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Teaching your friends to heel

dogSANTA FE, N.M. — Most of us — especially in Santa Fe — love our dogs and often wonder about what they think and feel about us.

But Gary Borjesson raises that idle musing to philosophic analysis.

A tutor at St. John’s College in Annapolis, he’s coming to the Santa Fe campus at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 21, to talk about “Spirited Friends: On Dogs and Friendship” in the Great Hall of Peterson Student Center.

“The guiding theme of this lecture will be the meaning of obedience in our friendships, whether with each other or with dogs,” the college’s synopsis reads.

Hmmm… Come to think of it, don’t we tend to like our friends the best when they pay attention to us and go along with what we want to do?

Borjesson is author of “Willing Dogs and Reluctant Masters: On Friendship and Dogs” (Paul Dry Books, October 2012). You can find a somewhat mind-boggling discussion of the book by Diana Schaub at .


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You will encounter such paradoxes as obedience creating more freedom, inequality creating partnerships, and punishment strengthening friendship.

According to the New Atlantis article, Borjesson cites house-training as the beginning of dog virture.

Well, yeah!

As for obedience, my dog has taught me that she’ll do what I want as long as I’m holding a tasty treat.