One of my all-time favorite books is, “Kinship with All Life” (by J. Allen Boone). It’s a short but delightful read, and the book’s premise is this; dogs are a whole lot smarter (and more intuitive) than we humans can understand.
Several years ago, when Teddy was less than two years old, she came to my bedside one night and demanded that I awaken and arise.
I opened my eyes and saw my favorite quadruped standing there with an intense gaze in her eyes.
With as much gravitas as a Sheltie can muster, she lifted her snout ever so slightly and said, “Woof!”
As any dog owner knows, a dog has different barks for different occasions. This “woof” was different from the others.
I looked into her eyes for a minute and said, “What?”
She looked at me as if to say, “Listen, you need to get up and take a look outside. It’s important.”
She stood still and continued to stare intensely at me.
I arose from my soft pink bed and looked outside, and that’s when I saw two miscreants studying my car, parked in front of the house. One was especially interested in the license plate. The other was leaning over and looking in the driver’s window.
The dog stood beside me and barked incessantly. I was trying to figure out if I should holler or call 911, but Teddy’s barking was enough. They immediately stood up and briskly walked away.
Once the drama ceased, I praised Teddy. And I wondered, “How did she know? And how did she know how to get my attention with that little staring maneuver? How could she hear those muted malefactors, preparing to do heaven-knows-what to my slightly used 2003 Camry?”
Teddy just turned seven years old last month, and I recognize with some sadness that her life is half over.
For the first 30 years of my life, I didn’t like dogs. I was a cat person, through and through. When I was 36 years old, I got my first dog. When my mother met “Daisy,” for the first time, she fell in love with her. My mother told me, “I’m glad that you have discovered what a joy it is to have the love of a dog. There’s nothing like it.”
Mom was right.
PS. One of my most-popular blogs of all time (8,000 views) was this story about Teddy, but the link (from 2010) is now a “dead link.” Not sure how that happened, and this post was an attempt to repair the broken link – unsuccessfully! My apologies if you’ve heard this story before.
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Cats are still smarter than dogs. You ever see a cat on Letterman’s “Stupid Pet Tricks”?
Teddy is a cutie-pie. Wow, that story about Teddy saving your vehicle, and possibly you, by protecting her turf is a great story.
I had a German Shepard Mix for almost 18 years, and it was like losing my brother. I loved that guy.
I lost my sister when she was 21, and I recall grieving equally for my dog. He was family as well.
My Uncle told me the story of how the family dog, Champ, got lost during a move from New York to Southern California, and the dog found them, while they went looking for it in Southern California.
My Uncle said Champ cried like a human for hours. At first, I thought BS, but my cousins (attorneys) vouched for their Pa.
I’m a sucker for a dog (human) interest story. Dogs are great friends and family.
I knew you were a great lady, Rose, but that Teddy story cemented it.
@Laura (So Ca)
They really do become part of our family, don’t they?
Teddy is a sweet and good dog. She puts up with all manner of abuse, such as being dressed up for the holidays and forced to wear silly hats. I’ve been known to put doggy-boots on her little feet, and she tolerates it all with aplomb and grace.
I read your post. With hubby’s Glaucoma (5 surgeries later, finally stable) and allergy triggers, we’ve been hunting the pounds for a companion buddy for him, while I’m a work, but the “dog flippers” (aka “dog traffickers”) are getting to our choices first, flipping them for $400-$500 in Southern California. (Can’t shed.) It just irks me.