Originally Posted by keep it simple
Although I agree Pol, that dogs are centred mainly on the moment, I certainly think they remember things from the past, apply them to the present, &, through recognition of patterns, project into the future, at least as far as the confines of a day. A simple example of a dog remembering that a family member comes home at a certain time. That's not instinct. Of course, you can go as deeply into this as you want, but I do have examples by way of personal experience where one of my dogs has acted in a way that can only mean it's weighed up the facts, & taken a decision to act outside of habit or instinct.
This is simple association. Over time, the dog associates someone coming home on a regular basis to how light it is outside, or to how hungry it is. The dog seems to be happy because it associates the arrival of this person to food, or petting, or something else that gives it pleasure.