It occurred to me yesterday that the perception of time may be apperceptive – that is, it may belong only to those creatures who not only perceive, but perceive that they perceive. Human beings, as far as we know, are the only creatures who apperceive. Consider in psychology some case studies have shown that people can perceive without really being aware that they are perceiving. For instance, when a man can walk around a table, and yet when asked if there is a table in the room is oblivious to it, and cannot ‘see’ any table in the room. Similarly animals perceive their environments and to that extent they can negotiate their way through their environments, and yet they do not really ‘perceive’ their environments at all. However, the perception of the passage of time requires not only that we have memories, but that we perceive that we have memories. It is the apperception, therefore, which makes the phenomenal passage of time possible.
At least, it seems to me this is likely to be true. Thus, even if your dog remembers you, it doesn’t perceive that it remembers you.