A reminder about listening

I am sure that my dog Ginger is as wise as Enzo, Denny’s dog in Garth Stein’s book The Art of Racing in the Rain.

However, even though I understand perfectly when Ginger is ready for a walk or wants something to eat, she has never been the narrator of a book or shared her wisdom with me.

Enzo has plenty to say. Here’s this dog’s good advice about listening.

He would be a good person, Enzo says. “Because I listen. I cannot speak, so I listen very well. I never interrupt, I never deflect the course of the conversation with a comment of my own. People, if you pay attention to them, change the direction of one another’s conversations constantly. It’s like having a passenger in your car who suddenly grabs the steering wheel and turns you down a side street. For instance, if we met at a party and I wanted to tell you about a story about the time I needed to get a soccer ball in my neighbor’s yard but his dog chased me and I had to jump into a swimming pool to escape, and I began telling the story, you, hearing the words ‘soccer’ and ‘neighbor’ in the same sentence, might interrupt and mention that your childhood neighbor was Pele, the famous soccer player, and I might be courteous and say, ‘Didn’t he play for the Cosmos of New York?’”

And we all know what happens next. The direction of the conversation changes, and Enzo never gets to finish his story. This change-of-direction happens all the time. It has happened me, and I am sure it has happened to you. Even worse, I have been the changer-of-direction. I am going to remember Enzo’s story and be a better listener.


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One Response to “A reminder about listening”

  1. Mary Hunter September 19, 2012 at 3:37 pm #

    Enzo does sound like a wise dog. 🙂



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