Saturday, April 23, 2011

New paintings coming right up, but I wanted to share this first. My sister recommended a book called "Eating Animals" by Jonathan Froer. I am enjoying so far and today I read a passage that really stood out to me. I am always talking about the frustration of not being able to effectively communicate with our dogs. Our girl dog Shaka in particular. She often is very obviously trying to tell me something. She will stand right in front of me looking me in the eyes, wrinkle her face into a worried look and whine. Short whines that sound like words. She does it so much I recorded a video and thats what I used to pitch the Canine Portrait Project. Observe...

Shes trying to communicate right? I also am always saying I would give anything for just five minutes of english conversation with her. Or with any dog. Five minutes would allow me to tell her I love her, organize a system of communication, (bark for this, hand signals mean this, etc) and tell her to try and spread the word to other dogs.
In his book Froer talks about this communication barrier better than I can articulate...

"Our various struggles — to communicate, to recognize and accommodate each other’s desires, simply to coexist — force me to interact with something, or rather someone, entirely “other.” George can respond to a handful of words, but our relationship takes place almost entirely outside of language. She seems to have thoughts and emotions, desires and fears. Sometimes I think I understand them; often I don’t. She is a like a photograph to me. She cannot speak what she shows.  And I must be one to her."

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