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A Dog Without Remorse

I recently watched an episode of Nova titled, “What Are Animals Thinking?

One question asked was if dogs really feel shame when giving that famous “guilty look?”

Is Rumpy remorseful?

The answer? No.

Indeed, Rumpy has never felt remorse for his actions, because in his mind he’s done nothing he should feel sorry for.

Counter-surfing? Scarfing treats? Chewing on a shoe? Nah, he’s not the least bit sorry.

But he has learned to give me a look that I want to see. A look that I perceive as remorseful.

I have decided that is one of his most endearing qualities.

I like how Rumpy lives in the moment. How when he wants something, he goes for it. I like how he doesn’t let social convention keep him from going for what he wants. Rumpy lives by the adage that it’s better to ask forgiveness than permission.

Rumpy lives by Carpe diem

And I hope one day to live by the same philosophy.

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About rumpydog

I am a malamute that was rescued by Jen. I live with June Buggie the cat. I blog about animal welfare and responsible care of companion animals at rumpydog.com. You can follow me on Twitter - @RumpyDog. And don't forget to LIKE my Facebook page! Thanks!

Discussion

53 thoughts on “A Dog Without Remorse

  1. animals are so good at that ‘look’! slinky will show that look when i have to use my ‘sharp,mommy does not like the claws drawing blood’ voice. it’s not really sharp or loud though,just a tone i only use when he slaps his paws/claws at me while hissing :-( i wish i could live in the moment the way our little guys and girls do.

    Posted by Morrighan | November 12, 2012, 1:05 AM
  2. Looking forward to the photos of you counter-surfing and chewing on shoes :D
    Sorry, the images just rushed through my brain there. Seriously, I agree, I wish people could live in the moment and care less about what others think.

    Posted by Long Life Cats and Dogs | November 12, 2012, 1:44 AM
  3. Remorse? Ha! Just disappointment when they get caught ;-)

    Posted by Animalcouriers | November 12, 2012, 2:21 AM
  4. We can learn a lot from our pets. You’re right, they really ‘live in the moment’ and they never have to feel guilt or regret because of it.

    Posted by Boomdeeadda | November 12, 2012, 2:27 AM
  5. http://catforsley.me/2012/11/12/a-little-more-happiness-cat-forsley/

    remember who woofs u :) xx if Dede wants a vid — :) let me know xxx C

    Posted by Cat Forsley | November 12, 2012, 3:04 AM
  6. Well Rumpy, you have living in the moment down to a fine art!! :)

    Posted by CATachresis | November 12, 2012, 3:58 AM
  7. I love giving the sad-face, too, Rumpy. It works every time. It makes whatever we did less “bad” than it really was, and makes our parents feel better.

    Love and licks,
    Cupcake

    Posted by Genevieve Petrillo | November 12, 2012, 5:02 AM
  8. Us doggies are only sorry we get caught BOL

    Posted by themisadventuresofmisaki | November 12, 2012, 5:23 AM
  9. Good for you Rumpy (and Jen)….after all, life is pretty darn short and we all should “go for it” when we can. After all, we’re only human (hahahahahahaha)!!

    Kitty Hugs and giggles, Sammy

    Posted by onespoiledcat | November 12, 2012, 5:51 AM
  10. Rumpy seems one “slick kat”. He has trained his master well.

    Posted by Carl D'Agostino | November 12, 2012, 5:52 AM
  11. Dakota DOES feel remorse. When he has done something and knows i am upset, he will bend over backwards coming over to me trying to seek my forgiveness with many, many licks

    Posted by catchatcaren | November 12, 2012, 6:11 AM
  12. Rumpy, your loving in the moment is something we all need to learn :)

    We have left am award for June Buggie and she can share with you other cats

    http://tylersat99.com/2012/10/14/saturday-update

    Posted by tylersat99 | November 12, 2012, 6:30 AM
  13. That’s why Bach was scared of things I hold. He was chewing boots when he was young. He didn’t know chewing boots is bad, and doesn’t know it until today. No remorse. He stopped chewing boots, because he lost interest in that hobby. But he learned that something is wrong when I hold something and show it to him. I know dogs forget after 2 seconds what they have done. If the reaction doesn’t come immediately he won’t know how the situation could be in relation with him at all. So I was stupid enough to think, showing him the boot would make him remember. One day I was holding something else in my hand and he got scared and ran away. Remorseful look. Bad me. It took me around a year to show him that holding things is not a bad situation, nothing to fear and that all is okay. Nowadays I can show him things and he only does a happy dance because I interact with him and he likes my attention. All is fine again.

    Posted by stanzebla | November 12, 2012, 6:45 AM
  14. It’s great that dogs are just themselves, nothing more, I think it’s what makes us love them so much!

    Posted by Emily @ Adventures of a Dog Mom | November 12, 2012, 7:33 AM
  15. I liked the post, we could all learn from our pets and animals of the world… (*_*)

    Posted by zendictive | November 12, 2012, 7:46 AM
  16. Me, too! I like the way how Rumpy lives and the word ” Carpe Diem” !!! If humans could live like Rumpy does…. :)

    Posted by eripanwkevin | November 12, 2012, 7:57 AM
  17. Makes sense. When Sephi chewed up a bunch of my books while I wasn’t home did she go off to her bed, sigh remorsefully, and dread the moment I would get home and find the mess? I very much doubt she gave it a second thought. It wasn’t until I got home and put that tone in my voice that she started the supposedly remorseful behavior. :)

    Posted by Dawn | November 12, 2012, 8:25 AM
  18. I think dogs react to you; not the bad behavior. They perceive your anger or frustration and the guilty look is because they know you are upset. Even though Rumpy may not perceieve what he did as wrong; or understand the issue; he probably knows that some things upset you; but I doubt if he thinks about that when he is misbehaving; only when you dispaly displeasure.

    Posted by angrymanspeaks | November 12, 2012, 8:36 AM
  19. Seize the day, indeed. Go for the gusto, Rumpy. Those big brown eyes will get you out of a lot of lectures. :-)

    Posted by earthriderjudyberman | November 12, 2012, 8:43 AM
  20. I have the same motto

    Posted by Doggy's Style | November 12, 2012, 8:47 AM
  21. We agree… Living in the moment is a wonderful thing. Human beans have a hard time with it, but we of the feline and canine persuasion don’t have much trouble.

    Have a great day.

    hugs, Max, Bugsy and Knuckles

    Posted by MaxtheQuiltCat | November 12, 2012, 9:53 AM
  22. We love it best when woofies look like they’re smiling!! Yay!! take care
    x

    Posted by Old Kitty | November 12, 2012, 10:21 AM
  23. That’s why I love animals so much. They live in the moment, they have nothing to feel sorry about.

    Posted by Dianda | November 12, 2012, 10:37 AM
  24. OH, those doggy looks. Apparently Molly has decided a palm tree needs to be relocated. We have tried to tell her she is not responsible for landscaping….just into that toddler stage of inching over the line to see what will happen….or the girl just wants to have fun!

    Posted by philosophermouseofthehedge | November 12, 2012, 11:04 AM
  25. Rumpy’s definitley got the right idea and the look! :)

    Posted by Bassetmomma | November 12, 2012, 11:57 AM
  26. I like the adage Rumpy lives by…might adopt it for myself I think Rumpy

    Posted by Jo Bryant | November 12, 2012, 12:24 PM
  27. We like your thinking. I think we need to give it a try too.

    Oink oink,
    Katie and Coccolino the mini pig

    Posted by katiebblogs | November 12, 2012, 12:30 PM
  28. Living in the moment is one of the best lessons that our dogs teach us (I’m still working on it too). The other best lesson is being happy every time you greet somebody.

    Posted by Jen | November 12, 2012, 1:14 PM
  29. I give that look, remorse, whats that..BOL I hate it when she’z cross though, so I try not to do it again..I did say try :) xx00xx

    Mollie and Alfie

    Posted by mollieandalfie | November 12, 2012, 2:00 PM
  30. absolutely my goal too. live in the moment with no regrets/

    Posted by dogdaz | November 12, 2012, 2:37 PM
  31. Rumpy is such a dog. :) A dog with no conscience? A cute dog with puppy eyes!

    Posted by FleaByte | November 12, 2012, 3:06 PM
  32. I’m with you Rumpy…go fur it!!!

    Posted by Brian | November 12, 2012, 3:08 PM
  33. Dogs are so zen…they absolutely live in the moment and like you I hope to be that way someday…they don’t carry around the burdens of guilt and regret that we do and they love and forgive so absolutely…DOG really is GOD spelled backwards

    Posted by Gizmo | November 12, 2012, 5:22 PM
  34. I never can resist that “look.” Sometimes I swear dogs are much smarter than we humans give them credit for.

    Posted by Alison | November 12, 2012, 6:09 PM
  35. Phantom rarely does anything naughty. Thunder and Ciara are the house master and mistress of showing remorse. Lightning, on the other hand, is never remorseful – in fact we think he is usually clueless he has even done anything wrong:)

    Woos – Phantom, Thunder, Ciara, and Lightning

    Posted by Phantom, Thunder, Ciara, and Lightning | November 12, 2012, 6:33 PM
  36. He sure does have the face down though :)! If you are interested in the emotions of animals- try reading “The Emotional Lives of Animals”- it is amazing!

    Posted by Ellie and Edmond © | November 12, 2012, 7:23 PM
  37. I heard that adage on Sunday for the first time about an Australian explorer and apparently loveable rogue Francis Birtles, and thought it does have merit :) I think the look means… fine, if you want it to be a big deal, it’s a big deal… I’ll go along with that like I do everything else, cos you’re ok with me….

    Posted by EllaDee | November 12, 2012, 9:28 PM
  38. Hmmm! Me KNOWS my hairy slobbery sisters goes “Oh! Oh! What did we do now?” when they hear the Mom/Dad Mad voice!
    Kisses
    Nellie

    Posted by catfromhell | November 12, 2012, 9:30 PM
  39. Two of my dogs hear my “mad” voice at something they’ve done and file it away for future reference. Ling Ling, however, does try to make it up to me. She doesn’t feel remorse for what she’s done, but she does feel remorse for upsetting me.

    Btw, chewing up tissues and toilet paper are way more fun than anything else they can name. That’s why we can’t leave toilet paper on the roller anymore and have to inconveniently use two hand to tear a piece of toilet paper off…and put tissue boxes out of reach of Shih Tzus (small dogs) who can stretch to unbelievable heights when motivated :)

    I don’t always reply, Rumpy (and Jen), but I read your delightful antics quite often. Keep up the great PR (for animals).

    Oreo’s, Ling Ling’s and Tilly Tot’s Mom

    Posted by Sandra Bell Kirchman | November 13, 2012, 2:44 PM
  40. Hahaha! I hadn’t thought of that… that dogs live in the moment. They do don’t they!

    Posted by Flo | November 24, 2012, 5:46 PM

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  1. Pingback: A Dog Without Remorse | Catgurl40's Blog - November 12, 2012

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