Facebook Pixel

Lessons from the Dog

By Blogger
Rate This

Simone is one of our beloved dogs, a black standard poodle. She weighs about 53 pounds and is as smart a dog as I’ve ever known. Part of her job, being a dog and all, is going in the car whenever she possibly can. In fact, she likes to hang out in the car, sleeping in the back seat while it’s parked in the garage in the hopes that she will “get lucky” and we’ll drive off and take her with us. (Right there, you have a lesson in persistence and positive thinking!)

The other day I went to the dentist in our two-seater sports car and she came along for the ride. She stands in the passenger seat, rear-end firmly planted against the chair-back, supporting her weight on her front legs, which rest on the front of the seat bottom.

Living in the mountains as we do, all of the roads are a series of curves; we consider a “straightaway” to be any stretch of road that goes longer than 100 yards without a bend. So off we go, Simone and I, riding the curvy roads on a beautiful day.

As you know, when you enter a bend in the road centrifugal force tends to throw you to one side of the car or the other, which would be a problem for a dog standing in a soft automobile seat. But not Simone. She stands there, watching the road ahead very intently. As we approach a turn, she leans in the direction of the turn so as to counter-balance the centrifugal force, thereby keeping her comfortable position in the seat.

Actually, it would be more accurate to say that she throws herself into the lean. I’m driving along trying to watch this dog throwing herself one way or the other before we even enter the turn, laughing out loud and trying to keep one eye on the road. She was so deep in concentration that she was oblivious to me.

Then it hit me. She is adapting to her circumstances. She is watching the road ahead, anticipating a change in her situation, planning a course of action, and then executing it when the change occurs. A curve to the right, then to the left, another left, two more rights; it doesn’t matter. She never loses her balance because she is keeping her eye on the road.

Pretty smart, huh?

Are you watching the road ahead?

Add a Comment2 Comments


Your post made ME smile! Don't be too hard on your Collies, though, because making a right or left turn is nuch different than riding on winding mountain roads. I don't know how well Simone would be able to predict right and left turns onto different streets; she would have no way of anticipating them and, besides, those types of turns are 90 degrees whereas mountain roads are just twisties; mild back-and-forth motion by comparison.

Which leads me to this: some things just can't be anticipated and you still might lose your footing, but the exercise of thinking about the possible curves that could get thrown at you will help to straighten-out the twisties.

September 23, 2009 - 11:05am

Well, I have collies, who, even after years of rides in the car, STILL lose their footing when we go around a curve. And I'm afraid I'm the same way. Having recently moved (again), I have lost my footing (again) as we settle into a new city, find new doctors, new vets, new favorite restaurants, and figure which exit to take off the freeway. Our daily routine is different and a little stressful right now. And the chaos caused by a house full of boxes doesn't help my ADD.

So I love your metaphor. Perhaps I need to spend a little time each evening figuring out what curves I might come up against during the next day, and plan for them so as not to be thrown off if they come to pass. I will ask myself WWSD? -- What would Simone do? -- and at the very least, it will make me smile.

September 23, 2009 - 8:44am
Enter the characters shown in the image.
By submitting this form, you agree to EmpowHER's terms of service and privacy policy
Add a Comment

We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


Get Email Updates

Anxiety Guide

HERWriter Guide

Have a question? We're here to help. Ask the Community.


Health Newsletter

Receive the latest and greatest in women's health and wellness from EmpowHER - for free!