A couple weeks ago Max and I went for an afternoon walk. I noticed the dark clouds gathering in the distance, but thought if we went immediately we could make it. As we walked I noticed more and more the rain and lightening in the distance. I grew worried and picked up the pace.
Meanwhile, Max was just dallying along doing his normal thing. He was smelling all the grass and trying to spend as much time outside as he could. He couldn’t see what I could and therefore had no threat of danger.
Granted, it wouldn’t hurt either of us to get wet, but I’d rather not be walking a dog in a thunderstorm.
Several weeks before that rainy day we were walking after the sun had set. I couldn’t see much of anything but suddenly Max stopped and became very alert. He had heard or smelled or in some way spotted a rabbit. He perceived what I could not.
Actually that has happened several times since, even in the daylight. I never notice the rabbits until he points them out to me. Similarly, we were walking rather late a couple of nights when he became alert after spotting a coyote not far away that I would not have noticed and toward which we were walking.
Max perceives many smells and sounds that I would not notice if he were not with me. And I spot things he would not otherwise. I do not always hear other dogs or people walking up near us and Max helps me get out of the way in time. Max never really pays attention to cars when we cross streets and depends on my sight and knowledge of the cars to get around safely.
Thus, Max has taught me the importance of differing perspectives. He has taught me that I am unaware of much of the world around me merely because of my situation in life. Yet, if I attend to others who have different perspectives from my own, my eyes and ears are opened to the incredibly complex, comprehensive beauty and needs of the world.
So thank you Max for teaching me about my limited perspective and for providing me with a fresh point of view. Thank you for being eyes and ears and a nose where mine do not extend. And thank you for teaching me to attend more to the other perspectives all around me.