Dogs live for the moment. They relish each second as it unfurls, and they aren’t prone to mulling over sad topics or fearing, or even thinking of, what comes next. Their focus on the present means they get to enjoy life and they don’t linger on problems.
I know this must be generally true, but I wonder about it sometimes. My dog Sam loves to go for long rides in the truck with me. It is his life’s passion. I think if he were a long-haul trucker’s dog, he would be in paradise.
He clearly spends a good part of his time worrying about whether he’s going to get to go for a ride. He watches me carefully and whenever I do something like put my shoes on or put a jacket on or even go into the bathroom to brush my teeth, he goes into hyper-alert mode, racing back and forth between me and the front door, or the front gate if the weather is fine enough for the door to be open.
Sometimes he’ll stand at the gate and bark at me, jumping up and down.
Sometimes he whines piteously. I am convinced he is actually worried about the future, wishing I would take him for a ride and very unhappy if I don’t.
I know animal behavior experts say dogs don’t think like that, but I’m not so sure.