A pigeon bobs between the table legs with a shawl about its neck like oil while dogs gaze with an entirety of purpose, the sharp lines of their bodies—noses, ears—converging on a human, its figure or absence. Looking at the doorway of the cafe where the owner has gone to order or up at the face reading body language. Seeking to decode the intense web of human social communication and meaning into which the dog is admitted, bred for, depends but floats beneath. Its most perfect yet uncomprehending student. Catching fragments of language, intuiting actions from context and expressions, even bringing foreign knowledge and capability to bear on the problem—smelling the health or mood of the moment. Always a stranger in tongues on his first day in an ancient city. Experiencing that submersion of consciousness in first-hand experience that affects even human minds when we try to build models of new cultures. Dog is always unreflectively present but straining towards mind, model, language, abstraction, theory, understanding, the Spirit. Dog is hovering on the edge of knowing us, desperate but unable. Not our friend but a perpetual Offer of Friendship.
If dog self-consciousness were to emerge, would the new risen thinkers survive the sudden crushing home-sickness that must be accumulating relentlessly?