Somehow They Know…

Having been away for a few days to help my mother, I walked into the house to my happily leaping dogs. Graidy came rushing up the chair in front of me and used it like a springboard to catapult himself up into my arms. Kiera, wanting to lick my face, had trampoline feet, she was jumping so high.

Finally, I brushed them both off, so I could sit down on the floor. Then, and only then, could we give each other a proper greeting; me pulling them into my arms, them wildly licking any area of exposed skin — until such time as we all felt that we’d been satisfactorily reconnected.

Andrew, watching the mayhem, and knowing that I had to turn right around and go back out for a quick meeting, said, “That’s the first time I’ve seen Kiera with any energy since you left. She goes into a swoon when you’re not here, and just lays by the door waiting for your return.” (I can’t take Kiera to my mother’s because she and my mother’s dog don’t get along.)

This was Andrew’s way of letting me know that he wasn’t thrilled about me leaving the house so soon again, while being left to deal with a depressed dog.

“Kiera will be fine,” I said.

“How can you say that?” Andrew asked.

“Because I’m leaving the house empty-handed,” I said.


“Both Kiera and Graidy know that if I walk out with a duffel bag, I’ll be gone at least overnight. If I walk out with a pocketbook, I’ll be gone for at least a few hours. And, if I leave empty-handed, I’ll be back before they know it.”

“Umhmm…,” Andrew answered, unconvinced.

“You’ll see. Somehow, they figure these things out; they just know.”

With that, I left, returned home in less than an hour, with both dogs calm and happy upon my return.

Haven’t your pets figured out your comings and goings?

14 thoughts on “Somehow They Know…”


    I took my small dog Rascal to my neighbors where he will be staying for a week while we are on vacation. He stood by our sides while we talked. I got a call that he pooped on her bed upstairs!! He never has done this in a house!! He is trained and he must of ran upstairs and did this rather quickly!! I was told because he knows we will be leaving him! (We take him all other times) but can’t this time. Has anyone heard of something so crazy? And on a bed!!

    Charlene, you don’t mention if they have any pets of their own or if they’ve watched your dog before, or whether your dog feels familiar and safe with them. In other words, you haven’t really provided enough information to know exactly what’s going on with your guy.  It’s not uncommon for a dog being left behind to do something like this. It can be a form of separation anxiety.

  2. My husband went on a trip for a week a few years ago and his border collie would come flying into the house and check out each room looking fom him after we’d been out doing chores and then sadly go lie down on his side of the bed. When he came home that dog didn’t let him out of his sight. He even accompanied him to the bathroom.

    I have the privilege of being accompanied to the bathroom everyday by my two. I guess they think I won’t remember what to do unless they’re sitting right there staring at me! Much as I love them, there are some things for which I am not in need of their support. :)

  3. gingaboo are very relaxed in the morning when we go to school – they go out for their morning walk and then get to sleep immediately. if we try to go out in the evening or night they want to come along. BooBoo doesn’t like suitcases being out – it means somebody is leaving for a while.

  4. My cats are also very knowing. If I get up in the night to go to the bathroom, they stay put. If I turn off my CPAP machine, they go sit at the head of the stairs, waiting for me to go down. If I go down in my robe, they are very relaxed. If I get dressed first, they stay close to me until I leave for work.

    I visit a friend who is owned by a beautify border collie. When I start to pack my bag to come home, he lays between the suitcase and the closet and cries when I transfer clothes. When she tells him I’m coming to visit, he runs out and looks at every plane that flies over. He saw me get on a plane, and he may well think I’m still up there.

    Yes, our Finn has picked up on Cait’s cues. And I’ve no doubt that Border Collie knows exactly which plane you’re on. ;)

  5. Without Question… AND from what Michelle tells me, they know when I’m going to call home… it doesn’t matter what time.. they start “dancing” a few minutes before the phone rings…

  6. Glad to know you all share this experience. I’ve learned not to underestimate what my dogs understand. I suspect those who think their animals don’t know much are people who don’t bother much to observe much.

  7. Amazingly my dogs also seem to know my entire Itinerary when I leave. When you think about how long our lives have been intertwined, it guess it is natural that they can do this.

  8. Mountain Dweller

    Our dogs have got the run of the whole farm, but whenever we go anywhere they always sit on the doorstep until we get back.

  9. My dogs know when I get up and put the glasses on that they should be on the alert. No glass-they keep sleeping. If I say I’m going to work they sit, wait for me to get coat and purse and then are given milkbones. As I close and lock the front door you can look in the front window. The dogs are there. It is as if they are little kids saying goodbye, come back home soon (like I remember doing as a child when my Dad would go to work)They know when I say “just going to the store, I’ll be right back” to not get in a dither.

  10. The benefit of having a small dog like Morena is that you can take her almost everywhere. However, when I have to leave her at home I tell her (in Spanish), “You stay here, I’ll be right back.” Immediately, her ears droop, she stops walking and she sits right where she is with a forlorn look on her face. I’m leaving her at the kennel (with her lovely vet) while I go on a trip today. It’s breaking my heart… :(

    My mom had a cocker spaniel who used to climb into my mom’s suitcase when my mom was packing to go on a trip. She wouldn’t budge, no matter how you tried to “reason” with her. They know… They watch us all day long, they observe us much more than we observe them.

    I’ve always wondered how we humans would do if the world were run by dogs. Imagine if we had to go around all day picking up cues from dogs and interpreting their barks, because our lives depended on it. Because that’s what they do!

  11. Dogs, especially herding dogs, are amazing. Our old Mike sleeps beside my bed. If I go downstairs without my glasses he ignores me. If I put them on, even at three in the morning, he knows I am getting up and follows me. Glad you are back home to your pups.

  12. Animals are incredibly perceptive. When we take our suitcases out of the closet our cat definitely reacts differently and knows we are leaving for a longer period of time. I hate leaving her!

  13. We had one dog that would barricade the door to the garage with his body when he realized I was going out. He loved car trips. Since he was a 95 pound Rottweiler cross, this made it very awkward to get out. I had to leave the house by the front door for a while until he gave up.

    This dog loved to go play with my friend’s mixed breed. He knew the route so well that when they were doing construction near there, he started whining when we took a detour.

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