Curiosity

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Reflections on the canine quality of curiosity, courtesy of Grace, a senior Plott Hound living with BioStar’s Rick Moore…

It’s a big world out there.  Some of you probably knew that, but I didn’t.  At my old home I could see beyond my pen, but wasn’t allowed out.  And why would I need to get out?  I had food, even if it was never quite enough, and water, fresh from the hose several times a week.  I could lounge in the sun at the end of the fence or crawl inside my box when it rained.  Not the best life, but who knew?

My world was small but it was what I had.  It was what I knew.  I could see the trees across the field but I couldn’t reach them.  I knew the cars continually taking my puppies had to come from somewhere, but I couldn’t see beyond the driveway.  Curiosity about the world tends to wane when you have the same view every day.

But then things changed.  I had a chance to wander the field when no one was looking.  I sniffed my way down the driveway just to look around.  I made a run through those trees before anyone noticed.  My world was growing larger every minute, and I was curious.  There were new smells and different sounds and unusual tastes, and before I knew it I was in an entirely new place, lost and uncertain—something that happens pretty frequently when you walk around with your head down.

Someone stopped to help, but no one could find my original home. That was okay; I was curious about what else the world offered.  I finally got to sleep indoors, with a true bed.  I got to play with other dogs.  I experienced a “treat”, which was odd because I had always thought of food as a ration—something to grab and consume as quickly as possible, no tasteful enjoyment expected.

My world has expanded. I’ve seen a number of places since leaving that pen: a shelter, my foster house (thanks Pam!) and now my everyday place. I’ve experienced the joy of a dog spa and the superdeliciousness of a carrot.

Curiosity.  It’s what makes me stick my nose in the fridge to see if there’s anything available for me.  It’s what leads me off the beaten path and into the woods when walking.  Curiosity has me asking what you’re doing and when can I join in. I’ve visited the suburbs, the city, the mountains and now the ocean.  In the past I might have thought I’d reached the end of my world.  Now I’m just curious what’s on the other side.

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