I have this dog. His name is Brian, and he's a whippet, plus some other skinny-dog ingredients. He looks like this.
Great, right? In that image, it's fairly easy to see that he's thinking, "I am beautiful, in every single way; words can't bring me down." But a lot of the time, figuring out his thought process is a little more complicated. I look deeply into his eyes sometimes and wonder, "What, exactly, do you want?" And sometimes, I express this same quandary by addressing him as "you weirdo." He doesn't mind. He considers this an affectionate nickname because of the love with which I say it to him.
One of the frustrations of owning (or, really, being owned by) a profoundly curious dog is that he doesn't want to leave anything alone. If he had a tattoo, it would be right on the white spot on his chest, and it would say, "IF YOU'RE NOT SURE WHAT IT IS, PUT YOUR FACE IN IT." He follows this rule around the house (socks, shoes, pieces of foam he has previously extracted from inside furniture), around the apartment building (other people's grocery bags, other people's dogs, other people's personal areas). He follows it on walks (cigarette butts discarded by irresponsible monsters, chicken bones discarded by irresponsible monsters, things that vaguely resemble former small animals that I make every effort not to look at very closely). As all dog owners will know well, he perhaps follows it most rigorously when it comes to anything that has exited the body of another dog.
Don't get me wrong — I stop him. I don't let him stick his nose in somebody's Harris Teeter bag and eat a deli sandwich, and I definitely don't let him inspect the parts of any human who is not me (or any human who is me, give or take his crafty efforts to sniff me while we're snuggling on the couch). I pulled him away from what I eventually decided was an ex-baby bird three different times. (That's three full-body shudders!)
But he would. He's dying to. And while I certainly expected it and anticipated it because it is a basic rule of dogs, I didn't, at a very basic level, get it.