The dog had gradually grown senile with age. Now, even though he was recently fed, he would wander back to the kitchen repeatedly to stare at his bowl, as if something new might appear miraculously and finally satisfy his longing.
Perhaps there is something familiar about this, something reminiscent of our own habitual activity, our own chronic search for that one special person, experience, or insight which will do the trick, dispel our doubts, ease the suffering, grant relief, and make everything right, once and for all.
Meanwhile, the dog returns to the kitchen and stares again into his empty bowl. If he wasn’t almost blind by now, he would see his own snout reflected in the shiny metal dish. As it is, he stands there for a long time. Nothing happens.