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Animals Ink: Animals have uncanny sense about our needs

Charle’ Thibodeau
Special to The Citizen Telegram
Charle' Tibodeau
Staff Photo |

Watching the pair walk side-by-side down the street, their combined aura portrayed serenity, simply enjoying the moment together. The dog was a beautiful red and white border collie that held his tail high, swaying in a happy, rhythmic dance. His companion, dressed in multi-layers to ward off the bitter chill, briskly maneuvered through traffic, attempting to cross the busy road.

Our conversation began customarily, exchanging names and handshakes. Initial introductions revealed a close bond between these two. Lea explained the connection she shared with this special dog had developed through her illness. Lea is epileptic and frequently must endure the helplessness of a seizure. As she was crossing a busy intersection on Patterson Road in Grand Junction one day, she felt the onslaught of an attack overtake normal bodily functions. Her faithful companion, Teddy, intuitively reacted, pulling Lea to the side of the road where she collapsed. Lea proclaimed Teddy a true hero that had saved her life.

As I listened to her story, my attention was drawn to the dog standing close to his human partner. His devotion to Lea curtailed the curious nature teasing his senses. Teddy’s brown eyes scoured the surroundings and his nose was on overdrive, but he politely stood near his companion. Lea appreciatively announced that Teddy is always present as she recovers from a seizure. Her hero!



There are countless reports of pets’ intuitive behaviors that have affected people’s lives. A news story in November of a husky that saved her owner’s life in a backcountry skiing accident near Berthoud Pass caught national news attention. Juneau helped her injured human dig out of the snow after he fell into a ravine and then laid on him to keep him warm until rescuers found them.

Another recent headline described a family dog’s erratic behavior alerting the parents of an abusive baby-sitter. Within a few weeks of caring for the toddler, the dog became quite agitated when the woman arrived, growling and barking uncontrollably. The parents used video surveillance equipment and were shocked to witness this woman inflicting physical abuse on their child.



One of the greatest accounts of an animal’s intuitive perception is described in an article written by David M. Dosa, M.D., published in the New England Medical Journal titled, “A Day in the Life of Oscar the Cat.” Oscar was adopted as a kitten by staff members of a nursing home in Providence, R.I. Apparently, he did not grow into an affectionate participant of the facility, but remained aloof and unfriendly much of the time. However, he possessed a far deeper contribution to the care of the residents. The staff observed Oscar going into patient room’s within the final hours of their death, curling up on the bed often purring peacefully, until they passed on. At the time the article was written in 2007, Oscar had predicted death over 25 times.

Animals have remarkably keen senses of sight, smell, hearing and taste. They can hear the mail delivery truck before it comes in the driveway, and detect the smell of chicken baking in the oven from the backyard. They can see the neighbor’s cat scaling the fence and always seem to know when you try and hide the pill in a piece of cheese. (Try cream cheese – it works well!) While many refer to their intuitiveness as a sixth sense, animals exhibit a perception far beyond human understanding. These special creatures touch our lives in profound ways.

The bond developed between people and their pets depicts an unspoken communication built on trust, compassion and need. The unequivocal emotion derived from this relationship, however, is the unconditional love these creatures bestow upon their human partners. Their perception of loyalty is their gift to mankind.

There is no doubt in my mind that Teddy will risk his own life to help Lea if the need presents itself. How does this beautiful creature instinctively perceive eminent danger to his caretaker? It is one of the many questions we have about life. However you look at it, these animals are here for a reason, and it’s truly a blessing to witness them help in such miracles.

Charle’ Thibodeau , a longtime contributor to Animals Ink, recently opened a pet shop in Clifton called Ah, Natural! Ltd.


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