Sunday, January 25, 2009

Puddle Shot

It's been raining for a couple of days. Boz and I got stir crazy, so during a let-up we headed out to Hahamongna Watershed Park to let off steam. (There's our steam in the background, rolling over the hills.)

We don't get big puddles often so I took advantage of this one to get a picture, and to give Boz some off-leash fun. (The sign in the background says he's supposed to be on the leash, but I had no intention of joining him in the puddle.) I like the photo because Boz took a pause to look at his reflection.

Dogs react to their reflections in different ways. Some don't notice or care. Others see a reflection and recognize it as a dog, but don't recognize the reflection as their own. Scientifically speaking, they fail the mirror test. But hey, so do we until we come of age (about 18 months, according to Wikipedia).

Did Boz recognize himself in the puddle? I don't think so. In the realm of dogs the fact that he noticed the dog in the water makes him a genius. He held still for a moment, sniffed the other dog, then planted his paw in that dog's face.


USelaine said...

He is cute! I must confess, at the thumbnail level, I thought he was a wooly mammoth going down in the tar pits.

Yes, I know the tar pits are over in LA...

Laurie said...

I love Boz.

This image is just amazing, P. What a gorgeous capture of a great moment.

Blognote said...

He is lovely!! Dogs are often surprised by their own reflection and have the most funny reactions.

Jilly said...

Love it! Super photo and fascinating to read about whether or not dogs recognise themselves in a mirror. I didn't know about that test. From what I see here, when a dog first sees itself in a mirror it doesn't know it's a reflection of himself but after a while, they just ignore it cos obviously it's boring. That tells us a lot, doesn't it! Anyway super pic and commentary and a hug to the lovely Boz.

Bettina said...

What a beautiful photo and what a lovely dog you have.

Seeing this photo, I would never think California. Nice to see you can have these kind of days as well.

Sharon said...

This is such a great photo in so many ways! Very nice.

Small City Scenes said...

Puddles--Whet else are they for but to splash about. Happy dog. MB

Abraham Lincoln said...

It is a happy time or so it looks to me. That was a lot of rain.

Petrea said...

USElaine, I think he was playing wooly mammoth in his mind.

Thanks, Laurie. Boz has many great moments, but I'm biased.

Welcome, Diederick. It's true, Boz is an endless source of fascination to me.

Thanks, Jilly. Boz probably figured it wasn't a dog because it smelled like water. That reminds me, I haven't checked on your dogs in a while.

Thanks, Bettina. We don't have these days often enough lately, but this is our winter season.

Thank you, Sharon.

Hi SCS/MB--There are many beautiful places to walk dogs here, so it's easy to keep them happy (and keep ourselves exercised).

Good to see you Abe. It was a lot, and we could use more.

altadenahiker said...

What a lovely photo, just beautiful and serene, and Boz looks like a wild animal -- a lion, perhaps. (I'm not sure about the mirror test, however. I have a dog that will meet my eyes in the mirror, and seems to have a pretty good idea of what's going on.)

Trish said...

I love the pic! I love the irony of the shot---he's off leash and the sign in the background!!!!

Mirroring is something a lot of animals do not understand. Most often, when they do something like put a paw to the "other dog", it is merely to encourage playing. It also gives you a clue as to how aggressive or jealous your dog is by their reaction to the dog in the reflection.

It is entirely also possible Boz thought he saw something under the water and was tracking it (more likely for most dogs), tho on the whole, most dogs just want to plaaaaaaaaay!

Glad you got out even in the weather, am sure Boz really enjoyed it.

Clifford Beshers said...

I have to chime in as well, really lovely photo.

Vanda said...

I swear my cat recognizes himself in the mirror. He used to just sit there staring at himself, without trying to find that other cat. He doesn't have available mirrors these days, plus I think his eye sight is not as good any more.

Petrea said...

AH, despite the mirror test I think some dogs get it. They may be the rarity, I don't know. I wish Boz was a genius but I was kidding about that part.

Trish, I'm a rule obeyer usually. I use the poo bags and everything. On a busy day there are bikes, runners, etc. and dogs don't know they're not supposed to play with horses (well, Boz doesn't). But in this case no one was out but us wackos.

Thank you very much, Cliff. I like it too.

Vanda, it's never been proven if cats are smarter than us or if they're just pretending to be. It's impossible to know.

Babooshka said...

I often refer to myself as a dog trapped in a feline's body. Dogs have a wonderment cats have diffidence.
I agree with Jilly they recognise then are bored a cat will admire themselves. I'm more the dog. Why being behind the camera interest me more. I really like this image, natural and elegant.I am too much the purist.

Bernie K. said...

Trust me—the cat smart enough to feign indifference is actually a Chihuahua having a bad fur day.

magiceye said...


lovely shot!

Ms M said...

Lovely shot of the hills and fog. And Boz is very cute.
Kittens don't recognize themselves in mirrors either. It is so funny watching a kitten attempting to play-attack the cat in the mirror.

Ken Mac said...

wow, a great photo, composition and all. Amazing clarity in the water. Are you using a Nikon by chance?

Bibi said...

Bibi would love to play with Boz, though she doesn't stand a chance of having a lovely photo like this taken, since she's got an aversion to water. Not one paw will she willing put in. I love your description.

Petrea said...

Thanks Babooshka.

Bernie, have you ever known a Chihuahua to feign indifference?

Merci, Magiceye!

I haven't seen kittens in a long time, Ms. M. They're pure pleasure.

Hi Ken Mac, thanks for dropping in. It's a simple Olympus SP-350. Some day I'll move up.

Boz would love Bibi, Pat. He likes little dogs and he likes females. He's no dummy.