First thoughts on dogs inside public spaces?
At first glance, I didn’t have a firm idea on this topic. Yet I had a feeling response. So I did some thinking.
I usually ask myself for a variety of responses before I conclude. My daughter dubbed me a Cognitive Complex thinker. Which turns out is an actual term for people who understand the world beyond black and white thinking. Beyond right and wrong, good and evil, and beyond my point of view have become second nature to my mind.
I wasn’t born thinking like that. I came to my flexible and multiplied points of view after years of study. I read and discussed books on Buddhism, Confucianism, Hinduism, Kashmir Shaivism, and Zen Buddhism. Listened to lectures. Attended various Christain churches from Seven Day Adventist, Presbyterian, Methodist, after being raised Southern Baptist.
What is Cognitive Complexity?
“Cognitive complexity is the act of using more mental structures to solve problems.”
The economist J.K. Galbraith once wrote,
“Faced with a choice between changing one’s mind
and proving there is no need to do so,
almost everyone gets busy with the proof.”
Go beyond the mountain of thought weighing us down
Quick assumptions. Fast, but not so true facts. Easy anger. Limiting one’s self-importance. Our past learning. Our failures. These ingrained habits of thought, repeated feeling states, and social boxes restrict our originality.
When following a fresh train of thought, I can go wildly off track. Must say my strong point is not academic writing (though I did that for college). My mind runs best when it can free associate, brainstorm, and bounce ideas off each other. After tossing ideas about on a page, then a voice in my head says something.
Question: “What’s the point?”
My answer: Drill into the feeling layers that make my life go.
But go where? You ask.
Habits of thinking and false assumptions limit our ability to feel positive emotions.
JOY. PEACE or contentment. HAPPINESS. In other words, they limit our experience of aliveness. They make us predictable to our families, peers, bosses, co-workers, students, and people we supervise.
Our subconscious holds crazy wisdom
If we look past our first knee-jerk reactions
An example? Raised in a small northern California town, some common fears. Typical prejudgments of those with darker skin than myself. A universal distrust of strangers. A dislike of change.
A dislike of cities and metropolitan areas, crowds, airports, huge sports stadiums linger. Although I travel to these types of destinations, I can feel my resistance rise. I might be the only person in my generation NEVER to attend a rock concert. The idea of buying tickets can be enough for me to begin worrying about how to go to such an event.
Prefer seats near an exit door?
So, if we ALL have such fears, family dislikes, trained hatred or worry, how do we expect our dogs to react?
This past weekend I viewed an art exhibit, called Truth and Beauty: The Pre-Raphaelites and the Old Masters.
In that lovely Palace of the Legion of Honor, we saw about six dogs. All were on leashes and well behaved. A young black Labrador wore a service dog patch. His person had limited eyesight. She walked to the side of each painting. It looked to me as if only close ranges yielded her a satisfactory view. I wondered what colors and forms she could see. Her dog wore a harness with a specific handle for the blind.
We saw other dogs with no signs indicating companion animal status.
As the afternoon ticked by and the galleries crowded, the press of the art viewers made it challenging for me to keep my personal space. I had to work at not bumping into others. Soon I worried for the dogs in the forest of legs. Especially, concerned about this little dog. Soon, he walked over to stand under his people’s legs.
What more on dogs? Click on Little Dogs Make Good Family.
Add your email to our newsletter list and be notified of more blog posts.
Our Red Sky at Night: Dog Leader Mysteries has six five-star reviews on Amazon!
“Red Sky at Night is a fast-moving story featuring a precocious twelve-year-old, whose curiosity gets her both in trouble and makes her a hero. This book is sure to please young readers (and adults alike).”
Marilyn Campbell, Amazon review
Confucianism Definition: “The way of life propagated by Confucius in the 6th–5th century BCE… Although transformed over time, it is still the substance of learning, the source of values, and the social code of the Chinese. Its influence has also extended to other countries, particularly Korea, Japan, and Vietnam.”
“Has never been an organized religion. Nonetheless, it spread to other East Asian countries under the influence of Chinese literate culture and has exerted a profound influence on spiritual and political life. Both the theory and practice of Confucianism have indelibly marked the patterns of government, society, education, and family of East Asia. Although it is an exaggeration to characterize traditional Chinese life and culture as Confucian, Confucian ethical values have for have for well over 2,000 years served as the source of inspiration as well as the court of appeal for human interaction between individuals…” Confucianism Encyclopedia of Britannica