“The eyes are the window to your soul.”
It’s unclear who first said that. I know this because I waited 0.74 seconds for the Google search to return about 48,200, 000 results. I didn’t corroborate each and every 48 million results with one another. But I did spend about 15 seconds reviewing the summary of the first article and came to my conclusion that the originator of the phrase is not certain.
What is clear to me is that when I stare deeply into Kali’s dark eyes it’s like staring into a pool of dark water at dusk with glimmering and subtle refections of the setting sun. I can see her emotions and wants. Sometimes I can see her fears. But mostly I see the unconditional love and devotion that has been present since the moment we met three years ago.
So when I talk to Kali and she answers with her eyes, and I understand the answer, am I simply projecting a logical human conclusion or is she really talking to me with her eyes? I believe it is the latter. Someone who has never bonded with a dog might question my position. But that same person could be reminded of the time his significant other gave him a glance from across the room at a social event and he instantly knew what she was telling him (“I’m bored, let’s go). Or the time his son hit a walk off home run in little league and as the boy crossed home plate he his eyes met the eyes of his dad in the stands (“We did it Dad. “WE did it!”).
But even when drawing upon those memories that man may still question my position pointing out that dogs aren’t people and dogs can’t think in such complex terms. To that man I say, “adopt and love a dog and you will understand”.
So it is for Kali and I throughout the day that she answers me or she herself initiates the conversation with her eyes.
Like first thing in the morning as Kali (not so) patiently waits for me to open my eyes and then stares at me and says, “the sun is up and I’m hungry”. Or when she is so rudely awakened from a nap when her her “little” sister Kloe sneak attacks her by jumping on her to prompt play. Kali glances at me as she rises in defense and her eyes say, “Please save me.” When I give Kali a Kong filled with apples and peanut butter while lying on the ground, tongue probing the Kong for the treats, she looks up and stares directly into my eyes, “Thank you dad I love this Kong almost as much as I love you”. And of course there are the annoyed eyes as it gets close to dinner time and I get the prolonged stare, “You can tell time, right?”
One of my favorite lyrics is from “Mrs. Potter’s Lullaby” performed by the Counting Crows. Adam Duritz writes, “If you’ve never stared off in the distance, then your life is a shame”. That lyric really resonates with me and I might take it one step further. I suggest that if you have never stared off into the distance with your dog by your side who is also staring off into the distance then your life is a shame. There is something special about being outdoors somewhere sitting side by side with your dog and looking off into the distance. A cloud formation may catch my eye and a bird or squirrel may catch Kali’s. But mostly we are just together with no particular goal in mind.
And then after a while I look into Kali’s eyes and silently say, “ready to go?”. She stares back into mine and says, “This was great but yeah, let’s go home”. And so off we we go where we can continue our silent conversation with our eyes.