As some of you already know, someone asked not to pet my service dog because she was working replied, She doesn’t look very busy to me.  As many service dogs do with their partners, Sky watches me to see when I need her.  Even from several feet away, she can dowse for pain.  Because she watches me, particularly when we are out away from home, she’s there when I need her without my asking for help.  She’s there, sometimes, before I know I need her help.  One might say she’s thinking all the time. Thinking.  But she doesn’t look busy, at least not to the uneducated eye.


A seizure alert dog just looks like any other dog, like anyone’s pet dog, even a minute before he detects an oncoming seizure and offers a life-saving alert.  Distract him with chit chat or handling and he may miss the chance to give his person enough time to find a safe place and/or take medication.

The dog who alerts low blood sugar, who helps with balance, who monitors the human heart, who can stop an autistic child from running into the street, the dog who warns against allergens, the dog who helps a partner to get up out of a chair or up off the couch, these dogs may not look busy when, in fact, they are.  Because thinking doesn’t show the way, say, paving a driveway does, or herding sheep.

Makes me wonder if I look busy when I’m thinking about what I want to write. Because most of my thinking is done away from the desk, on a walk, sitting  in front of and ignoring the TV set or just watching the clouds roll by, my dog at my side.

Scan a girl and her dog

I know some people don’t understand that dogs think, and certainly not that they think of anything other than when their next meal is coming and when someone might throw a ball.  But if you aren’t busy, you might sometimes notice how thoughtful and intelligent our dear dog friends can be. Sometimes they reveal their intelligence by their response to a suggestion or the environment, to a crying baby or a lamb buried under the snow.  Other times, their thinking doesn’t show.  They’re doing it alright, but they just don’t look busy – unless you assess the situation and give it a little thought on your own.

As always, thanks for stopping by.