Germany! I’m on the road again with my Cesar Millan
LIVE tour, and one thing that always strikes me about Europe is the
combination of the old and the new. I can be looking at a gleaming,
modern skyscraper in the heart of a city, then turn around and see an
ancient cathedral or castle.
It’s a reminder that one of the key words defining humanity is
progress. We don’t always progress forward, but our species is always
changing — think about how a lot of us update our phones every two years
or constantly have to learn new skills for work.
But there’s one thing that does not change...
How dogs work. Or, more specifically, dog psychology. If you went
back to the fifteenth century and grabbed a human from that castle, then
dropped him in the middle of modern Berlin, he would barely understand
anything that he saw or heard. But do the same thing to a dog, and she’d
barely notice the difference.
This is why dogs adapt so quickly when they’re rescued or adopted into a new human pack.
By living in the moment, what was novel soon becomes routine. Humans
can do the same thing. It just takes a lot longer.
You’ve probably read
the story of how Daddy helped me adopt Junior. Once Daddy made his decision, Junior followed him away from his mother and littermates and never looked back.
Humans have a habit of looking back and of holding on — especially to
pre-conceived notions and ideas. Since a lot of people have the idea
that dog psychology works exactly the same as human psychology, it’s
very hard for them to understand that the two species look at the world
in entirely different ways. I’ve worked with PhDs and CEOs who were
brilliant in their fields, but then could not understand why it never
works to treat a dog like a five year-old child.
Ironically, five year-old children do understand how to relate to
dogs because, unlike the intellectual PhDs and CEOs, children are very
instinctual. They relate to animals because they are very direct in
communicating their emotions through their energy and body language.
Any parent can tell you when their five year-old isn’t feeling well
or did something wrong in the other room. Dogs are the same way. They
don’t lie. If they try to, just like human children, they’re not very
good at it.
I mentioned before that dog psychology does not change and has not
changed for the thousands of years that they’ve been our companions.
What does change, though, is our understanding of it. And the more we
learn, the simpler it is to understand.
People have tried to complicate dog psychology with elaborate
theories and, while they have made breakthroughs in determining certain
ways dogs think and what they are and are not capable of doing, nothing
about the psychology of dogs has changed.
As I like to say, life is simple. We make it complicated.
Dogs don’t need to build castles, cathedrals, or cities and they
don’t need to develop complex languages, cultures or political systems.
Everything a dog needs to communicate is in its energy and body
language, and everything a dog needs to know it perceives through its
senses — nose, eyes, ears — in the moment.
Human intellect has achieved great things, but dogs have an enormous
lesson to teach us. Listen to your instincts, especially whencommunicating with the animal world. That “voice” you hear calling back
is Nature, and it’s the best voice to listen to.
Though much is taken, much abides; and though We are not now that strength which in old days Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are; One equal temper of heroic hearts, Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.
Alfred Tennyson from Ulysses
The AKC is running a series of stories called Meet the 9/11 Dogs.
This is Roselle...
On that fateful Tuesday, sales director Michael
Hingson, blind since birth, arrived for work at the World Trade Center’s
Tower One. Hingson’s guide dog, Roselle, settled into her usual post
beneath the desk. At 8:45 a.m. a hijacked jetliner crashed into the
tower, 18 floors above Hingson. After calling his wife, Karen, and
making sure his staff was evacuated, Hingson and his unflappable Lab
began a hellish descent of 78 floors.
Spiraling down the emergency stairs, working methodically through
smoke, debris, and fleeing office workers, they made it to the lobby. By
the time they reached the sidewalk, Tower Two had been struck and was
collapsing. “It sounded like a metal and concrete waterfall,” Hingson
said. They ran for shelter down a subway entrance. They emerged from
underground as Tower One fell, raining down ash and debris. Roselle led
Hingson some 40 blocks to a friend’s apartment and safety.
In the weeks following, Hingson said, “I was taking calls from Larry
King, from Regis and Kelly, Bryant Gumbel. They were looking for
something positive that came out of the tragedy.”
Before long, the blind man and his sweet-faced dog were celebrities.
“Invariably, I’ll be in an airport and someone will say, ‘I know
you—9/11, the guy with the dog, right?’ ” Hingson told Family Dog in 2004. “It was a defining moment in one way or another for everyone in the world.”
After 9/11 Hingson returned to his native California to work for
Guide Dogs for the Blind, the organization that trained Roselle, and he
has written several books about his loyal companion.
Roselle was the recipient of the ACE Award for Canine Excellence in the Service Dog category in 2002. She died in June of 2011, at age 14, with Michael and Karen Hingson by her side.
Our relationship with dogs goes back thousands of years. And, throughout time, from herding sheep to listening to a child try to read aloud in a library to helping a veteran with PTSD, dogs have been by our sides, through thick and thin, eased our troubles and concerns, empowered us, and saved our lives.
One of my friends has a therapy dog and it is amazing how he just knows who to go to and what to do.
I would like to offer a special message of gratitude to the US military service dogs left behind years ago in Vietnam. I am glad times have changed. Never forget.