it was an old blind dog on its last paw of life. this arthritis airdale terrier spent most of its days laying down. its owner, a forensic psychiatrist, would bring the dog to work.
this psychiatrist reported on one of my legal cases. occasionally, i would depose the doctor. a deposition is an informal court process in which the parties ask a witness questions under oath. a depositions usually has two attorneys present. therefore, lawyering strategies and tactics will occur during the inquiry. strategies and tactics may involve stoking the emotions of the witness or opposing attorney.
i went to the psychiatrist’s offices for this deposition. in the doctor’s personal offices was three chairs. two chairs were the attorneys were to sit at the one end of a large carpet, and one chair at the other end where the doctor was to sit.
in between the chairs, on the carpet, lay the old blind dog in near somnolent state.
the doctor was sworn in and the deposition’s rhythms started. the questions, objections and answers started to flow. as things got a little emotional and voices started to get louder, the dog’s giant head around out of what was apparent slumber. the dog appeared to communicate via its stare a “what’s going on here?” look. both opposing counsel and i became handcuffed. we both ramped down and de-escalated our exchange to bring it down a notch. all for the benefit of this pitiful beast.
this animal perhaps controlled the room on the level of a skilled judge.
thus, this episode led me think. how did the dog do it? this dog perhaps changed individuals’ conduct for the better. while we may have the ten commandments and bible concepts in our minds during the day, there are other its that may shape our conduct. perhaps, if the dog had not been in the room, and all parties present had more respect of each other as part of god’s creation, we may have not required to have this dog in the room to remind us about the nature and goodness in the world that should impact our conduct.
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