Once it was controversial to think that animals have emotions. No one who lived with our Aggie would have ever thought dogs are without emotions. Aggie is our ten year old Golden Retriever, who is sweet, loving and firmly bonded to everyone in her life. We had a number of dogs of different breeds when she came to us at four months old. Gem, our four year old Smooth Collie, was Queen of the Pack, and immediately adopted Aggie. Gem protected her baby at all times, like pushing her back from the fence while she barked at the neighborhood dogs. When Aggie was about five years old, one day she barked at Gem in such as way as to say, I'm a big girl now and I get to stand at the fence and bark too! They continued as lifetime friends until Gem died of old age in September, 2010. Aggie looks for Gem in her old bedroom every morning. Last night she woke up at 4:00 AM and cried, looked for her inside and outside, cried some more, and finally went to sleep around 5:30. Maybe that was the turning point for Aggie in her grief. I'm trying to get Aggie to spend more time with Betsy and Cici, our half-sister Goldens, and maybe that will help. They know Aggie is older and less active than they are, but seem quite willing to help her out--and I use that wording on purpose. Betsy and Cici know Aggie is missing her "mom." The Golden pictures on my Profile Page are of these three dogs.

Anyone else have stories of their pets' emotions?

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Replies to This Discussion

I love watching my dogs chase each other in the snow, and I'd love to see Endo chasing Eve, not to mention Eve bopping Endo on the head. Chasing is good; so is inter-species bonding. Endo is clearly an all-purpose alerter with high level emotions. Cats have the social emotions, too, but do a good job of trying to conceal them!
The evening the home vet came and laid Song to her final rest, Thunder, Hope, Spirit, Foxy, Hailey, and Jordan howled for hours. Even the cats joined in by rubbing up against the dogs trying to comfort them.
I'm sure that our dogs and cats find comfort from their friends to be important in recovering from grief, just like people. Thanks for writing about it.
Wonderful story, really kind of exciting. With that background, Suri is bound to be truly grateful and especially bonded to you. I'm sure she knows she was rescued. Our dogs have dog friendships developed at sports training classes, which makes all their lives more complete, but their friendships don't have the same intensity that Suri feels. I absolutely agree, "Those were obvious and true emotions".
That's a beautiful story about Suri, lots. I do believe that animals have feelings and emotions. They definitely remember going to the vet ( not necessarily a pleasant experience ) and don't like going in the car because of it. My current feline companions are pretty laid back and don't show too much emotion other than a soft rub against my leg.
Hi Don. Hairy was a remarkable cat, and I'm really impressed with your story of his life and that he was able to save your life, twice. I agree that feline intelligence and emotions are right there for us to observe, if only we give them a chance.
Aggie Update: Aggie went to her old Obedience class and did some exercises, and saw old friends both human and canine. The young dogs go to class too, so it's a pack activity. Aggie loves to jump, and the heights are lowered for retired dogs. She has really perked up, and with the extra exercise is also sleeping well. We got this idea from Suri's story, and it worked. She still checks out Gem's old room, but she doesn't appear to be depressed.

Thanks again for all your responses. I think we all have Therapy Pets!
When I had to send my Gwennan girl to the Rainbow Bridge 5 1/2 years ago I came back from the vet and went to the basement for something and Llyr followed me down. He then sat down in the middle of the basement and howled for quite a while. Broke my heart to see him like that. It took him quite awhile to grieve for her as well.
Llyr is at a stage in his DM where he does not realize when he is pooing and if he has an accident because I am off at the timing you can see in his eyes that he does not understand why it is happening. The only good thing about his DM is that he is not in any pain, but he does show happier emotions when he is in his cart and is able to be more mobile. When he is not in his cart he is not unhappy, but just happier when he is in his cart I have no doubts that our animals have many emotions..

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