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

By: Petplace Staff

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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
Ohio

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.

Renae

My Therapy Dogs Know

Hi Dr. Jon

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
"working".        

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