Wise Like an Old Dog

By Guest Blogger Cynthia Toney

I learn a lot about human behavior from my dogs.

Recently, one of my female dogs lay in the sun enjoying the freshly mowed grass. In spite of there being hundreds of square feet of similar space available, another of my dogs (a male) joined her and nestled back-to-back against her.

Upon his contact, the female’s ears slicked back. She turned her head and gave the intruder a hard look. Then she got up and left.

In her defense, the weather was uncomfortably hot. I wouldn’t have appreciated another warm body pressed to mine either, especially during much-needed personal time.

But besides being amused by their awkward social situation, I wondered why the male dog had risked intruding on the female. What did the second dog need so badly from the first one to risk rejection? Reassurance of his rank in the pack? Comforting because he felt ill? Relief from loneliness?

Dogs, especially younger ones, often lie or sit next to another dog to learn or to receive protection from the first. Maybe that wasn’t the case this time, but you’ve seen humans do this.

Whether younger or less experienced in some way, a person might awkwardly invade another’s space in order to learn something or gain an emotional benefit.

Sometimes that invasion is a stare. (Dogs stare at each other a lot, which is not considered rude.) If you have a coworker, neighbor, or family member who stares at you while you work, you might find that irritating.

If someone repeatedly hangs around you at the most inconvenient times, maybe you try to avoid him or her. Or you brush ’em off. If you give in, you want to kick yourself afterward. You wish you could be mean and simply get up and leave like my dog did, just to have more time to yourself.

But have you wondered why that person seeks you so often?

sleeping puppies

Photo by Annett Aagot, pixabay

Espionage or other bad intentions aside, consider that a person may consciously or subconsciously need to learn something from you. Even if it’s the manner in which you speak. (Really.) Why everyone seems to like you. Or how you remain calm in a crisis. (You won’t learn that from me.) It can be something neither of you is aware of that draws him or her to you.

Oh, no! There he (or she) is! You duck your head.

Too late! Now you have to listen to problems and offer words of encouragement.

Take this attention as a compliment. You have something valuable to offer, and you don’t even have to try very hard.

You are admired. You are considered wise.

Proverbs 13:20 Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.


Cynthia Toney

Cynthia Toney

Cynthia writes novels for preteens and teens because she wants them to know how wonderful, powerful, and lovable God made them. She is the author of the Bird Face series, including 8 Notes to a Nobody and 10 Steps to Girlfriend Status, and a new series coming soon, The Other Side of Freedom.

In her spare time, when she’s not cooking Cajun or Italian food, Cynthia grows herbs and makes silk accent pillows. If you make her angry, she will throw one at you. A pillow, not an herb. Well, maybe both.

Cynthia has a passion for rescuing dogs from animal shelters and encourages others to save a life by adopting a shelter pet. She enjoys studying the complex history of the friendly southern U.S. from Georgia to Texas, where she resides with her husband and several canines.

Website:  http://www.cynthiattoney.com

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