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Do Pets Exhibit Empathy?

June 17th, 2008, 05:57 PM
At 8 months old my Lab is not much on retrieving. He likes me to throw his ball but he'd rather lie down and chew on it than bring it back. There was deep snow outside all winter and inside our floors are slippery so I never encouraged him much to do it anyway.

But get this. Last week I was laid up on the chesterfield with a migraine and he was getting wrangy. So I asked him to bring me his tennis ball and he did. I threw it, he brought it back. I threw it again, he brought it back. Over and over. Put it right into my hand. Wow, what's with that? Did he somehow know I couldn't move much?

June 17th, 2008, 06:08 PM
I think they do Lady may she r.i.p use to lay with me when I was ill. She also took on babysitting my 4 kids too (border collie mix) never let them leave the room if they did she push them back to the living room.
My other dog Peanut stayed by my side when I had surgery last year and would lick my hand when the meds were not helping.
Never under estimate our furry friends they care.

June 17th, 2008, 06:27 PM
i was a lonely kid. Fido hated me except when i was at my most lonely. *shrugs*


Ford Girl
June 18th, 2008, 04:23 PM
Some dogs are so in tuned, they know and adjust their behavior, I believe that totally. Some breeds more the others pick up on human emotion and are affected by it.

My dog doesn't retrieve whe she doesn't "have" to, she's a retriever. :rolleyes:

June 18th, 2008, 04:55 PM
Some dogs do, I think. Perhaps not mine though:laughing:. I sprained my ankle last week and Tommy is sticking pretty close to me as if he knows something is wrong... but he also has to spin around on my ankle 15 times before settling down to snooze on my lap, completely ignoring the fact that he's killing me:frustrated::laughing:.

June 18th, 2008, 05:12 PM
Well, I don't know if it's sympathy or just knowing that something is "off", but my two are surprisingly good at knowing what's up with people.

When they were younger, and much, much more, um how to put this nicely, bouncy and full of energy, they would totally totally calm down and be extremely gentle with the ladies from the nursing home that we would pass on our walks.

They normally know exactly when walk time is and start running around the house whining, but if I'm sick they just lay right next to me and don't make a peep no matter how long they have to wait to go out.

Oh, and since I'm an accident prone crazy, I've found myself unable to walk normally on a few occasions and the dogs always go very slow for me :shrug:

June 18th, 2008, 05:22 PM
Not just dogs do this. My Mooki will come and lay on the pillow beside me and lay her head on my shoulder if I am in bed not feeling well...she will stay they until I fall asleep and when I wake up, I will sometimes find one of her toys beside my head.

June 18th, 2008, 06:12 PM
Oh yes, I do believe animals feel our emotions! Buster knows that I am giong through some rough times right now and is being very sooky with me. :angel: Lot of kisses, gentle playing, and staying close by. When arguements are happening, he gets very nervous and sits at my feet.

I swear they know more than we do!!! :dog:

Jim Hall
June 18th, 2008, 06:36 PM
Years ago,when my extended family lived together, We had a special needs child nicknamed bobbie. We also had a rather misanthropic siamise cat
Yeah i know meezers arent usually like that but :shrug: she had had a tough

When Bobbie got upset blockhead the meeze would always repeat always go find him and let him stroke and hold her till he felt better SHe didnt need to see him get the blankie and hide but she would know,somehow and find him.

She would laso not make a sound except for a purr that never made it out she was a huge cat lol Until bobbie was redy to come out then she would make a unique meow and come out to us .

June 18th, 2008, 07:34 PM
Im going to talk about something that i Never ever talks about, it brings me to tears when i think about it. Before i got matrix, i had another german shepherd that was rescued from a puppy mill. He had ALOT of health issues including cancer at the age of 3 months i think??? (It was so far along it would have had to develope within the woumb(how do you spell that?:shrug:) Well, i was SOOOOOO attached to that dog. Just because of the look he got in his eyes when h e would look up at me while i was holding him. Hed cuddle into my chest and look in my eyes as if to say, im finally free. (he was going to be kept for breeding before it got busted) . Omy... He was slowly becoming my favorite, until he died (in my arms to make the best of it) From a brain anurism???????-I think- Well anyways, in the short time i had him i was 'neglecting' my dutys to casey. And while i was crying the pain away, casey (forgetting the neglect) came over and licked my face and looked at me with a sympathetic look on her face. She knew i was feeling down and she came over to fix it. Thats why she is 'My Girl' today. She owns my heart. And My poor little Stewie still holds a special place in my heart, even though he isnt here. A few months later (i was still a little depressed, accually had to see a theropist a feew times because of it, something i am not proud of:sad:) My daddy brought home Matrix with a little red bow around his neck( a little corny, like a seen from a movie but what ever). It didnt make the pain go away, but it helped me through it alot.

NOw see what ya got me doin? Im Crying my eyes out again! Thankfully my little comforter is here to help! UGGHHH

June 18th, 2008, 08:31 PM
i don't think i've ever owned an animal that didn't sense when something was wrong with one of his mommy's. Even wonder goof quincy knows if one of us isn't feeling the best, both our boys will cuddle next to us and just lay quiet, normally they lay on us and perform wwf moves on each other.

June 18th, 2008, 09:20 PM
My Daisy was the best in these cases. She was always independent , but when I wasn't feeling good , she was always by my side :cloud9:

So yes , I do think they know how we feel and act accordingly.

June 18th, 2008, 10:45 PM
My cats do, absolutely!! And when I had dogs , they also did.

Ford Girl
June 19th, 2008, 01:35 PM
When they were younger, and much, much more, um how to put this nicely, bouncy and full of energy, they would totally totally calm down and be extremely gentle with the ladies from the nursing home that we would pass on our walks.

Exactly! I agree with this for sure, Dazy's a frieght train of love and fur and wiggles, but around kids and seniors she can control it, she stops short of approching them to slow herself down and correct herself, she's never jumped on a senior or child, I still secret cringe when she runs towards kids knowing she so excited and is capable of bad manners while greeting, but she always amazes me with her grace and understand of children and seniors, and we dont have any kids of our own or seniors we visit regularly. This isn't something we taught her or practiced.

Imgaine that - I used Dazy and grace in the same sentence. :laughing: