Let’s close our mouths and open our ears for a moment. Have you ever been in a dilemma or situation with a person and the drama of the whole thing required an immense amount of conversation just to get one teeny little thing resolved? You each talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk, and then somewhere along the way there is finally a breakthrough where you actually communicate on the one teeny little thing. You know communicate; as in listen to what the other person is saying; consider the other person’s point of view in why they are saying what they are saying; give it true consideration; not talk at them or over them and not dismiss them through the constant injection of your own words, or in a moment of frustration make the “Let’s just agree to disagree” comment. Real communication requires listening, a skill which is entirely underrated and underused. People are so consumed with forcing their own position onto others that they only know how to talk, instead of listen, and to talk over someone else in doing so. It is a tiresome thing to be on the receiving end of it, and it makes me want to be a dog.
Why? Because dogs listen to what is going on around them. They want to decipher the action. They want to hear the sounds of the activity in the lives of those they love. They are interested in YOU and what YOU are saying and doing. They are not egotistical about their opinions and beliefs, nor are they selfish in pushing those beliefs onto others, so instead they tune their hearing senses outward to YOU.
Check this out about a dog’s hearing abilities.
All puppies are born deaf, taking about two weeks before they can even start to pick up and detect sounds. Maybe if we humans were born deaf, we’d learn to fine-tune our listening skills in appreciation of the sound of other voices.
The hearing frequency range for dogs is about 67-45,000 HZ, while a human’s range is 64-23,000 HZ. This means they can hear on a level that we can’t. Do you ever wonder what sounds are out there that we are missing? I sure do.
A dog’s ears each contain about 18 separate muscles for controlling the rotation and movement of the ear itself. Humans only have six. No wonder we lack in our communication skills. We barely use the six muscles we’ve got, and the dogs intentionally keep exercising their eighteen.
A dog tilts its head to locate the source of a sound. See? They are actively and intentionally seeking out the sounds around them.
Dogs also respond to tone as much as to volume or frequency. Because dogs understand speech, tone, rhythm, and pitch perfectly, I believe they are indeed capable of interpreting and understanding the emotion behind the words. Are you hearing this?
It’s scientifically proven that dogs, through their listening skills, are able to understand a vocabulary of over 1,000 words. Yep. Some people still don’t understand the word “listen”, but dogs get it.
Heard of the song, “A Day in the Life” by the Beatles? It is said that Paul McCartney recorded the sound of a high-pitched dog whistle at the end of the song in honor of his sheepdog. No, humans can’t hear it, but play it for you dog to see if you get a reaction.
The encouragement in this post is to dare you to be silent for a moment. Maybe you need some silence anyway to regroup your own thoughts for a more practical moment when you can share them in a constructively communicative way. There’s so much noise, noise, noise out there, right? Take a step back, find some quiet time, sit alone with your dog and just let things be.
Then, only when you’re ready…listen. Really listen to what is important. For me, it would not be the commentary on the TV, nor would it be the latest dispute or gossip or brew-ha-ha at work. For me, it has always been things like the sound of my husband’s heart beat when he holds me at night or the deep rumble of his voice when he tells me about his day (special note: I’m listening to him tell me about his day). Another wonderful sound was the deep, relaxing sigh Molly would always give when she curled into her little sleep ball. It was so comforting and it let me know everything was alright in our little world in our little house.
Those are the important sounds. Those are the sounds worth making and worth hearing.
Beaumont: Louise! Louise!…. you dead? Me: No Beau. I’m in Savasana pose. Beau: You look it. Me: What’s that supposed to mean? Beau: It ain’t called ‘the corpse pose’ for nothing Louise Me: Oh wow. You know that? Beau: You know Yoga was invented by dogs. Right? Me: Ummm…. really? Beau: Yup. Yog. Dog. We […]
Part 3 of Amazing Dog Facts is all about the eyes. They say the eyes are the window to the soul, and this is probably the truest of dogs. Dogs just have a way of making you think they are these old and wise sages. Even when they are young, their eyes can convey wisdom and altruism and an exceptional awareness that makes us mere humans seem like nincompoops. And well, some humans are total nincompoops, but let’s get back to the topic.
Where do dogs get this altruistic, wise consciousness? From God, of course. But what made God decide to put all this appearance of wisdom into the eyes of a dog? Maybe because it’s not an appearance. Maybe dogs really are wise, old sages even as puppies. It is not so hard to believe, as there is plenty of proof in some real-life stories. That will be another post when I’m ready to talk about amazing hero dogs.
In the meantime, enjoy these facts about the eyes of a dog.
A dog’s eyes have a part called the tapetum lucidum, allowing night vision. This is a light-reflecting layer located behind their retinas.
Dogs are not colorblind and actually can see an array of colors. The difference is the colors that dogs see are not as vivid or distinct as the colors a human sees. It is very similar to what it looks like to humans at dusk.
Puppies are born blind – it takes two weeks for newborn puppies to open their eyes.
Dogs have three eyelids. Both interesting and true, the third lid is called the nictitating membrane, and it is responsible for keeping your dog’s eyes lubricated.
All of that is true. It is likewise true that for every Molly who found a furever home on Earth and a loving family, there is another Molly in need of one. Note to self: research for a blog on homeless dogs. I can be a loving home to a dog in need, I know I can. But I also know I can offer and be more to dogs in need by donating my time and money to animal shelters and other animal non-profits. Right now, that is what my eyes see. Someday, my eyes may lock into those of a puppy or dog and we may connect just like Molly and I did. I hope so. My eyes will forever see that magical moment of first meeting Molly because it marked itself on my heart; she saw through to my soul and I saw hers.
Can my eyes do that again? Make that connection with another dog? Yes, we will see. Molly and I and a new-doggy-sometime-in-the-future will see.
I hope you are enjoying these little tidbits. I also hope you are finding comfort in loving your pets or remembering special moments with your pets. Lastly, if there is something you can do to help an animal in need, I hope you are finding comfort in performing that task too.
Part 2 of Amazing Dog Facts is now ready, and it’s a simple little rundown of how dogs are so much better at using their noses than humans. I can think of plenty of instances where people needed to keep their noses to themselves and where dogs actually saved the day with theirs. Lessons learned here, my friends, lessons learned.
Enjoy, and God Bless!
Noseprints are to dogs what fingerprints are to humans. That’s right. Those noseprints on your car windows and front door glass are a uniquely identifiable work of art from God and your dog, made special just for you. Don’t be too quick to wipe away the gift.
Want to know why a dog’s nose is always wet? Well, google has the answer. It makes it easier and better for absorbing chemicals when trying to detect specific scents. The chemicals can stay attached to the nose allowing the dog to better recognize it and determine if it is a match to something, where it came from and the direction it next went.
A dog’s nose has as many as 300 million receptors for detecting scents. In comparison, a human nose has between 3 and 5 million, making a dog’s sense of smell up to 10,000 times better than a human’s. The smell center of the dog’s brain is also 40 times larger than a human’s. You know, to hold all those receptors.
While busy sniffing around to pick up all those aromatic currents, a dog can still breathe. (Sniffing and breathing are not really the same thing, and until writing this post, it never once occurred to me that I cannot sniff and breathe at the same time. Ever since, I’ve been trying to do it. You know, like seeing if I can rotate my right foot in one direction and my right hand in the opposite. I can’t do it.)
On the delicate subject of butt-sniffing, dogs do it to each other because it is where all the pheromones are. Now you know, if you didn’t already.
Dogs are so good at sniffing things out, they are even used to detect cancer and other diseases in humans.
What does my nose know? For a long, long time it knew Molly’s scent that remained on her blankets and babies still in the house after she was gone. It knew her unique blend of doggy and fluffy love that clung to my sheets and pillows. I loved being able to pick up one of her babies and, breathing in deep, recapturing the memories. After all this time, the scent that was wholly and specially Molly doesn’t kick in for me anymore, but the memories are all still there. The habit is there too. I never retire to bed without picking up the baby on the fireplace mantel by her picture, giving it a kiss and a sniff, telling her I love her and miss and I’m sorry for not being a better doggy mommy to her. Yes, I do still berate myself for missed playtime, for leaving her alone when I went to the office (what fun we’d be having now that I mostly work remote), for not taking more walks, for all kinds of things.
It isn’t a question of whether she was loved or knew she was loved. The love was and still is there by leaps and bounds. It’s the heartache of knowing there isn’t a chance to play or go for walks with her anymore alongside knowing…I could have played one more time that day when she wanted to…I could have gone for one more walk that evening when she wanted to…but I didn’t.
Dogs, man. They’re great. I’ve always been a dog person. It’s actually one of my better qualities. Quite honestly, at the risk of sounding like one of those stupid tshirts you see on Instagram, I really do think there are two kinds of people in this world: dog people and wrong people. Don’t get mixed […]