Last night, like most nights, we were all lying on the bed watching Murder She Wrote, or some other throwback adventure on TV. Dogs and People. I also had my laptop on my lap, writing or illustrating a version of Kid Wednesday. My level of distraction was significant. The closest body to me, was little Louis. He is always at my hip.
And then. A fly decided to join us.
I swatted at the fly, my hand waving in the air. “Be gone you little beast,” I said. And again, the fly. Me swatting. Fly pestering. Me typing. Jessica Fletcher solving murders, as she wrote. Fly, on my screen. Me swatting. And. Before long, I noticed Louis had moved to the floor on the other side of the room, visibly upset, and barking at me. He rarely-to-never barks.
Mary coaxed him up his little stairs and back onto the bed. He cowered beside her, bobbing his head up and down, looking in my direction.
The bottom line, Louis didn’t like me waving my arm around in the air, flailing at the fly on the bed spread. I was scaring him.
This is highly interesting to me. We’ve had him since he was 8 weeks. He is now 2 years old. In that time, I have never struck him. Not even tapped him. I don’t believe in hitting animals (well, except for flies), and I simply don’t do it. But somehow, in his little doggy brain, he equated that my actions were directed toward him. He was fearful and retreated.
This made me so incredibly sad.
Of course, I snatched him up and hugged him, and quit swatting at the demon fly.
As for Lou. There was a misinterpretation.
I had hoped that he trusted me implicitly. But apparently, in his brain-works, he has reasons for misgivings.
We humans are guilty of this too. Misinterpretations.
Truthfully, most of our experience is based on interpretations. We take in information, constantly, and from there we work to understand it. But all of this “expounding” is based on our past experiences.
The toast pops up.
Our interpretation in most cases, is “Hey. Looky. The toast is done.” And we retrieve that toast, slather it with mayonnaise, layer on the bacon, lettuce, and tomato, and have us a good-good sandwich.
But there are times when this isn’t evident. Perhaps we have lunch with Darla. She doesn’t say much at all, and her answers are short. On our way home, we make all sorts of interpretations. We run the possibilities. “I must have said something wrong. Did I say her jacket was nice? Maybe I should have said it was lovely. Or did I promise to pick up the tab last time, and forget? Was it the comment I made about Kevin?”
Or. Maybe. Unbeknownst to you, Darla was getting a sore throat and not feeling well. She didn’t want to tell you she was getting sick, because you are a hypochondriac and you would worry about getting sick too.
You see. A misinterpretation.
We work to understand the world around us. Most of the times, it is a seamless process. But there are times when it takes more effort. We decipher, decode, and unscramble. We try to make sense of things. To comprehend.
But all we see is some crazy woman sitting on the bed, waving her hands in the air and occasionally smacking her palms on the bed spread.
What’s a dog to think?
In our world, I think it is important that we do not jump to rash conclusions. We continue to gather and assess.
It just hit me, that “assess” is only one letter away from “asses.” Which enforces my point. It is a thin line between understanding, and being mistaken. May your days always be on the side of comprehension.
And before I go, does any one know a good dog therapist?
“The pianokeys are black and white
but they sound like a million colors in your mind”
― Maria Cristina Mena
“A very single fact could emerge into many versions of truth,
depends on the number of eyewitnesses and interpretations.”
― Toba Beta, My Ancestor Was an Ancient Astronaut
“It’s not given to people to judge what’s right or wrong. People have eternally been mistaken and will be mistaken, and in nothing more than in what they consider right and wrong.”
― Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace