As it was close to ten when we arrived at Avila Beach this morning, John and Shadow kindly waited while I went to get my Latte; then we walk half a mile to three quarters of a mile or so to the San Luis pier where the dogs can run off leash all day. I had been talking to Shadow all morning about the fact that we were going to take him to the beach, but since the line at the cafeteria was twenty minutes long, I guess he had started to think that I had promised him something that I couldn’t deliver… again.

When we reached the pier in San Luis and I removed his leash, Shadow stood up, looked around, then slowly, cautiously, walked down the concrete boat ramp toward the beach, then stopped, turned to face looking at me clearly asking, “Are you going to call me back?” When I did nothing more than smile at her, she began to jog toward the beach, then ran, first toward the people, then toward her dogs.

When I caught up with Shadow, the people, and their dogs, I greeted his dog first, as is my custom, then the person, asking him about his dog. What type is he or she if it’s not immediately obvious, smiling at the dog, at the people, and at the Shadow? And I realized that this kind of casual conversation, I’m really good at: talking about dogs, your dog, where they were found, if a rescue, which rescue center, as many details as they care to offer. I have an agenda these days: I hope we can find another dog, but when I think about why walking on the beach and watching people play with their dogs is so much fun for me, I realize for the billionth time that dogs teach us. the happiness. . They are the gurus, the happiness experts.

Recently, I discovered a lovely blog called, coffee with a canine and a book called the genius of dogs which is advertised on the marshal site. A title like that was, of course, irresistible to me, so I bought it and downloaded it to my Kindle. Authors Brian Hare and Vanessa Woods say that after us, dogs are the most successful mammals on the planet. Canine research has uncovered an average “vocabulary” for dogs of between 100 and 500 words understood between us and dogs, but recently, research has focused on the almost unbelievable ability of dogs to accurately interpret the behavior of humans. . Hare and Woods turn the investigation upside down on an intriguing claim that his intelligence improved after the fact.

After what fact?

After they used their innate kindness, interest in humans, their genius, developed as a consequence of their kindness. Shadow is the friendliest dog on the planet, ergo a genius.

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