You come home, put away the groceries and walk up to your room. You take a shower and fold the laundry – the whole time he’s looking at you ready to hug you and comfort you. He knows something is wrong, he just does. You look into his eyes, his blonde messy hair and his wagging tail – and wonder, ‘How does he do it?’
No, your husband did not turn into a werewolf… you are sad, and your dog knows it. No words need be said or tears shed; no outward behavior – your dog just knows it.
Fluffy has now made it his goal to make you happy and restore your jovial nature. He jumps on your lap and licks your face. He stays by your side and slowly waits till your mood gets better; you giggle, and he knows its working. He brings you his chew-toy and when you refuse him he settles for sitting on the couch right by your side. It’s some special sixth sense he has; an inexplicable ability to gage your mood. And just by being happy you have made Fluffy’s day.
So, I was not surprised when I saw the answer to this WA question, ‘When you’re sad do dogs see that you’re sad and come to you to see if you’re ok’.
The answer given was that it depends on your relationship with your dog.
If you are in a caring and giving relationship and your dog is mentally sane (no narcissistic tendencies) then you will be treated like a king.
But, does it work the other way around – can we tell when our dog, our bird, our cat or even our fish is sad? And if so, ‘How do you save animals from a sad life,’ asks a WA user.
Well, the way I see it, you can’t save a sad animal unless you can recognize that it’s sad in the first place. Unfortunately, people are not as attuned to animal moods as we’d like to be. It requires extra effort. When your dog pulls his ears back is he usually sad, or does he do this when he’s hungry too? Does your bird squawk at you when she wants attention, or does she do this when the neighbor flashes past the window? Do you even hear the difference between a squawk and a squack? Does your fish lay low at the bottom of the tank when you replace the aquarium plants, or does he do it because the amount of light in the room changes?
We need to pay attention to our animals and invest in the relationship in order to get the satisfaction of seeing Fluffy smile (in the way dogs smile). WA users suggest volunteering at shelters, donating money to organizations that research animals/animal behavior, and constantly reading up on current information relating to your pets.
All this effort will pay off when you see you can sense your pets’ moods and make them happy!
Hey, once you have that down you can begin working on the relationship with your husband…