An obvious problem with interrogating your dog and measuring the veracity of your posed ideas in the quantity and intensity of licks returned is that dogs tend, like humans, to be most excited about an interaction at its inception. So when I address Five —”Are you really, like, a reincarnated old being of some kind, locked in a dog’s body as punishment or maybe as a reward?”— I get what seems an affirmatively enthusiastic reaction, like: “You did it! Finally he understands!” As my questions naturally grow more specific —the way questions of this sort tend to— I witness correspondingly more muted reactions: “Have you always been trying to tell me?” gets what seems a somberly half-hearted response; “Am I an okay dog owner, considering I didn’t know especially?” is met with an ambiguous, wide-eyed stillness.
I’ve been trying to surprise him in mid-nap with questions of varying scope to break this pattern, but for every engagement that leaves me confident I’m dealing with a sage old alien I have an encounter with Herzog’s profound chicken-stupidity. I am thinking of asking Quora what good questions to unlock or expose the true nature of canine consciousness might be, but I haven’t fully embarrassed myself there yet, so I’ll ask here first: what vast, ancient intelligence looks out from within this bro? And how can I make a connection with it?