Behind the Red Door, we like to think ourselves a society of mutual respect and affection, occasional (!) outbursts punctuating the peace. Snoring from her soft, padded throne, Lucy the dog bides her time, scorning any notion of democracy. Fluffy dictatorship is the order of the day.
Lucy turned five this week. According to dog whisperer Cesar Millan, that puts her at 33 years old. ( see how I calculated her age here)
Humans in that age bracket typically begin to assume adult responsibilities but new research suggests I have a preschooler in the house. Neuroscientist Gregory Berns outlined his recent work scanning dog brains after training them to remain still inside an MRI scanner. ( read his findings as reported in the New York Times here)
The results led him to believe that dogs are likely to experience positive emotions akin to a small child. Accordingly, we should begin to think of them less like property and grant them rights of personhood.
Or was it, rights of royalty?
In another life, Lucy was Cleopatra and we were her minions, fanning Her Fluffiness. She sleeps where she wants and is highly skilled at manipulating a tummy rub.
Lucy may rule but I’m a tepid monarchist. In a recent Buzzfeed list to assess how crazy dog owners can be, I had a mere 4 positives on a list of 15. ( see 15 Signs that You are Obsessed with Your Dog)
While she does join us for Algonquin road trips, there are vacations where we leave her behind:no attachment theory attached here. Nor is she allowed on our bed. That’s reserved space.
Although preschoolers have made visitations in the past, it is currently adults only and I prefer snoring solos to a full blown chorus.
Still, Lucy manages to find soft landings.