Real Stories From Dog Owners: Can Dogs Sense When People Need Them?


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Can Dogs sense when owners need them? I think some can. Here are some comments from dog lovers ...

Izabelle Knew Who Needed Her Most

Yes, dogs do sense when people need them. I have seen it in action with my Golden Retriever "Izabelle" on our therapy visits. When she was just nine months old we went to visit the residents at a nursing home with a therapy dog group. The residents were brought into a room and we took the dogs around to meet them. Izzy kept trying to make her way over to a gentlemen sitting by the door in a wheelchair. None of the others in our group was paying any attention to him. Finally she just pulled me over to this man. She sat down beside his chair and laid her head in his lap. He tried to pet her but his hands kept shaking, so she gently laid her head on his hands to stop the shaking and just sat there with him like that for the longest time. He lowered his head to her ear and kept whispering to her "beautiful baby" he kept repeating that in a whisper over and over to her. I looked up at the nurse standing behind his wheelchair and she had tears in her eyes. It seems this gentlemen had not spoken a word to anyone or anything in the four months he had been in the home. She was so happy that my Izabelle had brought some comfort and joy back into his life. When we went to leave, he touched my hand and thanked me for bringing Izabelle to meet him. She seems to have a gift for knowing the one person who needs her the most when we visit nursing homes.

Wendy Young and Izabelle from Lakeland, Florida

Tui Could Sense a Seizure

My brother's dog, Tui, is a 4 year old Irish Wolfhound x Dalmatian. On their way to move interstate they stayed a few nights at a friends house. This friend has 'fits' like epilepsy, but caused by physical abuse as a child. One morning the friend came home after night shift and as usual, gave Tui her breakfast and sat down to relax before going to sleep. On this morning Tui didn't eat her breakfast (which is very unusual) and stuck very close to our friend. A couple of hours later our friend regained consciousness after having a 'fit' with Tui laying quietly next to her. She still hadn't eaten her breakfast. This event confirmed my belief in animal therapy and companionship. Tui is really a gentle soul in a giant's body!


There are Two Kinds of Dogs that Can sense when Someone Needs Them

I believe there are two "kinds" of dogs that can sense when someone needs them. The first is that special dog that just has the knack and can sense needs in people it doesn't know. The second is when you bond with your pet so tightly that he senses those needs. I find this very true in rescued dogs, perhaps more so because I rescue Boxers.

My Murphy came to me as a scared, frightened 2 year old boy and had been abandoned to live outside and suffer the consequences of thunderstorms, winters and loud noises. I was diagnosed with Systemic Lupus many years ago and it has progressed to a point that I frequently have difficulties getting out of a chair, and certainly off the floor, due to the pain. It took Murphy 2 years to find his confidence and happiness but he did and we were joined not only at the hip but also in the heart. As my disease progressed I noticed Murphy coming to me when I was feeling un-well and then when I was struggling out of chairs. He would softly lay his head in my lap or stand quietly by me. I eventually caught on to what he was trying to show me and put my hand on his back as he got as close to me as possible so that he could help. With Murphy my heart not only grew but my mobility increased.

Sadly, Murphy passed away in November of 2007. A greater loss has never been experienced in my home but I should have known Murphy would send me Jesse who reads my Lupus almost as well as Murphy!

Dawn Lynch

When MY Husband Was Dying

When my husband was in a hospice dying, they allowed me to bring his dog, Rocket, to visit him in his final days. The bed was designed so that it could be lowered to the floor level so he could hold and love on his dog. Somehow Rocket sensed that this was his final time to see his best friend. My daughter took Rocket home that afternoon. When Rocket entered the house, he ran to my husband's chair and climbed up in it. He then proceeded to howl. He had never done this before and never did it again. My husband died the next day. I would send you a picture of Rocket, but unfortunately he, too, has passed on. Since my husband desired to be cremated, I also had Rocket cremated and their ashes were spread together.

My Dog was There when Disaster Struck

Two years ago our Shepherd/Husky cross Riley was only 7-8 months old when disaster struck. My wife Sharon blew two discs in her back, and was laid up for weeks in terrible pain.
During the ensuing x-rays and treatment, it was discovered that she had early stage breast cancer. As it turns out, the back injury probably saved her life. But now she was terrified as well as in pain. As she laid on the couch trying to find a comfortable position, Riley, who was normally a wild and crazy puppy, already huge for his age, would stop his zanies, come over to "Mom", and lick her face and arms, hug her with his face against hers, and just lay down on the floor beside her for hours. He would just lay there staring at her, loving her, and trying to lift her spirits, day after day.

Weeks later, Sharon's back condition improved, the cancer was removed, and she was given a great long-term prognosis. Riley went back to his normal, zany self. He hasn't been so intensely warm and loving since. Nobody will ever convince us that he didn't feel Sharon's pain and anxiety, and react in the only way he knew, to help Mom get through.

We now have two more dogs, and we love them all, but Riley will always have a special place in Sharon's heart.


Lucy Comforts "Dad"

In February Lucy's dad, Mark, wasn't feeling well. He was achy all over and tired. As soon as he came in the door, he went straight to bed and fell asleep (after of course, he loved on Lucy). It didn't take 10 minutes for Lucy to evaluate the situation and curl up in her dad's arms. She was trying so hard to make him feel better and it was so adorable. She did not want to move; she knew her daddy didn't feel well and she was making him better. She didn't even fall asleep; she was awake, concentrating on him.

Attached are a couple photos of her working to make her daddy feel better. She ALWAYS knew exactly what we were thinking... sometimes it was scary!

Thanks for giving us the opportunity to share about our pets.

April Fowler

Their Presence Helped Me More Than I Can Ever Say

Hello - I read Dr. Debra's message asking for personal stories of how dogs sense when someone needs them due to illness etc. One morning in April 2005, I woke up in excruciating pain and was unable to raise my arms and get out of bed to call for help. I had double vision and my balance was off. I had every symptom of MS, but after numerous tests, it was determined I did not have the underlying disease. Something triggered an autoimmune response that attacked my central nervous system. I had to learn to hold a fork again, to dress myself again, to walk without a limp etc. All with excruciating pain. I have 2 toy poodles that at the time were 2 & 3 years old. Still young, playful dogs. Somehow they knew that I was sick and they stayed with me during the worst of it. When I was in pain, they stayed quiet and just their presence helped more than I can ever say. I knew when I was getting better because they started playing again. They could sense that I was better and it was OK to go back to life again. I can't ever repay them for how they helped me through one of the lowest points in my life. But then, just being with me is all they seem to want in return. That is what is so great about dogs. They don't care how much money I have, how old I am or how I look etc. As long as they can share my life, they are sticking with me. I would do anything for them.

"We must let go of the life we have planned in order to have the life that is waiting"

Joseph Campbell

My Husband Said He Didn't Feel Well

In August of 2006 my husband said that he didn't feel well. All day he said he just didn't feel right. His chest was tight and he was feeling sick to his stomach. He figured he was just getting the flu and decided to lay down for a while. Any other time he would lay down our 2 miniature pinchers would jump up and lay on him or by him. This day neither of our dogs would go near my husband. They laid down about 6 feet away from him and just watched him. It freaked my husband out so much that he said that the dogs acting the way they did made him feel that he should call his doctor. Upon hearing his symptoms his doctor sent us immediately to the ER and sure enough my husband had a heart attack when after we arrived there.

We still credit the dog's actions for my husband going to the hospital and being there when he had his heart attack thus getting him immediate care. He had a stent put in his heart and is now taking medications along with taking better care of himself so he doesn't have another attack. You should know that my husband is the type of person that never goes to the doctor unless he is deathly sick so for him to say the dogs are acting weird so maybe I should call the doctor is unbelievable. We always loved our dogs but now we call them our lifesavers!

Patrick and Terri Luft
Selinsgrove, Pa

Sammy Gave Me His Best

Yes I believe dogs can sense when people need them. A former neighbor of mine gained a dog after her "Grandson" refused to go home after a visit. Turns out my neighbor had cancer and Henri (pronounced ornery) protectively watches over her as she goes through her chemotherapy treatments.

A little more than a week after I got my own dog I had my own experience. Sammy was nearly a year old when I brought him home from my local shelter. We were practicing our obedience lessons when he took off and dragged me into (over) a headstone. When I came to my senses I thought it was over. The cemetery faced the highway and Sammy barely knew his name and we hadn't gotten up to "Come" in the lesson plan yet. Both of my knees were skinned and my foot had disconnected from the rest of my leg.

Sammy had come back and was sitting in my blind spot. When he licked my bloody knee and I burst out crying. Together we limped to the car. This would be the one and only time Sammy would get into the car on his own. Imagine me showing up to Obedience School the following week and trying to lift a full-grown black lab into the back seat while balancing on crutches.

Maybe he just felt guilty but for the rest of the day he didn't leave my side. He spent the rest of the evening lying on top of me on the sofa. It would be months before he mastered the art of "Heel", "Come", and "Stay" but on that day I saw the best in Sammy.

Des Moines, IA

Ducan Can Sense My Mom's Illness

I truly believe that dogs can sense when people need them. My mother is 72 years old, and she has Alzheimer's disease. My parents have a Scottish Terrier named Duncan who is four years old, and who has lived with them since the onset of my mother's illness. My mom absolutely dotes on this dog, and he clings to her like she is the only person on earth. When she is having an especially bad day, he seems to know, and he will not move from her side. I, along with other family members, have remarked on many occasions that Duncan has an uncanny ability to sense my mom's illness and takes care of her. He is truly an amazing dog! I have enclosed a picture of Duncan as a puppy. I
hope you enjoy it.

Sue Richards
Troy, MI

Taco Knows and Is By Our Sides

I would like to share a story about my dog Taco. Taco is a chihuahua/papillon mix that I rescued two years ago from our local shelter. He was just three months old and I couldn't resist him, after all he was terrified and wanted to be loved and I had just separated from my husband and wanted someone that would love me. We were a match made in heaven. I have since developed a progressive, terminal physical disability and am often left in terrible pain due to this illness. I also have a son that is physically disabled and he requires surgery on his back every six months. Taco is not only adorable, but very loving as well. When either myself of my son is hurting Taco is right there by our sides. If I cry from pain, he will lick my hand until I stop. If I can't get out of bed, he will lay there curled up next to me and wont move. He won't eat, drink or go potty; he'll just lay there. If my daughter picks him up and takes him outside, he will stand in one spot until he's brought back inside and then he runs right back to me. He does the same thing for my son. If we are both o.k. then Taco runs and plays with our kitties and other dogs. Many times I have just wanted comfort from the pain and he has always provided that comfort by just being next to me.

Angel Wells
Martinsburg WV

Thank You Sparky – for Your Love and Care

After suffering a serious personal loss, I went into very severe depression. It was so bad that I could hardly get out of bed. My Portuguese water dog sensed my pain. Even though she knew not to jump on the furniture, one day she decided to leap up into the bed and quietly lay down next to my head and stare into my eyes. I could see how affected she was. That day, I decided to seek professional help. Quite frankly, the dog's interference probably kept me from committing suicide. The dog has since passed on. However, our close bond is not broken. Thank you, Sparky, for your love and caring.

Diane in Auburn, CA

When I was 13...

I KNOW dogs particularly sense when there is need for them to show they care.

When I was 13 (I am near retirement age now) my Mother had to go into hospital for an operation. We had a small miniature poodle that was a little dynamo! Although she was my dog, she loved my Mother the most and pined while she was in hospital. When Mum came home, I had been instructed to take the dog out for a walk, so Mum could settle in with a cushion strategically placed, for the inevitable greeting. As soon as we rounded the corner, Candy 'knew' Mum was home. (Don't ask me how. We didn't have a car, nor was there any indication she was home.) She pulled on her lead and couldn't wait to be released. She then sped into the room, but on reaching Mum's feet, stopped dead and oh, so gently jumped onto Mum's lap where she lay quietly, just content to be with the one she loved most. She knew she mustn't fidget or fuss. It was remarkable!

Hope you enjoy my little story.

With regards,

Barbara Ridgley

Snicker Knew Where to Avoid

My fiancé and I own a Miniature Pinscher that is almost 9-months-old and whose name is Snicker. He usually is very active and likes to play around a lot. If he could do all this activities without sleeping, I am pretty sure he would do it. So, my fiancé went under surgery (minor surgery) a few days ago and the doctor recommended her to avoid the dog playing around her for a while. Although the surgery was something small, we have tried to keep Snicker as far as possible. At the beginning it was very hard for me, well for us, because we were able to see that Snicker was not happy at all. He couldn't play with his "mom" at all so we think that that was affecting him. Amazingly, the dog "learned" that there were some areas in mom's body that he couldn't touch so now, every now and then during the day he would jump over the bed and STAY at my fiancé's feet. He barely walks towards her head and cuddle a little bit and that's it. As soon as I go home after work, he would jump over me and starts playing with me, but when he is around my fiancé, he stays very steady and focused. Most of the time when my fiancé is suffering from some pain, Snicker would stay very close to her watching over her, I guess. Snicker has been a blessing to us. We treat him like a baby, and his "grandparents" are as happy as we are, especially my dad since he is a retired Vet. Hopefully you will get to read our story and share it.

Blessings from Panama City, Panama!

Cesar Gabriel Diaz

How A Dog Helped my Class from Hell

Absolutely! I taught school for 22 years and one year I had what was lovingly known as "the class from Hell". The major troublemakers were put in my class because I was known to love and be able to handle rascals. Long story short, all of my tricks were to no avail. I went to the Headmaster and asked if I could try bringing my dog to school each day. He was not a dog lover, but I persuaded him to let me give it a try. The next day I brought my 4-pound Yorkie to school with me. Needless to say, the children were thrilled. Wally was almost human in many ways. He loved to dance, but only to Motown music, and he was very well behaved. I watched with fascination as each morning he seemed to know which child needed him that day or who had had a tough time out at recess. He would go lay under the child's desk allowing them to pet him at will and playing the role my father had always told me dogs played, that of being a psychological shock absorber. Wally became a school mascot and went to school with me until he died, at which time the school mourned. He signed yearbooks with his paw print and greeted kindergartners walking past my class by pulling his lips back to smile when they said, "Hi Wally!" The headmaster even told his wife that if he could have a dog like Wally, he would like a dog. She was very surprised when she came by my classroom to find a Yorkie; she was expecting a Lab!

Since that time, I have taken other little dogs to class where they have happily met the needs of my students and myself on rough days. I therefore answer your question with an unequivocal yes.

My Dogs Saved My Wife's Life

In the summer of 2004, my wife, Carole, was out in the back yard doing
Some gardening when she disturbed a nest of small Black Vespid Wasps. She was stung repeatedly, lost consciousness and went into anaphylactic shock. Our
3 Chinese Cresteds began a chorus of howling and barking until our next door neighbor looked out the window, saw Carole lying unconscious; and called for an
ambulance! When they arrived she needed 2 shots of epinephrine before she came to. If it weren't for Medusa, Mighty, & Max I may have become a widower. When I received the call from the hospital while I was at work, I first went to
see how my wife was, then went home and rewarded those life saving dogs with a steak and hours of praise and affection!

Medusa has since passed, Mighty is now 14 1/2, and Max is 11.

Steven E Felderman

Rufus Told Me When My Son Was Sick

I do believe that dogs can sense when someone is in need and I have an interesting story to prove it. I have a 2 year old male boxer named Rufus and 4 children ages 9, 7, 6, and 2. Just a week ago I awoke in the middle of the night to a cold nose on my arm and to no surprise Rufus standing there looking sideways at me. I assumed he needed to potty so I got up and proceeded to the back door through the living room where Rufus' bed was. He has a really big, green dog bed that a child can easily fit on. When I got to the back door to let Rufus out I turned and realized that he was not behind me, so I called for him; he didn't come. I walked back through to find Rufus standing by his bed looking at me. I said "Well come on, let's go potty" but he just looked at me then looked down at his bed. It was quite dark in the house but I noticed an outline of something on his bed, it looked like a blanket. I got down closer and noticed my 9-year-old son laying there on Rufus' bed under a blanket. I thought he must have slept walked downstairs and ended up there, which he does quite often. I reached down and picked him up to take him back to his room and was shocked find that my son was burning up. I laid him in my bed and got the thermometer. His temp was 102 and he said "Mom, I feel really sick." I got a cool rag to lower his temp and a bucket. Poor child was sick all night and all the next day. If it hadn't been for Rufus who knows how long my son would have laid there and what kind of mess I would have had to clean up. I thank him for that and I thank God for a having a dog like him in our family, he is an awesome addition.

MY Dogs Know

When I went off to college, my Airdale howled and slept underneath my bedroom window for over a week. Since than, an incidence which my electrolyte went south and I had to crawl into my garage, my dogs stayed by my side until I received help to the hospital. I am a paraplegic who lives alone and my dogs can sense when I am having a bad day. They are much more affectionate at those times. I feel dogs have many of the senses we have but they utilize them more. We have lost touch with many of the senses we were born with and what a shame!

My Dog Knew Before My Husband Had a Heart Attack

Our Maltese "Corky" has always been a Mama's dog! Last year in October, Corky would not leave my husband Jack's side - it was very odd. The next day my husband had a heart attack. And then triple by-pass surgery. He is doing very well - but Corky still is very attached to Jack and is not happy unless we are both in the same room at the same time. He is a very special addition to our family & is very much loved.

Martha Walker

My Dog Followed This Child Around

I truly believe that dogs know when they need to be careful, when they need to be sensitive. I raise Doberman Pinschers, I had a lady come to see them, she brought with her, her small child who was suffering from multiple health problems, she had to wear leg braces, etc. One of my puppies a red female that was 8 weeks old, followed this child around, and when she would stop the puppy would stop with her but never once jumped up on her, when the little girl sat down, the puppy would cuddle up or sit by her side so she could pet her, she would lick her hands but never chewed on her as puppies do, but again never jump on her or got in her face, which would be her normal behavior at 8 weeks of age, she was a very active puppy and behaved just like the rest of them any other time. I as well as the mother was in awe of the compassion this puppy showed to this child, I always knew the Dobie was a special breed but this shows how a dog is so human at times!! Enclosed is a pic of pups at about 6 weeks.

Beth Short

The Only Child My Dog Liked

My dog is currently 15-years-old, I adopted her when she was two. We were told that she did not get on with small children, my own children were teenagers so not a problem. Whenever a small child approached her she would growl and back away. However there used to be a downs syndrome boy that lived in the village and he could stroke my dog cuddle her or anything with her and she did not growl or complain in any way. This is the only child that she has ever allowed to approach her.

Betti Norkett

Dogs Show Compassion

My husband had pneumonia some years ago. At that time, we had an elderly yorkie, about 18, but still plenty feisty. She would lie next to my husband for the few days that he was bed bound, virtually for the entire time. I have experienced compassion from all the dogs that have been in my life...

When I was Hurting...They were There

About 8 years ago, I was hit by a Drunken Driver. My car was totaled but I came away with minor injuries. When I got home from the Emergency Room, I was in quite a bit a pain, so I took some pain medication and laid down on the bed. When I awoke I had all 4 dogs surrounding me on the bed. One was at my head, one was at my feet, and the other two were on each side of me. They knew I was hurting and they were protecting me. Unfortunately all of them are gone now, but the 5 I have now are just as great.


My Dad and Bubba

I would like to to share a story about my dad and his German Short Hair named Bubba.

A few years back my dad was doing some work in the garage using a table saw. As he was cutting a piece of wood, he hit a knot in the wood and the piece kicked back. Before he could stop it, his hand went right into the blades severing his pinky and severely cutting two other fingers. His wife was at jury duty and none of the neighbor's were around. He was bleeding very badly and started to feel faint, I guess Bubba knew something was seriously wrong because my dad said he came running from playing in the yard and started barking non-stop at my dad. My dad said he was getting dizzy but Bubba wouldn't stop barking at him, then Bubba grabbed the bottom of his shirt and started puling him to the porch. My dad sat on the steps and tried to see how badly he was cut but Bubba wouldn't stop barking at him and nudging him towards the house. Once inside my dad removed his glasses because they were covered in blood and then couldn't find them to be able to see the phone. Somehow Bubba knew enough to bring to cordless phone to him and my dad called 911. My dad swears to this day that Bubba told him to call 911. The paramedics said if he waited any longer to call he would have passed out from the blood loss. Bubba is not a therapy dog nor has he had ANY training what so ever but somehow he knew that my dad needed help and Bubba came to his rescue.

Amber Siley
Kingston, PA

My Dog was Calm Around My Sick Father

My father developed Parkinson's disease, which eventually he passed away from. My dog Harley is a real live wire and jumps around and on people whenever they visited. However for some reason he was really calm around my father and when my father was put into our lounge chairs Harley would just stand at the side of him and rest his head on his knee for petting and never jumped at him.

Penny Kudelnitzky 

They Know

I have no doubt whatsoever that dogs, who are generally smarter and more caring than humans to begin with, can sense when people need them, and I have seen this personally on several occasions.

First, when they were both still alive, our beloved German Shepherd, Kira (@RB), recognized that my elderly (mid-80's) mother-in-law required a gentler touch and always modified her usual rambunctious greeting to meet my MIL's physical limitations.

Second, our current Cairn Terrier, Frodo, aka CH. Caledonian JuniperBerry of Wolfpit, ALWAYS knows when my wife or I is not feeling well, and at these times he NEVER leaves the ill person's side.

Finally, Indiana, our always puppy-like Golden Retriever, realized early this summer that my wife needed an extra degree of protection while I was hospitalized with knee surgery and, very unlike her actual personality (she loves everyone and everything and could never harm a creature), Indy turned into a great watchdog while I was out of the house, barking to alert my wife of any and all visitors, whether a beloved playmate or simply the UPS guy/gal.

These are small incidences of the many ways in which dogs can sense that people need them and how they respond to these needs. No surprise, since, after all, God is Dog spelled backwards.

Ken De Koven + Frodo + Indiana + Arwen

I Believe

I completely believe dogs can sense when you are going through something in your life. I will never forget, it was the afternoon after my mother's funeral, I got home and it was the first time I really had a chance to cry, I laid on my bed and my beagle Bailey crawled up next to me and started licking my face as I cried and then just laid his head on my cheek. When my mom did pass away it was very unexpected and she happen to be watching Bailey for me, when the paramedics came in they had to pull Bailey away from my mom because he refused to leave her side, he just wanted to be there and watch over her. So yes, pets do sense when you need them.


Saving just one dog won't change the world, but surely the world will change for that one dog!

Maggie Could Tell I was in Distress

About 18 months ago I was in a severe health crisis and our white Lab Maggie would often sit up with me when I couldn't sleep. Some of the medicines I was taking at that time caused severe involuntary body motions or spasms, particularly when I was sleeping. In the early morning hours one night after I had dozed off to sleep in our loveseat, Maggie went to my wife Elaine, woke her and led her back to me. Maggie would stay a step or two in front of Elaine, looking back at her as if to make sure she was following her, until she got to me, where she sat down by me and whimpered. Elaine said that she could hardly tell that I was breathing, and every few seconds I would have a spasm. Obviously Maggie sensed that I was in distress and went to get Elaine for help. Similar events have happened more than this one time - Maggie has gone for help for me several times. We have no doubt that she can sense when I'm in trouble.


Byron and Elaine Merritt

Abby Puts A Blanket Over My Daughter When She is Sick

This is just a quick letter to tell you what my daughter experiences with her dog, abby, a pit bull/boxer. Abby is about 5 years old, a rescue dog as a pup. She was badly beaten up by a big lab when she was a baby. My daughter has had her since she was about 6 months old. They are very close and have a lot of special times together, but this incident really stretches my mind. My daughter was ill one day, laying on the couch. Abby went and got a blanket and laid it over my daughter, pulling it right up to her chin. I was amazed. This was not an accident, as Abby does this quite often now, whenever my daughter is ill. Surely this dog senses her master's need.

BJ Redmond

This Chained and Mean Dog Knew

A guy named Wayne and I were talking one day while we were out fishing about the keen senses of dogs. He said when he was a kid, one of his neighbors had a dog that was chained up. It made the typical path in a circle that dogs do when on chains. He said that all the kids in the neighborhood new not to get anywhere near that circle because the dog was just mean. One day a different neighbor kid that was disabled walked right through the middle of the circle. He said instead of the dog barking and growling, the dog continued to lay by his doghouse and casually watched the little boy walk through "his territory". Wayne said if any of the other neighbor kids had done that, the dog would have met them at the end of the chain. I personally use to take my dogs to a nursing home. My dogs were hunting breeds and tend to be a little more high strung and bouncy. But as soon I was walked through the doors the dogs were the most docile animals you ever saw. They would warm up to anyone there at the nursing home. The joy that the dogs and puppies I took brought to these peoples lives was priceless. Those dogs knew the moment required absolute gentleness. The joy brought into the nursing home on those days was some of the most fun times I experienced. The nursing home went form quiet to bubbly with the laughter and joy of those people.....priceless.

Jeremy Lies

Bear Was My Reason For Getting Out of Bed

My name is Dawn. I have a 7-year-old male Rottweiler; whose name is Bear. Bear was originally my ex-husbands dog. My ex-husband found him on a job site as a puppy about 10 weeks old. At the time my Ex was living with his parents, and he begged his parents to let him keep Bear. The rest is history; obviously they let him have him. I came into Bears life when he was about 1 year old. We have been together ever since. When my ex-husband left me, he also left Bear behind. We were both devastated. At this time Bear was about 4-years old, so he was well house broken and such. However he did start to have accidents in the house. I'm not the type of mommy who then rubs his nose in it or yells at him long after the fact. In fact I didn't see Bear having these accidents, because I was sleeping. I had fallen out of touch with the world for a while, stopped my routine in essence. Which affected Bear. This might sound odd, but Bear was my reason to get out of bed. Aside from the fact that he needed me to feed him and such, I also didn't want to clean up any more accidents. It became that on days when I wasn't in the greatest of spirits, Bear would come to the side of the bed and put his face next to mine. If that didn't work, he would lick me. If that didn't work he would bump the bed. lol Oh Bear weights 110 lbs. That's a lot of bump. lol I feel that aside from him having to go to the bathroom, he sensed that I needed him to get my butt going. Which I love him for. A year later I was diagnosed with Cancer. Bear never left my side. He was my shadow. He would cuddle with me when he knew he could cuddle and he would keep his distance without me even saying anything. And he would change the way he played with me verses the way he would play with lets say my mom or dad who basically moved in with us for a short while. I feel that dogs are sometimes smarter than we give them credit for. I know that Rotties sometimes get a bad rap. But I wouldn't trade mine for the world. He is awesome. Excellent temperament. Protective when needs be, and goofy and loving all at the same time.

Thank you for letting me share this with you. Attached are a few pictures of Bear. I hope you enjoy them.

Dawn Ryan

Just Poop

I'd like to share a couple of stories about my beloved dog. Her name was (forgive me if this might offend) Poop. Just Poop. If you knew her, you would agree that it suited her. My beautiful girl just passed away last weekend from Addison's Disease, just 2 days shy of her 2nd birthday, and my heart is absolutely broken for her. I miss her terribly, she was my buddy, she went everywhere with me, and everyone that had the privilege of meeting and knowing her, loved her.

Poop was a very sensitive dog to the needs of others. I totally believe that dogs are able to sense when someone is in need, or sad and need some love. Cats are able to do this too, as I've had beloved kitties that were very sensitive to when I was sad or just in need of some loving. There were times that I would be crying, and I'd be up in my bedroom, and Poop wouldn't even be anywhere near me, but she'd find her way to me, climb in bed with me, and practically lie right on top of me! She would smother me with her kisses, wiping away my tears. And no matter how much I'd ask her to go away or leave me be, she wouldn't leave me alone until I had stopped crying. She could smile too... she'd pull her lips all the way back and bare her teeth into the biggest grin you could imagine, and that's all she had to do to make me laugh!

Not too long before she died, we were over at a friend's house who had very small children. As a responsible dog owner, I always kept a hold of her and paid close attention to what was going on when the toddlers were around her, because, well, you never know, and sometimes she'd get a little grumpy when she was over-exerted. Well, the littlest guy walked right up to her, put his arms around her, and was giving her hugs and kisses all over her face, and then when he tried to put a foot up, as if he was going to climb on her back and ride her, she looked over at me, smiled, and sat down so he could climb on! It was the sweetest thing I've ever seen. She knew he meant no harm and he wanted to ride her, and she was ready to accommodate!

I miss my girl with all my heart, but I know that she is in heaven now. God must have needed another angel, so it's only because I know that I'm able to let her go. She was sent to me by a higher power, to teach me lessons I never thought I needed... and I am a better person now for having the privilege of taking care of her for the 2 years she was in my life.

I just thought I'd share my story with you, as she was very sensitive, and was always right there when I needed her love and comfort, and to see her smiley face.

Sharren K. Grant
Edmonton, AB, Canada

Maggie Knew I was Hurt

My husband and I were in the middle of a move and we had a deaf Great Dane puppy at the time. She had developed the bad habit of jumping on people and we were trying to break it. The surveyor showed up early one morning, the dew was still on the ground, and Bean jumped on his back. I went running down the brick walk to the driveway and just as I got to the end of the walk and stepped on the railroad ties that created the steps, I slipped on the dew and came crashing down on my ankle. I had never experienced such pain and I was crying out. Little Bean thought I was trying to play and she kept lunging at me and barking manically. My older Dane, Maggie, was almost 3 years old at the time, heard me yelling out and came running out of the house, looked at Bean, and then very gingerly climbed on top of me, feet resting on my chest, and proceeded to give warning barks and teeth-baring at Bean every time she started to lunge at me. I truly believe that Maggie knew I was in pain, I did not want to play, and she knew that Beanie didn't understand, so she was going to make her understand.

The surveyor was able to get close to me after Maggie warned off Bean and get help for me.

There have also been many, many times when I've been saddened by something and crying and Maggie will come close with her face and nuzzle my neck quietly for several minutes. Then, she'll look at me as if to say, "it's okay, mom, I'm here" and then nuzzle me again until I get up or give her a smile.

Most certainly, some dogs are SO in tune with us. I firmly believe it.

Teresa Clark

I am Pregnant and Fell

I am 8 months pregnant and every since I fell, my Weimaraner has being so much more protective of me. She won't leave my side. And if I get upset and cry (not often) she comes up to me and licks my face - which she only every does when I cry.

She can definitely sense when she is needed.


My Therapy Dogs Know

Hi Dr. Debra

I currently have two dogs, Paladin(Shih-tzu) and Grayson(Lhasa-
schnauzer), who are pet therapy volunteers with Pets On Wheels of
Scottsdale, Arizona. I have been a volunteer with Pets On Wheels for
12 years, first with Mr. Peabody (rescued Lhasa Apso) and SnOreo
(rescued Shih-tzu), and now with Pal and Grayson. We go every week
to visit at nursing homes and hospitals, and added hospice visits to
our weekly schedule two years ago. My little dogs ride in a red
Radio Flyer wagon and I am the chauffeur. When I get out their
uniform scarves, they know exactly where we are going and get soooo
excited! My dogs obviously like having the job of cheering up people
and they are experts at their jobs. When a patient in bed pats the
mattress, Pal and Grayson read this as "come on up and join me" and
they gently move from the wagon to the bed to snuggle. On many
occasions I have watched my little dogs work as a team to cuddle on
either side of a dying patient. They seem to know what each person
needs and gladly meet those needs on every visit. Although all of my
dogs enjoy barking for apparently no reason at home, they NEVER bark
when they are in a hospital or nursing home setting. They simply
seem to know that it is not OK to be loud in those situations. Pal
is the snuggeler. He will relax in the arms or on the bed of a
patient and allow himself to be hugged and stroked until the person
either falls asleep or he has to go to another patient. Grayson is
the clown. He enjoys entertaining people and is the "greeter" at one
of our nursing homes, where we arrive right before lunch every
Sunday. Grayson will walk over to each person in the dining hall
waiting area, sit, hold up his paw and wait for a pat on the head or
simply a "hello". He makes each person he greets feel special. As a
team they are awesome.

Snoreo passed away three years ago and I adopted Paladin through AJ's
Best Friends rescue to help Mr. Peabody, who needed a partner. Mr.
Peabody passed away in May 2007 after holding the record for the most
visits (1300) for a Pets On Wheels Pet therapy dog. Grayson joined
our family, also through AJ's Best Friends, to help Paladin, who was
lost without Mr. Peabody. They are the light of my life and make
every day special. They bring joy to many people every week.

I am sending pictures of Mr, Peabody, SnOreo, Paladin, and Grayson

Sadie was There for Me

When I was recovering from a double-mastectomy in 2002, my beautiful Doberman, Sadie, never left my side. She had an uncanny way of knowing when I was in pain and would make it very clear to the people caring for me at home that they had better take care of me. Sadie showed no interest in her usual activities until I was feeling better. Sadie, who LOVED to eat, had to be forced to eat during that time, as she did not want to leave the room I was in. Even though many caring people helped me through my journey, Sadie was the one I could always count on to be there. She would offer me comfort simply by her gaze. Sadie passed away in August of 2007 at the age of 14 1/2. Although I'm happy that she's pain-free and romping like a puppy again at the Bridge, my heart still aches for her. I think she still knows when I need her, as happy memories of her appear in my mind when I could really use it! She will forever be my "once in a lifetime" dog.

My Dog Would Ease My Pain

I have Crohn's Disease and I used to suffer from extreme abdominal pain. (I am in remission.) When I was in pain my Dalmatian would lay next to me, curled up next to my belly, easing my pain like a heating pad. Otherwise she would sleep at the foot of the bed near my feet, under the blankets. I had her for 11 years and 1 day and had to put her sleep on November 15th, 2007 because she had congestive heart failure, she was 14 years old. I miss her terribly, as all animal lovers do when they loose they pets.

Hyper (My Dalmatian was named Hyper but we called her Bunny, a story for another day.) Lived with 3 cats and didn't have a problem with that. She also would smile when asked to or when she saw someone she loved. She loved to swim. She had to be touching a human whenever possible. I had to buy a chair and a half because she kept trying to sit with me in my Canadian Rocker and didn't fit. So we bought the "Mommy Doggy chair".

I do believe that animals can sense when you need them. I had a cat that we called " the feel good kitty" because if any family member was not felling good she was right next to them and purring.

I also had a horse that could sense the ability of the rider. If my husband or I got him he was roaring to go. If I put my 2-year-old son in the saddle and dropped the reigns he would walk very slowly, keeping pace with me.

Bill Skoglund

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