Monday, August 6, 2007

Animal Senses

Do animals know? Can they tell? I have two examples to site. First of all, there is the cat, Rascal, our first baby. We have had him ever since he was about 8 weeks old and climbed up the back of my shirt, clawing my skin while his brother shook in fear of us in the corner. He is 6 years old now and is fairly independent (I don't think he ever forgave us for intentionally inflicting infertility on him). But, each time Jennifer has been pregnant, he becomes more cuddly and he will just invite himself onto her belly or hip for a nap. Behavior he doesn't exhibit any other time. How does he know? We call it the Rascal test.

The second example is not near as cute, but I would expect no less from our ornery huskie, Shelby. I thought sure she must be starting to prepare me for what is to come, but then knowing Shelby, she probably knows Jennifer is pregnant and was just being her usual jealous self. Shelby is our second baby. We got her when she was 6 weeks old and she is very attached to us. So much so she is nicknamed "The Interrupter" because no matter when or where we are, or what we are doing, she feels she needs to be at least with us, and preferably between us. I am very familiar with the advice, "A tired husky is a good husky". Believe me it is true. She has energy, she is smart, and if you don't find a way for her to burn her energy, she will find one on her own. Let me recommend not letting her figure something out on her own. She has chewed half a futon, the frame not the mattress, 1/2 a metal dog tag is missing, the other half full of teeth marks, and it is not uncommon to see her sprint down the hallway, leap into the air, rotate horizontally, use the cushions on the back of the couch to change direction, rotate back to vertical, and land back on the floor without touching anything else. Last night was one of her, "I'm not tired nights." It was our fault, we didn't spend much time with her Saturday or Sunday, so it was time to pay. Of course she waited for everyone to go to bed before whining and barking. There's no sleeping through that. So I get up to let her out but no, she doesn't want to go out, she wants to play. So back to the bedroom she goes to fire up Skyler, our other husky, and get her to bark. Then the sprints start. It's best to just let her go and get it out of her system so I closed Skyler in the bedroom with Jennifer hoping Jennifer can get some sleep. When Shelby stops sprinting through the house, she decides it is time to eat. We do not have a normal dog. She maybe eats every other day and we just leave her food in her bowl until she decides to eat it. Then when she eats, she takes her good old time. A couple of bites, then come see what I am doing. Then take the food from the bowl, spread it out on the floor, and then eat some more. Finally done eating and now it is play time again. To the toy basket she goes, and chooses a woolly man shaped squeeky toy to chew on (no sleeping through that), that gets old so she gets the screaming monkey toy out (no sleeping through that), then when that gets old, she gets the fleece tug rope and invites me to play tug of war. Finally she lays down and just when I think maybe I can go back to bed, she gets up and starts to chew a rawhide. She alternates between looking asleep and being awake playing and chewing. The rest intervals start getting longer and the play intervals shorter. Finally she is asleep and we all return to bed. As I laid there going back to sleep I thought, I got up for her to eat, go to the bathroom, and play, better get used to it. It has been years since we had a night like this with Shelby, why now, how does she know?


Julie said...

oo I hope so! I had a Golden that would NOT leave me alone last night. I was up every hour with him. And he is my lazy boy!

seriously though, I have heard that animals can "sense" when a woman is pregnant!


Jason said...

It's definitely true. Every time that Devon has been pregnant Zoe would pick up on it almost immediately. She would crawl up on Devon's belly and curl up in a tight ball. She also generally wants attention from Devon more now than she normally would. I get pushed aside. :( We always ask Zoe now if she's trying to feel bean moving.

Val said...

I think some of it is that the pregnant woman also starts to behave a little differently--more protective of belly, tired, different eating habits, etc. I think animals sense that. However, I will agree that Ollie was all over me when I was pregnant. Almost in a comforting way like he knew I needed extra love and attention. It was very cute. NOT cute would be after the baby was born and Ollie could smell milk. I'll just leave it at that.