MAGGIE: the dog who changed my life

MAGGIE: the dog who changed my life
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Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Do Our Dogs Read Our Minds?

During the month of January I had the enriching experience of being the author of the month for an online book club group called DogRead. In my recent book I discuss the apparent ability of our dogs to read our minds at times; animal telepathy, if you will. I had telepathic experiences with Maggie, which I share about in my book. These were experiences I felt compelled to write about in my book because they so surprised me and I had no idea our dogs were capable of understanding our thoughts and words so well. I asked the group the following question to begin our discussion:

Have any of you had experiences with your dogs, past or present, where they seem to understand you or read what you're thinking where you can't attribute it to training?

I received the following response from Amy:

"...It happens all the time, in ways that constantly perplex me. Even with the day care dogs who are regulars and get to know me pretty well. I'll be doing something and think "I'd better get Happy's stuff together, her mom will be coming soon" and suddenly, Happy will quit laying and wait by the door before I ever make a move. This is a dog whose owner doesn't come at a specific time, so I know it's not simply that she's got the routine pegged. There's a 4 - 5 hour margin of pick up times.

Or my dog, Whimsy, who was incredibly sick when I got her. Lots of pilling and nasty liquids (ivermectin). Despite everything I did to try to keep it positive, the 4 times a day schedule finally started affecting her behavior. One day I looked at her and explained that I hated to do this, too, but without it she would die. From that day on, pilling was a non-issue.

Or how about Zeke, who injured his leg and came to me for rehab. I told him one day when he was being recalcitrant about therapy that we might as well amputate his leg if he wasn't going to use it. The next day he was a much more willing participant.

And then there's the "knowing when you're coming home" thing. When I stayed with my parents, my mom said she would hear my dogs start getting restless and knew I'd be arriving within a 1/2 hour or so. And I had a very variable schedule.

I've gotten to the point where I don't even try to figure out how they know. If Osa gets on the chair to wait for her papa, I just go get her lead and coat, because I know he'll be there soon. I just make sure I explain things to them so that if they DO understand, they know the reason for *whatever*. Amazing, is all I have to say..."

Amy's is one of many stories I received from group members regarding their dogs' abilities to understand both their words and their thoughts beyond what training can explain. In the weeks to come I will be sharing more of these wonderful stories of telepathy and understanding on the part of our pets. I will also venture into dream experiences in future postings that seem to demonstrate a deeper communication between humans and their pets than most people are aware of or talk about.

My journey with Maggie changed my thinking in this regard, yet I still felt quite vulnerable sharing such a crazy notion with the world. During my month with the DogRead group I realized I was far from alone in recognizing our animals as capable of reading our thoughts. It was as though the lid came off when the subject was approached, and the delicious contents came pouring out.

Dawn Kairns
Author of MAGGIE: the dog who changed my life

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