Can they smell our wounds, sense or pain, feel their intuitive senses far beyond our human understanding, that their pack member is down for the count? These questions resonate in my mind, especially this week, as I faced a medical issue and went down for the count to have surgery. Do you think dogs sense when we are sick?
What I feared: A boundless, bouncy and energetic Cocker Spaniel would greet me at the door postop and thrust his bear-like paws into my wounds.
What I received: A Marcus Welby treatment, sniffing of the wounds, whimpering of the voice, and a gentle ease into my hip, right near where the surgical point of entry began.
Hmph. Just when I think I’ve figured out how dogs think.
This isn’t the first time I’ve encountered a gentle calm and serene demeanor from my dogs; my last Cocker Spaniel exhibited similar behaviors. I felt almost fungus-like to her, with the safe distance she put between us (that or she didn’t like the looks or odors of a surgical site).
Experts and those who have been there-done that have mixed opinions. After all, there are dogs who can “smell” cancer, so why not dogs who sense their owner is anything less than 100 percent?
What do you think? Does your dog(s) act differently when you are sick?
For me, it’s a sense of wounded warrior; one of the pack is down for the count and it’s up to the other “pack” members to take up the slack, stay guard and watch over me. Well at least until a tennis ball gets thwarted my way and Cocker legs nearly land on my stomach.