Light hearted post - Do you believe that pets can sense human distress and discomfort? 

I ask because I had some nasty arrhythmia for the first time for ages this evening and a furry bundle arrived at my feet for a cuddle as soon as it started, and abandoning his place next to my husband on the sofa for once!  This has happened a few times before and I'm curious as to whether or not your pets behave in this way? 




Pet comfort

by Kimmieb - 2023-09-08 17:21:57

Yes, I've often noticed that if I'm sad or unwell my pets seem to sense it and are especially loving and attentive.

pets are aware

by new to pace.... - 2023-09-08 17:32:52

A friend told me her dog went to her step dad when he was having heart attack.  Never did that before.

new to pace


by Penguin - 2023-09-08 17:56:32

Yes it's weird how they seem to sense it. My dog even looks at me as if he knows - all sad eyes and snuggling up to me. Usually he's a happy, waggy tailed kind of dog - and most interested in having his tummy rubbed, walkies or food but he changes and looks sad. It's comforting though. Takes your mind off what's going on. 

Bless him. 



by Tracey_E - 2023-09-08 17:58:19

Pets know. 

Oh they know

by Gemita - 2023-09-08 20:28:30

Penguin, I am sorry you experienced a nasty arrhythmia this evening.  Perhaps it was due to the unusual heat we have been having?

Pets are beautiful creatures and give so much pleasure, don’t they.  Of course they know when we are distressed, or when we experience other emotions like anger.  

We had a beautiful Korat cat and she was always so vocal but she had her quieter moments too.  She used to “playfully” attack my husband if ever he showed any anger which certainly put him in his place.  Her name was Gemita and she ruled the household but she could be so affectionate and gentle too and knew instinctively when we were experiencing painful emotions


by docklock - 2023-09-08 21:59:50

My Boxer, Bo usually doesn't stray far from me. When I use the bathroom he will sit in the doorway as if "I got your back, take your time, I'm here."

If I'm feeling sad or anxious over something, he'll come over very gently and put his body against me. 
I'm not a cat person, never had one -- only dogs. I can be gone a hour or half the day and he's always at the door to greet me with wiggling his entire rear end.  
DOG spelled backwards is GOD.  🤔


by PacedNRunning - 2023-09-08 22:27:26

Yes! Dogs have a million senses they can distinguish. So they are highly sensitive to smells and change.


by Lillian S. - 2023-09-08 23:02:57

Pets do know.  In January I was watching TV with cat on lap and all of a sudden she looked up at me like she was asking, "What's wrong?"  I did not realize something was wrong till she did that.  I guess I was breathing differently than my usual pattern or something.  Took pulse and it was all over the place, slow and then fast.  After some dithering, in the end I went to the ER and they did tests and eventually said there was nothing wrong with PM and it was likely an afib attack.  They sent me home and said to call cardiologist's office on Monday.  Several days after that, the cardi's office had me come in and they made some kind of adjustment to the PM and said that should help fix things.  I guess it worked since I haven't had another episode since.  And now I know more about what an afib episode feels like and won't panic next time.  When the monitor recorded other afib episodes in the past, I did not feel anything and only learned of it when I got the quarterly report.    

Most definitely

by Lavender - 2023-09-08 23:10:34

My pet was always aware of sadness or sickness and silently gave close companionship and comfort. Rest in peace. 

Lillian / New to Pace / Marybird

by Penguin - 2023-09-09 03:34:01

Fascinating stories New to Pace and Lillian - you can see why animals are used for support in some cases can't you? I've not experienced my dog knowing that I'm having a rhythm disturbance, but I'm certain that he picks up on ambiance and emotions like distress.

 I've never thought of parakeets as particularly empathetic - they concern me a bit - but yours may be the exception Marybird. He must be mimicking someone - you perhaps? 

I love the story about Bo the boxer Docklock! Boxers are such characterful dogs. Their facial expressions are hilarious.  

Thank you for the other more general contributions too and for sharing your pet stories.  We've had various pets over the years - always a source of comfort when adults and older children are distressed but strangely absent when babies cry and with toddlers who maul them! 

 Where would we be without them? 


by Flo - 2023-09-09 09:22:12

My cat laid against my arm when I had shingles. The warmth felt good.  Once I was better he went back to his place on the bed. 


by Penguin - 2023-09-09 09:30:41

Awww - how cute. 

Yes and no

by atiras - 2023-09-09 13:43:15

Boycat get clingy (well, extra clingy) when I'm under the weather.

Little Madam, however, takes it as a personal affront -- how dare I not be at her beck and call?


by Penguin - 2023-09-09 14:08:32

'' Dogs have owners, Cats have staff ''



by atiras - 2023-09-09 14:21:41

Little Madam has never forgotten that her ancestors were goddesses in Egypt. She prefers the word acolytes to staff.

Inter-species communication

by Gotrhythm - 2023-09-09 14:37:57

You don't say whether the "furry bundle" was dog, cat, or something else.

I've had a few cats, but most of my experience is with dogs. Dogs' sense of hearing and smell are far more acute than ours. Less well known, is that although they don't see things that are still, unmoving, as clearly as we do, their eyes/nervous systems are equipped to see small, fast movements much better and locate them more accurately--think of their prowess at Frisbee. Twitch a finger or an eyelid--the dog sees it, and knows the difference between your eyelid twitch and someone else's.

Dogs are taking in far more sensory data about us than we have any idea. And they are doing it all the time. As for what that sensory data means to THEM--I expect that depends on the individual dog. In my experience, some appear to be very empathetic, while others appear motivated entirely by self-interest.

I don't doubt that the furry bundle knew your physical state had changed, and knew it before you did. It's so hard to tell anyone what a bad spell of arrythmia feels like. It feels like something we must face and experience totally alone. How wonderful that in that moment, there was another creature that just knew, and apparently cared. You didn't have to explain anything. You didn't go through it alone.

Give your furry bundle an extra petting and tell them it came from me.


Furry Canine Bundle

by Penguin - 2023-09-09 15:47:01

Will do GotRhythm!  

Just googled 'Acolytes'

''a person assisting a priest in a religious service or procession.

an assistant or follower.''

"she runs the department through a small group of acolytes"

Your cats are high maintenance Atiras! 

Quote: Terry Pratchett: 

'' In ancient times cats were worshipped as Gods. They have never forgotten this!''

Not my pet

by R2D2 - 2023-12-10 19:04:15

I have a Dingo. She's not full blooded, and unfortunately, the "puppy mill" we rescued her from wasn't very forthcoming with her inbreeding issues. But she's as sympathetic as a computer toy programmed with basic responses. She requires attention on HER terms, and prefers her needs are met exactly when she wants it. She never has been empathetic or attentive. I used to think she was more affectionate when I rode in our Jeep with her, she's always trying to get on my lap. But that's because it's HER JEEP and HER SEAT, and I'm sitting in it, disrupting her routine, which is very important to her. I've come to the conclusion after nearly 6 years with her that she's autistic. Really. My 38 year old daughter has Aspergers syndrome, and the similarities are worth pondering. I miss my longhair dachshund,  she was a doggie soul mate. 

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