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And they say that dogs have no sense of right and wrong...

August 31st, 2005, 04:46 PM
I've had my pretty Luna for just about three years now. We rescued her from a sad situation in her first home in the Okanagan where she was chained to her dog house night and day and fed table scraps. She was the sweetest, quietest dog, and we've been best friends ever since we layed eyes on each other. The first night we spent together, she was nervous and scared because it was a new home, but in the morning she felt better because she woke up and immediatley jumped on the bed and started giving me kisses all over!!

Anyway, we fast forward a year or so later. We now live in our very own house, just for Luna. She's still an angel of a dog, but with alot more confidence and stability. She always has done very well in the house by herself while my fiance and i are at work, and we've never had any worries!

Except one day...

We came home from a shopping trip, came in the house and expected the Luna welcoming wagon to come barelling down the stairs to give us kisses. But for some reason, there was nothing. So i stand there and stop rustling around to hear if maybe a door was blown shut and she was locked in a room. I hear nothing except a wagging tail hitting the floor. I call her excitedly, and the tail thumps get louder for a second, but still no Luna. I call her again...and still the same thing. So, i kick off my shoes and go look for her. I find her in the hallway upstairs laying on the floor and looking over the ledge under the railing just WAGGING her tail, but looking guilty as sin. So, i start to wonder what she's done... So i start looking around for anything that looks awry, and find nothing out of the ordinary. So i go upstairs and get her standing up and saying Hi, she pees on the carpet... So now i'm really wondering what happened... Maybe she got scared by something? I don't really know! so, i give her a big hug and kisses and let her outside for a pee.

I come back in to put my goceries away and i trip over one of my sweaters that was on the floor. So, i go pick it up and shook it off and dog treats come crumbling out of somewhere in my sweater, so go to check the pocket, remebering that i had some in there from our previous night's walk. I unzip the pocket and stuff my hand in, to notice my fingers came out the other side. My sweet,dear Luna, chewed the neatest of slits in the fabric to retreive the delicious milk bones from within, and was obviously so struck with guilt that she couldn't even say HI when we came home!

I can't say that no one has given her any traumatizing discipline about anything, because i did not know her for her whole life. But i do know, neither my fiance or I have given her any reason to feel so badly!

A tear welled in my eye when i realized what she felt so guilty about, my poor dear!

August 31st, 2005, 05:08 PM
The brain of a dog and their emotions are a little more complex than was thought. I am not so sure about timed complex emotions and guilt. Dogs do tend to be in the moment from what we know but they do have a memory of past events. This newer knowledge has changed our relationships with our canine companions and may be why training techniques have also changed so much. Many of our dogs reactions are directly related to their abilities to read human body language. An example would be a puppy that has had an accident. We notice the spot on the floor, our puppy's ears go down, tail between the legs and they scoot out of the room. We read this as puppy knowing that they have done something wrong but in fact they have read our body language. All they know is that we are upset about something but at what they don't know. It is also common to hear someone say that their puppy did something out of spite. Though they are capable of simple emotions such as happy, scared. I am not sure of guilt, spite. I guess more studies will continue to answer these questions for us.

August 31st, 2005, 07:58 PM
The body language thing makes alot of sense since alot of their communication is done thru subtle body movements and postures.

One of the reasons i love dogs is because of their capacity to love unconditionally. I don't think there is room for spite in a mind that loves this way.

And, i don't think dogs know any better. I've come to realize this in trying to housebreak my newest dog, i'd like to blame some of her accidents on spit, but i don't because i don't really see that she knows better yet.

August 31st, 2005, 08:23 PM
Well, at least she made neat slits in the shirt. :p LOL That was a rather comical story. Willow also knows when she's done wrong, all I have to do is say "What did you do?" and she gets that guilty look in her eye (I don't even say it harshly.

Ever read "When Elephants Weep" good book.

September 1st, 2005, 11:35 PM
hehe yeah, one neat little slit. Just big enough to get the treats out.

sweet dear