Why Your Pets Seek You Out When Something’s Wrong

For the next week, at least twice a day, our beloved 12-year-old girl would seek me out (at my desk, on the toilet, you name it) and would back up to me for a massage. I could almost hear a sound like thosewarning beeps trucks make when they drive in reverse. I'd start massaging, and Scooter would push up into my hands and almost purr with relief.

After about a week, I took Scooter to North Idaho Animal Hospital and radiographed her hips. Eureka! She had hip dysplasia in her left hip joint. Looking back over the past several years, I realized she would present that area to be petted or rubbed first and for the longest. But I had ignored her communication with me.

From then on, I started watching our other pets much more closely, and I saw the same type of behavior. On one occasion, our Lab, Sirloin, gave me his foot, because he had a cheatgrass awn embedded in it. I heard from other pet owners about their experiences, too. Their pets come to them with cut pads, broken toenails, arthritic pain or stomach upset, lifting a paw, rolling over or just wanting to be extra close to their faithful humans. How special is that, that our animals trust us so much?

The human-animal bond is a wonderful thing in and of itself. But once we learn to go deeper and read our pets’ actions more clearly, it binds us even more strongly. That’s good for all of us, pets and people alike.

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