I don’t really believe in the Golden Rule. I don’t think we should treat others the way we want to be treated, I think we should treat others the way they want to be treated. This is much more difficult, because it requires us to carefully observe others and try to see things from their point of view.
One of the things I like about having pets is that it’s clear that they’re different from us, and have different interests and needs. Right now, I’m living with two dogs, and they’re not only differerent from me, they’re different from each other. Nina, who is my dog, loves the snow and wants roll around in it, run around in circles scattering it around, loves to dig in it. Toby, my daughter’s dog who is spending a few months with me, dislikes the cold and hates snow, and never wants to leave the house if there’s snow on the ground. His point of view in undoubtably affected by his size — he’s a tiny thing with short little legs, so even a few inches of snow is overwhelming to him.
But today the three of us went for a walk that was perfect for all three of us. The weather was mild and the sidewalks were clear, which was good for Toby; there was still a lot of snow piled next to the sidewalk, which Nina enjoyed; and we took a route with a lot of stone walls, which I like to photograph. (At one point, Toby decided he’d had enough and stuck a pose of passive resistance, but after I picked him up and carried him for a few minutes, he was willing to continue walking.)