I’m sure this won’t surprise anybody, but I talk to my dogs. A lot. (You know you do it too). But what about unspoken communication? How in tune are you to your dog’s emotions and dare I say, thoughts? We can usually tell if our dog is sick or tired or happy by the way they are acting or by how they are holding certain parts of their body, right? We also hear a lot about the intuitiveness of dogs and how they can tell if we are feeling blue or out of sorts but is there more? Is it just that we spend so much time together that we know what each other wants or thinks?
There’s a softness that comes over Ray’s face as he lifts it to me when I come home for the day and his eyes go limpid and wide like a pool of warm, melted milk chocolate. I know he’s hoping I’ll suggest a walk but he isn’t rude or bouncy about it which almost makes it harder to refuse. He’s a smarty, that Ray-Ray. This hopeful look is different from his woo-wooo which means “I want it,” and can refer to an out of reach toy or an already offered walk.
But along with this type of unspoken communication is the connection he and I have which sometimes gives me pause and makes me wonder just how connected we are. Naturally I’m sure I have some “tells” which he picks up on, but there are times when we are chilling on the bed watching TV, he is snoring so the thought enters my head, “Maybe I should try to trim his nails?” The next glance at his face reveals that he has awoken from his sleep and is peering at me from one opened eye. I swear I haven’t moved or even motioned toward the nail clippers. He just knows.
Then there was the dream. Recently I had a horrible dream in which Ray and Julius were going to both have to be euthanized. I naturally was distressed and as I worried and stressed, in my dream, I was talking to Kevin and accusing him of not being upset about this. I woke to the alarm and Ray was lying beside me but looking at me. Just looking at my face and I hugged him around the neck and reassured him it was only a bad dream. The irony? Ray wouldn’t look at Kevin for about an hour that morning as if he knew.
Have you had occasion to believe you and your dog (or other animal) have shared thoughts or emotions? We’d love to know more. Tell us about it in the comments.