Reading about dogs
In the last few years I've read and learned a lot about dogs. Dogs. Labrador Retrievers. Other breeds. Joey and his genealogy. Books written by veterinarians. Books written by dog lovers. One piece of information followed another and the process has never ended.
The first step was the public library. There were
many books to choose from there, many more than I was prepared
I had to start somewhere. The first book I took out and read was How Dogs Think: Understanding the Canine Mind, by Dr. Stanley Coren. I thought it might help me to understand the canine mind! What, after all, is the canine mind? What was Joey experiencing before, during, and after his encounter with an automobile?
In this book, Dr. Coren said that dogs, being pack animals, would need to hide any signs of weakness or pain from the pack, as doing otherwise would put them at peril and at risk of being abandoned by the pack. Of course, after being hit by the car, Joey would come home and sit quietly, never whimpering, always stoic, his tail wagging in gratitude and friendship.
I read and read and tried to answer the question of the little girl at the animal hospital: Why don't dogs look both ways before they cross the street? Why don't they stop at stop signs?
What I knew from that first day was that Joey, while having encountered, after many attempts at escape, the statistical probability of being finally hit by a car, was still lucky and blessed in that he was alive and - we prayed - he would be okay. We prayed he would be able to run again, too.
That first day when Joey was hit by a car and injured but survived marked a new and more intense relationship with Joey. More my husband's dog beforehand, now he became my dog too.
It also ushered in, for me, a reciprocal relationship in which our dog is not only our friend but we are his, the expression "dog is man's best friend" flips over and man is dog's best friend. And the challenge was on us to understand and to "know" our dog, who wasn't about to give up a word!
For more information about books I subsequently read,
Joey's Blog: We Recommend These Books about Dogs.