Animals have these advantages over man: They have no theologians to instruct them, their funerals cost them nothing, and no one starts lawsuits over their wills. ~Voltaire
First I’d like to say that I am aware humans have dominion over animals. God created us, as people, to have morals, values, gifts of the Holy Spirit, a conscience, and we are blessed with free will, just to name a few gifts from God. But I couldn’t help noticing the similarity in young behavior, at least with respect to dogs.
For example, Kyle and I decided to go hiking through the woods, on our usual route this past weekend. This was the first time we took both dogs, Scooby and Seven. Scooby always gets excited over our hikes, but this was Seven’s first adventure. I think the dogs were a bit overwhelmed. As I watched the them I couldn’t help noticing Kyle’s behavior as well. You see, the dogs jumped back and forth on the trail, sniffing anything on their path. Seven in particular was climbing the side of the banks and jumping off. Not to mention he was purposely walking through puddles, just as Kyle has done in the past. Then Seven went out of his way to rustle up the fallen leaves. He went barreling through them, kicking up all sorts of colors. Just as I noticed Seven entertaining himself, Kyle did the same thing. Kicking up the leaves, making them crunch under his feet. It was almost comical.
As we proceeded on our hike, Scooby decided to go out of bounds, and I mean way out of bounds. He was not listening. It was like telling Kyle to do something he didn’t want to do. The dog ignored my order and proceeded on his chosen path. Finally, he reluctantly circled around, taking his good old time in making a big loop before returning to us. It was like Scooby was saying, “You will wait on me,” like a little boy I know.
Once we made our way out of the woods, there is a long road with houses sporadically placed along the side. Making this voyage numerous times, I knew there were outside dogs, a couple horses and goats along the way. I was kind of nervous with Seven, being it was his first experience on this road (at least to my knowledge, I will never know where he went when he’s run off). As we approached the one dog chained outside, I kept close tabs on Seven. He almost ran back to me when he heard the other dog barking and growling. I had a flashback of when Kyle walked past the same dog a few years ago. Kyle left his freedom and ran back to my side, just like Seven running to the adult for protection.
Then, as we moved further up the road, we came across the goats behind a fenced in area. Goats crack me up when they stand on their houses. Kyle started to laugh at the goat who looked like he was king of the hill. Seven approached the goats like a child, looking from afar with curiosity before moving closer to the fence and then jumping around with excitement over the sight of a different creature, or maybe at the sight of the goat on top of his house.
The dogs had an equally great time as Kyle and I did on our 3.15 mile hike. Seven looked like a shadow of a gazelle leaping on and off the banks and through the trees with his hunter orange collar. On the other hand, as Kyle pointed out, Scooby was almost completely camouflaged with his blonde hair butted up against the landscape of dead leaves, bare branches, and neutral colored rocks wearing his lime green collar. Of course, please keep in mind that I was toting a Spider-Man book bag with a Thermos of water, bananas, and apples, around with me, packed courtesy of Kyle.
I know dogs are worlds away from children but I couldn’t help but pointing out fun behavioral similarities. Even though I was walking with one child and two dogs, it felt like I had three children. I enjoyed every minute of it!