Saturday, December 6, 2008

canine dreams

We're once again dogsitting Sean's obsidian chihuahua Maqz; Sean's got a gig in New York, and he reasons that Maqz misses the pampering he gets from Mom. Maqz is happy that the parents have a new bedroom; he flopped onto their bed and went to sleep next to me. For my part, I wasn't asleep: I was finishing up The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, and noticed at one point that Maqz's tail was thumping the covers-- hard. I looked over at him and saw he was still perfectly asleep, so I can only assume that that part of his dream must have been truly pleasing. His dream went on for a while and must have soured, because several minutes later, he whined loudly and piteously, then woke up with a start.

I wonder whether Maqz's dream formed a coherent narrative. I wonder whether dogs have any concept of narrative. Dogs obviously have memories (e.g., growling at someone who's done them wrong) and also have some notion of the future (e.g., becoming alert when you're about to throw that ball), but for the most part they seem to live life in the present tense.

For a radical version of that sort of present-tense life, see this post by Malcolm, which is a nice counterpoint to the post just before it.


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