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A Few Líneas – less than 200-word posts on everyday trivial and not-so-trivial observations, by Dharma E. Cortes.
Am I so in love with my dog Frida that what I describe as her human-like gaze is an anthropomorphic attribution on my part? Could it be possible that her intense gaze is part of her canine behavioral repertoire? No one needs to tell me that Frida and I spend way too many hours together, but is it our proximity what makes me believe that she looks at me in a very unique way, especially when she makes eye contact with me or when I take pictures of her and she looks straight into the lens?
I got some answers to my questions and learned a few other things about her from reading “Inside of a dog: What dogs see, smell and know,” by Alexandra Horowitz. I learned that Frida is more of an anthropologist—a canine anthropologist per Horowitz’s description— than me who actually trained with anthropologists. As a good representative of her species, Frida observes me more than I observe her, pays attention, and is a disciplined watcher of my behavior.