Monday, January 26, 2009

They Just Know

Dogs are amazing creatures. Without being able to speak our language they communicate with us all the time. They bark at the door when they need to go out. They raise their hackles and let out a low grumble when they hear an unfamiliar noise outside. They raise a front leg, cock their ears and point at something they want to draw our attention to. Their eyes glow when they are happy, and they wag their tail. They dance at the sound of my voice.

But they are also very intuitive. They know that when Todd puts on a flannel, it’s the weekend. They get excited because they know that they will probably go somewhere fun with us. Griffen knows what my exercise clothes look like, and when I put them on he knows he’s going for a jog. (Except for lately I’ve been faking him out and doing the 30 Day Shred at home. He doesn’t like it when I do jumping jacks or jog in place. He dances around me and barks hysterically until I pause, give up on the exercise for the moment, and close him in the other room.)

My cousin told me that her chocolate Lab, Jada, sleeps across her stomach. Then my cousin got pregnant and though she wasn’t yet showing, Jada refused to sleep on my cousin’s stomach anymore. Jada knew that she was no longer welcome across my cousin’s abdomen and took up residence at my cousin’s feet. She picked up on perhaps a hormonal change in my cousin--perhaps my cousin was excreting a different pheromone that Jada understood.

Todd’s been under the weather these last few days, and Griffen has not left his side. When Todd’s lounging in the living room, Griffen gently jumps up on the lounge and cuddles with him. He looks at Todd with sympathy, and gently licks Todd’s face and hands. He doesn't do the "I-am-so-excited-you're-here-I-love-you-now-will-you-take-me-outside-and-throw-the-frisbee-for-me!" endless tongue bath that he doles out on weekend mornings. He makes no demands on Todd. He doesn’t spread out and covertly take up more of the chair. He curls up in his spot, rests his face on Todd’s arm and sighs contentedly as if to say “It’s OK, my friend. All is well.”

And it puts a smile on Todd’s face every time.

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Blogger Unknown said...

It's amazing how intuitive they are. When Kathy has surgery our kitty George just knows that she's not feeling well and he curls up with her or near her and stays with her the whole time. He never leaves her side. It's sweet.

January 26, 2009 at 6:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Petunia got very protective of me when I was pregnant, starting before I even knew I was pregnant myself. According to a friend, you do smell different when you're pregnant, so that's how they know. Beats me, but he was a nurse, so I guess he'd know!

February 4, 2009 at 10:30 PM  

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