I’ve been thinking a lot about narrative therapy and how it helps people to tell their stories. It helps to heal and to move on and to let go of the past. What if dogs could do that? Would it help a dog who was antisocial to be able to tell someone exactly why they didn’t trust humans or other animals?
Izzy’s story could probably be a country song. “My ma left us, broke and alone. My brother went blind and I had no bone. Awwwww, woe is me.” Other dogs would do a rock and roll love song or an aria howled in the highest notes. Some would simply speak their story in rambling, incoherent sentences while others would be Virginia Woolf-ish and let their story fly via stream-of-consciousness. But I don’t think the little ones would moan about being the smallest in the pack and the overweight dogs would not express their frustration about losing weight. A dog’s story would be simple. Direct. To the point.
Would a Pitbull trained for the ring discuss his post-traumatic stress? How about a Lab trained for sniffing out bombs? Would she cry about the stress of the job and the horrible things she’s seen? Would a Cockapoo feel left out because he can’t identify with just one family? And how about a Poodle? Would she write about how no one is as beautiful as she is?
Stories are important, but the thing about dogs is that their story doesn’t last longer than this moment. No rear view mirrors for dogs. Now. The moment. Dogs are true Buddhists. Dogs are cool.
Here’s Izzy being cool.