Posted on June 28, 2006 under Dog Articles
Dr. Jack Stephens
Many bonded pet owners I have talked with have had episodes where it seemed that their pets had apprehensions that affected them, such as avoiding danger or knowing when they would return from a trip. When I was young my dog knew when I would be home from school and would either come to my school and greet me or she would be waiting at the end of my block. This I always attributed to their biological clock and not premonition, which is knowing an event in advance.
I experienced what I consider true pet premonition while I was undergoing treatment for cancer. Although my family was extremely patient and emphatic when I had my cancer, they could not sense what was just right, without asking. They would ask how I felt, as anyone would when a loved one is going through a severe illness, but Spanky, my miniature pinscher just knew. Some nights he would lie up next to me and cuddle, giving me that warm, oxytocin feeling. Other nights he seemed to understand and would simply lay off and watch me from a distance. Constantly on vigil to see how I was coping. Surviving cancer, I witnessed firsthand the power of pets in the healing process. This innate ability of animals to help us in many ways is now being recognized as I continue to repeat in my messages and my mission to better understand the power of pets. But, again I did not attribute this attribute of Spanky as premonition, but more the power of observation, empathy, or perhaps my body emissions called pheromones, which pets can pick up on by simply being in the room with us.
Spanky was a most unusual dog and I have had many from which to compare. Originally, Spanky was acquired by my wife for herself, but it was not long at all before it was evident that Spanky bonded to me. So much so that he actually knew when I would arrive home at night from work, although I never kept a routine. I had heard of such paranormal abilities of pets to sense when an owner would come home, but until Spanky, I had never experienced such an attribute.
Spanky did not display this exceptional quality until after I acquired my cancer. I began to notice that upon arriving home at night he would be standing on the back of the couch upstairs and looking out the window at our drive way. I began to look forward to him being there, with those little “batman” ears looking down when I would drive up. I would be disappointed if he was not there when I drove into our driveway. I had assumed he was simply looking out the window at cars or people on the sidewalk. However, one day as I opened the front door, my wife was there with a drink in hand. I asked her if she called the office and they told her I was on my way home. She replied, “No, Spanky told me.” I said sure, Spanky told you, she said, “No really, every night a few minutes before you arrive Spanky will get up from his bed in the kitchen near me and run upstairs and get on the couch and watch for you.” She then realized that indeed he does that most every night. “How does he do it?” We never knew, because we lost Spanky suddenly shortly after that and I can never think of him without emotional feelings of a great loss.
“Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.” Roger Caras