Imagine the following scenarios and pay attention to how you feel.
One: You’ve just returned home famished after a difficult but productive day. Your heart is set on eating the rest of the fabulous lasagna your mom made especially for you. You make a beeline for the kitchen and the fridge.
Two: You’ve arranged to meet a special friend you haven’t seen for years at a gathering. Your eyes sweep the group in an attempt to locate that person.
This podcast is about researcher Jaak Panksepp’s work with emotions and specifically one he calls seeking. Never thought of seeking as en emotion? As the exercise above demonstrates, what we experience when we seek something may be as potent a feeling as anger, joy and the other mental states commonly accepted as emotions.
What does this have to do with companion animals, their behavior, and relationship with us? While you listen to the podcast and ponder the answer to that, here’s a picture of Frica exploring her, Ollie’s, and the cat’s favorite stimulus for seeking: the spaces between the slats of the pallets that support my woodpile: