MAGGIE: the dog who changed my life

MAGGIE: the dog who changed my life
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Monday, August 3, 2009

These Behaviors Were Never Taught To My Dog, Sonny ...

Tomorrow morning I'll be interviewed on 3 WI Radio in Brainerd, Minnesota by Lon Schmidt, and he wants to focus on stories of canine telepathy. How exciting to have a radio host explore this topic! So I am motivated again to share with you stories of others who have had this magical experience with their dogs/animals.

Some of the stories this week will include dogs who are simply extraordinary at reading our body language, dogs who turn themselves into service/assistance dogs when they sense the need in their humans, dogs who sense chemical changes to alert their humans to seizures, and dogs who seem to know what we are thinking. Here is Carla's story of Sonny, from a book club group who I discussed MAGGIE: the dog who changed my life with:

...My first rough tri-collie bitch, Cody, was extraordinary in her ability to read my body language. She was such a comfort in times of stress and, like all heart dogs, seemed to know when I needed her to sit quietly and offer her empathy. I will miss her always for her special friendship and wordless understanding.

I never thought I would have another dog that would be as special. However, Sonny has proven to have special skills too. I have high tone hearing loss that is uncorrectable. Sonny, my 7-year-old smooth coated collie boy, alerts to sounds by looking at me in a certain way. He gets right in front of me, doesn't let me move, and stares intently.
If we are walking on the county road and I get the behavior and the "look", there is a car behind us.

One night, my husband's cat ran out of the house when I opened the door after a walk. I didn't see nor hear him. Sonny did, and made a nuisance of himself sitting directly in front of me whenever I turned around. There was that "look" that told me something needed my attention. When I finally figured it out, I opened the door to a very happy cat who must have been vocalizing his little heart out!

Before I was diagnosed with seizures, Sonny's behavior was very strange on walks. He would come behind me (on the right side only) hit my right hand, and body block (goes perpendicular in front of me and stops). I have learned since being diagnosed that he very possibly can sense something wrong with me. I now turn for home immediately if he starts this behavior and often can ward off a seizure with medication and rest.
These behaviors were never taught to Sonny, but you can bet I know what to do when he communicates in this way. He has awesome ability as an assistance dog!

I have enjoyed all the stories and thank you for letting me tell mine. Dogs are the best!!

Thank you, Carla! This post is to honor all service and assistance dogs, and dogs who have the ability to communicate with their humans in exceptional ways, as Sonny does.

Posted By:

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

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