I’m not sure yet of the advantages of owning goats. (Besides the sheer comedic value of having Aunt B ring you up and make baaah bah noises) But, here I am, with two recently weaned kids. They are both female, and I have named them, (over strenuous objections from my children) Thelma and Louise.
I don’t why I’m thinking about this, but I have a question for you egghead academics out there: Do animals have any sense of relativity? I ask this for a couple of reasons. We have many rescue animals here at Coyote Creek. Three dogs, two cats, and now, two goats. (Our horses are NOT rescue animals, and are, in fact, descendants of a highly prized bloodline…sniff) Anyway, like many people, we enjoy our pets, and I think we are pretty responsible owners. (My brother can’t stand the fact that I let my dogs and cats live outside, he thinks its too dangerous for them. I argue that most animals would trade a shorter lifespan for the freedom to run and be, well, animals, than for a longer life lived indoors.)
So, I’m wondering a little about what animals are capable of processing. For instance, I read somewhere that dogs possess no sense of time, that is, when you leave them for 1 hour or one day, its all the same to them. Ok, that could be true. Cats, of course, are a mystery, partly because most cats act like they could care if you live or die. My cats, however, behave like dogs, and follow me around the farm, hanging out like the dogs do.
Lets say you rescue a dog, or, a goat, from conditions so bad it would make Michael Vick cry. Do you think that animals possess the ability to compare their situations? Do they think, wow! This is way better than where I was yesterday. I don’t think they do. I don’t think there is a yesterday for animals, or, even an hour ago. I think they totally live in the moment. Aside from the rare parrot that might pine for the fjords, I don’t believe animals remember where they were before you got them.
I know my dogs are as happy to see me return from a trip to the mailbox as they were when I returned from my mission with the Peace Corps. (ok, I never actually went on a mission with the Peace Corps, but my neighbors ex-wife’s cousin’s fiancee knew someone that did) But my dogs, and weirdly, even my cats act happy to see me every single time i return from anywhere. This tells me two things:
1. My pets are lousy judges of character.
2. They have no clue how long I’ve been gone.
Heres where my “theory” falls apart. The Dangerous Little Pomeranian is as reliable as a Swiss watch. He knows, somehow, when it is time to get up, and when the kids should be up, and, when to stand by the door to take the kids to the bus. He knows when it is 2:45, and time to pick the kids up at school. That tells me they understand routine. He isn’t tall enough to see our clock, so…how does he know? And, if there isn’t a yesterday for him, how does he “get” routine? See what i mean? Its all very confusing. Somehow, this should have been part of my training as an Eagle Scout. (alright, i wasn’t ever an Eagle Scout, but I sold a car to one once)
I promise I’m not high.