Thursday, March 02, 2006


Been reading this book called "Dogs that know their owners are coming home". Wait, is that the right title? Well, anyway, it's a pretty cool piece of research on the "telepathic" abilities of dogs with other dogs, dogs with humans, and other various animals with other animals/humans.

Like, there was a cat that, when it was getting mauled and disemboweled by 2 dogs, it communicated it's distress to it's owner, who was many miles away, driving. She had to pull over... she was feeling physically ill, and very anxious. She called home, but they said everything was fine. When she drove home, she and her family happened to look outside in the back yard and see the dogs standing over their poor dead cat. :P

One of the points of this book was that dogs can pick up on their owners intent... say, to take them for a walk, or their intent to come home when they are miles away from the dog. In some cases, they can even pick up on desires the owner has for their dog to do something, like pick up their toys in the living room, and put them in the toy basket!

There is so much evidence of telepathy... the author provides many instances where there was no way the dog could be picking up cues from the owner's physical movements. Or in the case of owners who are coming home, there was no way the dog could either hear the owner or smell them. The dogs that were picking up on the owners intent to come home were getting excited only at the moment when the owner decided to come home, and start the long drive. And this happened even if the times for returning home were completely random.

I've been trying to project my desires to my dogs... w/o much success. Or at least, if they do hear me, they may be deciding to just disobey me! :) But this whole telepathy thing with humans and dogs is greatly dependent upon the human's telepathy skills, the dog's telepathy skills, and how deep the human-dog bond is. It may also depend upon how adept I or my dogs are at this skill... we may all need more years of practice!

But there's something very comforting about the idea that dogs and humans who enjoy a relationship (and even humans and other humans who enjoy a relationship) have this extrasensory connection to each other, if they will just relax and try to use it.

In some of the cases, pets have been saved because their human could "hear" their projected distress, and have been able to find them because of it. That's just totally cool.

I remember in one or more cases I read that a dog sensed (from a distance) that his owner was in jeopardy, and got other people to come help out... saving the owner from drowning!

This telepathic connection seems to only exist in animals who live in groups and/or nurture their young. I gathered from this that there wasn't any evidence (yet) of such a connection existing between, say, alligators! The point seemed to be that creatures that are capable of compassion and affection for one another appear to also have this telepathic connection.

Ok, I've babbled long enough. I'm going to go kiss my dogs on the forehead, and rejoin my husband in bed -- I'm out here in the living room typing with insomnia. :P

Sigh. I hope this means that dogs go to heaven, too. :)


alan said...

I've had many dogs over the years, some outstanding, one real knothead, and loved each of them dearly. Most of them have "found" us instead of us intentionally going out to find them...the last one was born to a litter in the neighborhood, and when the manic depressive who's basement they were in went off her meds, my wife went two door up to feed them. After a week, we heard a scratching at the back door, and it was one of the pups; she was hungry. Each day after that she was at the door again, so finally we just opened it and let her in.

I bathed her and then let her outside for a minute and she ran out and flopped onto her back in the snow and made a snow angel, and so we named her Angel.

She's 10 now, and I can see her eyes starting to cloud; I know bigger dogs don't live as long, and that the clock is ticking...not sure I'll be able to deal with the inevitable this time, she's so sweet and such a good dog...

Thanks for the post!


Alex said...

when I was eleven I got a guineapig called Sandy. Poor little Sandy had been abused by her previous owners, so once she learnt to trust me we formed a really special bond. While I was away on holidays I had a dream that Sandy was sick. A few days later we got a call that she had died, having got heat-sickness around the same time I got the dream.

I sometimes manage to tap into my cat's emotions, especially when I'm startign to drift off into sleep. If I haven't let her inside the house at night, I'll suddenly fell her all accusing and annoyed. If she gets really scared and hides, I tend to pick up on that too.

Anne Arkham said...

I dunno. I try to project my desires to my dog by saying things like, "Come!" "Sit!" "Quiet!" He has yet to give any indication that he's picking up on my meaning.