Sunday, February 13, 2011

Does your dog have a vivid imagination?

I've grown up reading comics where dogs sometimes fantasize about imaginary adventures. Snoopy as a World War I flying ace is probably the most familiar icon of the genre. I'd always thought of such stories as fiction, and never really considered how imagination might appear in a real dog. Of course, ethologists might argue that a fantasy life is unique to humanity...

...but sometimes Chandler makes me wonder.

Nice eh? Don't worry. That's his Really Fierce! face. He's not serious. Usually it is seen in combination with a play bow when he's trying to tease a cat into playing "swat at the annoying dog" or when he's playing "chase the toy" with me. Interestingly, most "dog people" I've shown the photo to either start laughing hysterically or say something like "what a goofball!" Unsurprisingly, most non-dog people get a bit alarmed.

The funny thing is, when I took the photo Chandler was at the top of a huge snowbank and I was standing below him in the street shooting photos. He was playing by himself at the top of the snowbank; there wasn't anybody nearby. I can only wonder what is going on in his mind during this photo sequence.

"Go ahead, make my day!"?


"You shall not pass!"?

Sometimes...Chandler really does make me wonder.