Every day we take our dog, Dozer, on a walk around the neighborhood. Most days we walk the same route and see the same things. He smells the same trees and hydrants and marks the same spots. We usually see the same dogs at the same houses and those dogs bark or yap at him walking by.

But some days he doesn’t get barked at. Maybe we go at a different time and none of the dogs are out. Or maybe they are locked in the house because it is too wet out. Whatever it is, it seems to throw Dozer off a bit. He stares at the yard that usually has barking dogs as we walk by and he seems tense and more alert. He seems to believe that something is wrong.

Here is one interpretation that makes sense to me. A forest becomes quiet when a large threat is lurking. No creature wants to give away its location when it is threatened. Perhaps he goes on high alert when he doesn’t hear those familiar barks because he is worried that he is in danger.

Or maybe that’s the wrong interpretation. Dozer is a big dog and maybe he gets insecure when he isn’t being barked at. Surely, a dog of his size and strength should be seen as a threat by every dog he passes. If he doesn’t get those barks then he isn’t getting the respect he deserves.

Obviously I have no idea what goes through Dozer’s mind, but these are things I think about. And this all leads me to a hypothesis that I’m working on that I still haven’t quite fleshed out. The hypothesis has to do with Twitter and Facebook and social media and getting liked and favorited.

I know I like it when my Facebook posts get liked and my tweets get favorited. But why do I like that? Is it linked to the way Dozer behaves on our walks? Do I feel threatened or disrespected?