With the annual Mission Circuit Dog Show, presented by Purina Pro Plan, at Fairplex this Memorial Day weekend, there are thousands of dogs on the campus. The multifarious breeds and barking makes me think of P.D. Eastman’s Go, Dog, Go and its boisterous dog party. As a dog lover, it’s hard to sit here and not go out and frolic with our four-legged visitors. But if I did, what would they think of me? Would they think me odd? Would they recognize my playful side that many humans don’t? Would they see just how happy they make me?

According to a story in ScienceDaily, Emory University researchers are scanning dogs’ brains via MRIs to see how they react to their owners’ hand signals. Eventually they hope to be able to determine if dogs have empathy, or if they know when their owners are happy or sad, or just how much language dogs really understand.

Interesting stuff. I know my dog undertands commands, like, “Wednesday, go get your leash.” Or, “Wednesday, where’s your ball? Go find your ball.” But does she get it when I say, “Wednesday, I had the worst day ever!”? Or, “Wednesday, I’m brain-dead and I can’t think of anything to write for my blog. I need inspiration!”? I think she does.

If you don’t have a dog and are thinking of getting one, or just love to see canines in competition, come out to the Mission Circuit Dog Show this weekend. More than 160 breeds (8,000 dogs total) will be competing Friday – Monday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. The So Cal Portuguese Water Dog Agility Trials will also be here. Bring the family. Admission is free.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.
Required fields are marked *