Furry Friday: Pets in Mute Wonder

Bella takes it all, but is currently indifferent to it all.

Bella takes it all, but is currently indifferent to it all.

Have you heard of the term “mindfulness”? It informs us that when we look at something, we humans don’t just look: mentally, we often have a script that describes what we’re looking at, judges it, compares it, applies words to it – then takes us in unrelated thoughts.

What would it be to have no verbal part of our brain, and just seeing and experiencing things without words intervening in the process? Well, I wish we could ask our pets, because that’s (I have to imagine) what it’s like for them. Awareness, vigilance, commitment – ​​but no words or judgment.

Today’s collection is made up of photos of readers capturing scenes of pet “mindfulness” — when they’re attentive, alert, curious, or calm, but always in the moment. Yes, there are the usual wordy captions, but I hope the photos are a balm for your busy mind.

Models would kill to own Bonny's steely blue eyes.

Models would kill to own Bonny’s steely blue eyes.

Thank you all for sending photos. Please email me your own pet photos or message me through the Four Legs Good Facebook page. Help Furry Friday avoid embarrassing mistakes by remembering to include your pet’s name and gender if it’s not obvious!

Maggie's open, sunny face has appeared in several Furry Fridays.  She is welcome anytime.

Maggie’s open, sunny face has appeared in several Furry Fridays. She is welcome anytime.

Marcie is far too happy to care about a bite of beach scum.

Marcie is far too happy to care about a bite of beach scum.

Luna (left) and Norman must have been told several times how beautiful they are.  Did it turn their heads?

Luna (left) and Norman must have been told several times how beautiful they are. Did it turn their heads?

Ruby is meditative.  His mantra is unusual: “Garlic bread.  Garlic bread.  Garlic bread.'

Ruby is meditative. His mantra is unusual: “Garlic bread. Garlic bread. Garlic bread.’

Monty's eyes stare at a hole in something delicious someone else is eating.

Monty’s eyes stare at a hole in something delicious someone else is eating.

Focused Waiting: Charlie observes what is happening at the dining table.

Focused Waiting: Charlie observes what is happening at the dining table.

I don't have the name of this beauty, but I can imagine the changing eyes and redirecting eyebrows as events unfold.

I don’t have the name of this beauty, but I can imagine the changing eyes and redirecting eyebrows as events unfold.

This chin down and eyes up pose that many dogs use.  For Bandit, it can quickly be promoted to a watchful and watchful gaze.

This chin down and eyes up pose that many dogs use. For Bandit, it can quickly be promoted to a watchful and watchful gaze.

Koa (left) and Miss Lana drill holes in the air.

Koa (left) and Miss Lana drill holes in the air.

Nia holds the world in her eyes.  Oh, and part in his nose.

Nia holds the world in her eyes. Oh, and part in his nose.

Otis McScrotus (left) emanates attention;  Felix looks around the garden.

Otis McScrotus (left) emanates attention; Felix looks around the garden.

All the senses listening to their environment: Honey (left) and Dawn.

All the senses listening to their environment: Honey (left) and Dawn.

Mitzi (left) calmly waits for her shopping spree.  Riley sits quietly with her dad having brunch at a cafe that wisely allows dogs in its covered area.  As someone wittily pointed out, Riley is my sausage side dish.

Mitzi (left) calmly waits for her shopping spree. Riley sits quietly with her dad having brunch at a cafe that wisely allows dogs in its covered area. As someone wittily pointed out, Riley is my sausage side dish.

Purry (left) requires caffeine.  Sam the Blue Heeler pup is ready for any excitement you can throw at him.

Purry (left) requires caffeine. Sam the Blue Heeler pup is ready for any excitement you can throw at him.

Step Guardians: Whiskey (left) and Zuka prepare to meet passers-by.

Step Guardians: Whiskey (left) and Zuka prepare to meet passers-by.

Two gorgeous dogs in the sun: Frankie (left) and Juno.

Two gorgeous dogs in the sun: Frankie (left) and Juno.

Theo is fully in the moment - obstacles are nothing but fun.

Theo is fully in the moment – obstacles are nothing but fun.

For Linda (left), the scent of her human is a soothing thing;  Honey relaxes in a familiar blanket.

For Linda (left), the scent of her human is a soothing thing; Honey relaxes in a familiar blanket.

Jessie (left) only has eyes for you;  Baxter has some mental space available to think about dinner.

Jessie (left) only has eyes for you; Baxter has some mental space available to think about dinner.

Their names are Whiskey and Brandy, and they make a sweet cocktail.

Their names are Whiskey and Brandy, and they make a sweet cocktail.

Pirate (left) was born with one eye but is nonetheless attentive to everything that happens.  George's eyes are as bright as the center light of a traffic light - be careful.

Pirate (left) was born with one eye but is nonetheless attentive to everything that happens. George’s eyes are as bright as the center light of a traffic light – be careful.

Otto (left) and Mila's eyes are at opposite aperture settings.

Otto (left) and Mila’s eyes are at opposite aperture settings.

Did we talk about being in the moment?  Lachie illustrates the concept.

Did we talk about being in the moment? Lachie illustrates the concept.

The splendid, inhabited and sensitive face of Haggis, who is 15 years old.  He is always welcome on Furry Friday.

The splendid, inhabited and sensitive face of Haggis, who is 15 years old. He is always welcome on Furry Friday.

Lawn Ornaments: Pepper and Freddy are as different as two members of the same species can be.

Lawn Ornaments: Pepper and Freddy are as different as two members of the same species can be.

The Power of Puppy Eyes: Heart-melting Lucy (left) and Alfie.

The Power of Puppy Eyes: Heart-melting Lucy (left) and Alfie.

Persephone is amazed that you managed to pronounce her name correctly the first time!  She hates it when people say Percy-phone.

Persephone is amazed that you managed to pronounce her name correctly the first time! She hates it when people say Percy-phone.

Raz (left) and Spooky take a skeptical look at the world.

Raz (left) and Spooky take a skeptical look at the world.

Lani meets you on the landing, before you get there.

Lani meets you on the landing, before you get there.

Young Billy Ray is still learning to synchronize eyes, ears and nose.

Young Billy Ray is still learning to synchronize eyes, ears and nose.

Fig is a content boy – it's a sunny day and there's room to move.

Fig is a content boy – it’s a sunny day and there’s room to move.

Sasha was found with her brother under some steps – abandoned.  But now her eyes are full of bright future.

Sasha was found with her brother under some steps – abandoned. But now her eyes are full of bright future.

Finally, meet the Conscious Titan.  What could you call his eyes other than titanic?

Finally, meet the Conscious Titan. What could you call his eyes other than titanic?

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