Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Border Collie Shopping

It’s catalog season – time to shop like a Border Collie!  Border collies and other herding breeds were bred to complete only part of the hunting sequence.  They stalk and herd, but they don’t pounce and kill like wolves and coyotes do.  Herding dogs use their seeker circuit, the part of the brain that urges to explore. Activating the seeker circuit, according to neuroscientist Jaak Pansepp, is reinforcing (feels good) to the animal and helps an animal survive by finding what it needs.
When I browse the catalogs, happily selecting gadgets, outfits, and tchotchkes, I activate my own seeker circuit.  Even so, I don’t order anything. If I actually purchased these items I’d have to pay for them, get them home, take care of them, store them, and get rid of them at the end of their useful life.  To avoid such hassles, I stop at the enjoyment phase of the sequence. I call it Border Collie shopping.

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