Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Salmon Dance

"Even in the case of the breeds of the domestic dog...it cannot be doubted that there has been an immense amount of inherited variation; for who will believe that animals closely resembling...the pug-dog--so unlike all wild Canidae--ever existed in a state of nature?"   
-Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species, Chapter 1: Variation Under Domestication

You remember my dog, right?


It's somewhat hard to forget about her.    


People have asked me a lot in the past why I write about her so much.  But, I have to say I probably get the same amount of people asking me why there wasn't an update about her the prior week.  I figure if half the population of readers out there are happy then I can neglect the other half.  I mean, that's normal right?

I wasn't sure.  So, while mulling over this all I happened to stumble upon the above quotation whilst cracking into The Origin of Species.  I then figured, if Charles Darwin can use pugs as a form of criteria for the foundation of the theory of natural selection verses domestic variation, I can use her as a reference guide for my day to day issues in life.  

Moving on.

Natural Selection Does Not Work As A Pick Up Line

I have the tendency to not be aware of the delineation between big moments and small moments in life.  I also have the inability to calmly, rationally react to any form of attention from women--particularly those that I've never met before.

As an example, a nice girl the other day gave me a free chocolate-dipped strawberry.  I became uncomfortable by the attention and felt a swelling urge to respond.  Yet, instead of using the normal words like "thanks" or "if I had a strawberry I'd give it to you too" or even "here is my apartment key," I proceeded to explain how the domesticated strawberry has most likely evolved through our ancestors choosing which berries to eat (and thus, ingesting selected seeds) and then defecating the remains into the earth, which helped prompt the selected seeds to germinate and reproduce a descendant of the choicest berry.


I'm learning it's sometimes best to keep what I'm learning to myself.  She managed to laugh off the fact that I had single-handedly destroyed her kind gesture and left me to my fruit, which then seemed unfortunately covered in chocolate.   

After that experience, I wondered what it would be like if I didn't react so quickly and strongly to human interactions.  I sometimes wonder what it would be like to not become over stimulated by things that are honestly simple in nature.  Fruit gift or no fruit gift, it'd be nice to know I could at least be nice in response as opposed to referencing biological studies and Guns, Germs and Steel

In other words, I've noticed I've lost the ability to see to the heart of things for what they are (positive as opposed to negative attention, low key verses highly charged interaction) and also how to enjoy them when they're happening.  My dog, Miss Woo, has yet again beaten me to the punch.

Pug Vision

The focus my dog has when it comes to the important stuff is something to behold.  She might be the evolutionary equivalent to a small meteorite crashing into the earth and smashing a couple smaller mammals along the way, but her ability to see to the heart of what's important is truly revolutionary.  

I think the best way to explain this is pictorially. 


Now, let's tweak it a bit.


Ok, so her idea of important is synonymous with "edible" but I think she's onto something.  There is something so zen about being utterly honest with what you want and why you want it.  


Example A:

If you have food she's interested in you.

If you don't have food, she isn't.

The last time I was that honest and direct with my wants was childhood.  But, perhaps there's something to that.  Perhaps my dog is onto something--perhaps celebrating the excitement you have and really celebrating when you're truly excited is the way to go.

With that, I leave you with an additional Woo Update:





We like to call this her Salmon Dance because we put fish oil in her food to help keep her healthy.  


She likes to call this THE BEST TIME EVER SINCE EVER. 


-Beryl

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