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Dog Instincts

How Millie’s instincts taught the Guideposts editor-in-chief patience and new experiences.

Dogs, I have discovered after sharing my life with a half a dozen of them so far (Sparky, Pete, Rudy, Marty, Sally, Millie), are learning machines. 

God has given them tremendous instincts, the strongest of which is the capacity to absorb knowledge about the sometimes strange world of human beings they’ve landed in. They watch us constantly, trying to figure out what we want of them and how they fit into our lives. 

Nothing makes a dog feel better than knowing where he stands. “Am I supposed to bark now? Is this when we go out? Can we hurry it up please? Oh, so I’m not supposed to bite my leash even though I really like to. I get it—you don’t want me eat this thing you point at the talking box. Why didn’t you just say so?” 

Human beings have a hard enough time communicating with each other. Imagine how a dog feels trying to get through to us. Have you ever noticed the look of pure delight on your dog’s face when you finally figure out what he wants?      

I’ve been telling you about my experiences raising my new pup, Millie. Because she is so bright and so self-possessed, the process has been challenging. It has also been an education for both of us. Because as we go along, she teaches me as much as I teach her. So take a look at our latest video and find out what I’ve learned about being patient—not one of my strong suits.

Edward Grinnan is Editor-in-Chief and Vice President of GUIDEPOSTS Publications. 

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