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Buddy Regrets his Actions, and Apologizes.


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So, I just brought Buddy in from a long walk in a cold rain. I took off his collar and was using a big fluffy towel to dry him. His tail was arched up over his back, and I threw the towel over him and then leaned on him, accidentally catching his raised tail in the towel, and twisting it painfully. Buddy let out a low warning growl, and I freed his towel.

 

Immediately, he leaned in toward my face and gave a few long, slow laps on my cheek. The gesture was just so obviously a comment: "Hey, sorry I growled at you there, and thanks for fixing that - we good?"

 

I <3 my boy. ::Sigh::

 

Mary

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Sweetness :rolleyes:

 

I've seen Truman do that to his little 2 year old friend (human). If she accidently steps on him when he doesn't see her he may bark or startle her by a quick turn and grumble but when he sees who it is he comes up for *kisses* as if to apologize. We should be so quick to apologize for being snappy!

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They're so patient and forgiving with us. Every day I am reminded how much, much longer it takes us humans to get over something that a dog recovers from in milliseconds, if they even react at all. In my house, one dog or another is continually getting bumped, poked in the eye, tripped over, or whatever - always unintentionally - and the vast majority of the time they don't even acknowledge that it happened. On the other hand, when something like that happens to us we cannot seem to stop ourselves from assuming the perpetrator of the act did it intentionally and we bristle and shout and snarl and scowl.

 

When I grow up, I want to be a dog :rolleyes:

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My BCX Ru apologizes for things by lowering his head to the left side in a bow. He has always done it -- even when he was just a bit more than a pup. If he gets into mischief and I have to tell him that he's done wrong -- bow to left side -- sorry Mom, I won't do it again. He's my wonderful gentleman!

 

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What you're describing sounds like "calming signals" not apologies. Apologies imply that the dog "knows" it did something bad and wants to make up for it. That's just not in canine vocabulary.

 

Well, I could counter-argue that human apologies are just magnified and sophisticated "calming signals." :rolleyes:

 

Animals are not humans - but humans are most definitely animals. If a dog knows to give "calming signals" to another mammal after an encounter in which there's conflict, it seems to me that it's not much different from what we do to each other. All in proportion, of course, to our respective nervous systems, social structures, linguistic abilities, and different ways of intaking information from the world.

 

I've always felt that the need to reduce dog behavior to simple instinct (something "less"), while we assign our own mammalian behavior lofty or superior motivations is a bit of human self-aggrandizement. We've got the intense language centers in our brains and the opposable thumbs - but to an alien anthropologist studying Earth, I suspect we wouldn't look too different from the other mammals running around the planet. Apologies and all.

 

Mary

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