How intuitive is your dog?

Do you think your dog is able to recognize those human emotions from your facial expressions and determine when you are mad, happy, or frightened?

Dogs aren’t clairvoyant, but they do have an uncanny ability to sense our emotions.


Started out like any other day. But after dinner I waved goodbye to the main man in my life, and petted the two furry guys that I adore…

I was off to stuff envelopes. #moreweddingtasks

Midway to my destination, I realized I’d left my cell phone home.

Unable to receive Lee’s calls and completely unaware – while I was gone the unimaginable occurred.

The church my husband’s family has attended for decades, the church my children were baptized in, the church we attend when we’re “home” became the church that experienced a mass shooting during Bible Study.

Nine innocent people were senselessly gunned down and killed. #unbelieveable

Back at the house the phones rang continuously, and my husband desperately tried to make sense of the madness. He needed to verify his sisters, cousins, and longtime family friends were safe. His emotions were probably off the richter scale.

And I wasn’t home.

While he took call after call, Harley stayed near, Harley sat still…


You see –

  • Harley’s been around sadness
  • Harley’s been around fear
  • Harley’s intuition helped him understand

But Jaxson –


  • Jaxson didn’t understand.
  • Jaxson got nervous.
  • Jaxson found solace in the carpet…


While dogs are not mind readers, I think they are great observers.

In an article from – I read –

We humans pay so much attention to language that it often interferes with our ability to see what’s happening around us. But in some ways we rely too heavily on what we can see. Our visual system is so highly evolved that it tends to override the more primitive senses of smell, touch and hearing—those which are highly developed in dogs.

I think Doodle Dad’s body language (unbeknownst to him) made Jax uncomfortable. After all 90% of human communication is nonverbal. So his posture, and facial expressions probably spoke volumes about his mood.

Jaxson didn’t understand this new emotion he was sensing.

Was Doodle Dad a little warm about the carpet? Oh, absodoodletutely!

Was I?  – No

Due to the circumstances (the massacre in Charleston SC) Doodle Dad’s focus was elsewhere. #noted

And due to the circumstances Jaxson (I believe) sensed something was off and “off” led him straight to “wrong.”

As soon as I entered the house and learned of this heinous act, my emotions raced from agony to dismay and then fear. And almost on cue, Harley became like an article of clothing to me. He never left my side. #webeenherebefore

Jaxson clearly didn’t understand. He was restless, fidgety, and unusually active for that time of night.

Our body language, the sounds we make through the tones of our voice, and our smell are like channels to our emotions for our dogs to navigate through.

After all – aren’t dogs used for detecting illness and the onset of a seizure? It’s from the metabolic change and different chemicals that appear in our breath.

Our pets  have  incredible animal instincts. I’ve just got to find a way to re-program Jax’s instincts towards a less destructive activity.

Anybody know how to patch Berber carpet?


The residents of Charleston SC are still reeling from Wednesday evening. Their faith is steadfast and unyielding, yet they need our prayers.

Especially the family members of all the victims – as their days ahead are long ones. #Godhearourprayers

Here are a few articles for continued reading about a dogs intuitiveness:

Your Pet’s Incredible Animal Instincts

How Intuitive is Your Canine?

What is Left Gaze Bias?

How Dogs Sense Emotions

Enjoy your Fathers Day Weekend 🙂

  • The Daily Pip
    June 19, 2015

    Oh my gosh, my prayers and healing wishes are with your husband’s family and members of their church. Each time one of these shootings happens I, like everyone else, am in shock and disbelief that this kind of thing just happens. Really no words …just I’m sorry and I pray for peace and understanding.

    And yes, I absolutely believe dogs sense our emotions and try with all their might to make sense of them and their role in the experiences and world around them.

    • Cathy Bennett
      June 19, 2015

      I could not agree with you more. Watching the two of them these past few days react so differently – yet react just the same. Their primary focus has been on us. Dogs are so special, I feel so blessed to have them in my life. Thanks for stopping by, have a great weekend.

  • Emma
    June 19, 2015

    Wow! So glad his family is safe and was not killed or injured! Dogs are very in tune with their own bodies and also with human bodies. We know when Mom is doing what without her saying a word because of her routine, and body language. We definitely sense when something is up or something good happens. We doggies are amazing!

    • Cathy Bennett
      June 19, 2015

      Emma, you and your sisters are some remarkable creatures. I am so happy to have my boys around these past three days. They are providing so much love and compassion. It’s a beautiful thing!

  • jan
    June 19, 2015

    Our prayers are with all of the people involved in this senseless tragedy.

    There are a lot of times I swear my dogs, especially the Poodles, are reading my mind. But I know that they are so tuned in to my nonverbal communication that words are not necessary.

    • Cathy Bennett
      June 19, 2015

      Dogs are A-mazing creatures. I am so tuned in to the Boys right now watching them settle down and we start to regain some normalcy around the house. There is so much to be learned from them.

  • Elaine
    June 19, 2015

    Cathy, I can’t imagine how you and your family must be feeling after such an tragic event. I wish I had the right words to express, but please know that all of you, along with the families of those that lost loved ones and community of Charleston are in our thoughts and prayers.

    I can’t even begin to make sense of these things when they happen and I pray that we don’t have to ever hear of another mass shooting like this.

    • Cathy Bennett
      June 19, 2015

      I agree with you Elaine, these are troubled times we live in now. The immediate family is fine. They are troubled, and sad which is part of the grieving process. They read the blog, so I know they appreciate all the love, condolences and prayers. Thank you so much! Have a great weekend.

  • Aunt Ann
    June 19, 2015

    Words seem inadequate to express the sadness I feel about your Charleston SC family. My heart and prayers are with Charleston. In sorrow, I mourn those lost.

    • Cathy Bennett
      June 19, 2015

      Thanks Aunt Ann, I believe our faith in a living God will see us through. These are the midnight hours, but joy does come in the morning. We’ve (you & I) have witnessed it for ourselves. #Heisable

  • M. K. Clinton
    June 19, 2015

    I didn’t realize that was your family church. Such a senseless tragedy. Stay strong as always and give your husband and the Goldendoodles a hug.

    • Cathy Bennett
      June 19, 2015

      I shall MK – senseless and tragic, I agree. Doodle Dad is doing well, and the Boys are hanging tight but having fun with me. Have a great weekend!

  • Monika & Sam
    June 19, 2015

    The unthinkable happened and I’m so sorry it happened to close to you. You’re right, our pets are often times like mirrors-they can reflect the energy around them. I’ve seen Sam do this at hospice as well. Please know those of us in Blogville are praying and thinking of you and the members of your community. Be well.

    • Cathy Bennett
      June 19, 2015

      I like that image – “a mirror” that is the PAWfect description Monika. Thank you for your comforting words. I think the entire world is has been shaken by this senseless demonstration of crime. If you cannot feel safe in the house of God, what have we become as a people?

  • Alessandra & Pedro
    June 19, 2015

    Our thoughts are with your Family, the people of Charleston SC, especially the families of the victims, what a senseless tragedy !
    At times like this I really wonder why we, humans, believe that we are a “superior” species, when I know that there is no way that dogs (or any other animal) would kill out of hatred, ignorance and with such cruelty.
    And I am also glad that Harley and Jax are there to comfort you and Doodle Dad in this time of sadness. Hugs and loving paws!

    • Cathy Bennett
      June 19, 2015

      Thanks so much Alessandra – We shall rise – it will just take time.

  • Jan K
    June 20, 2015

    Oh, Cathy, I am so sorry this tragedy hit so close to home for you. I can only imagine how scary it must have been initially for Doodle Dad not knowing if his immediate family was safe. Our thoughts and prayers have been with everyone and their families harmed in this senseless attack.

    I am glad that Harley and Jax are there to comfort you both. I think in time Jax may get more accustomed to these human emotions and less apt to act out. The first time Luke ever saw me cry, he kind of freaked out! But now he comes up to me and licks my face.

    • Cathy Bennett
      June 21, 2015

      Thank you so much for your kind words – we are so grateful for their safety. Jax is doing fine, unfortunately his first experience with human emotions was so tragic but he’d good.

  • Denise Gruzensky
    June 21, 2015

    Late to the game, but so glad to hear your friends & family are safe!

    • Cathy Bennett
      June 22, 2015

      Hey Denise – It’s all good, thanks for stopping by, we’re dealing with the aftermath one day at a time. The Charleston family is safe, and keeping in touch.

  • Pamela
    June 22, 2015

    When I heard the horrible news out of Charleston, I thought of you and your planned, upcoming move. I had no idea your family has such close ties to Emmanuel church. I’m so sorry for the grief you must be feeling over this horrific act of terror.

    I’m glad your husband had Harley’s calm energy around him when he first heard the news. And little Jax? Well, I kinda hope Jax never has enough opportunity to get familiar with suffering to become a helpful presence around good news. But I guess that’s too much to ask.

    • Cathy Bennett
      June 22, 2015

      Thank you Pamela – I still have nothing but love for Charleston and its people. I’m sure after watching the abundance of forgiveness and love that comes from its residents. I cannot wait to officially call Charleston “home.”

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