I want to share a story about dogs emotions. November 16 of 2020 I lost my 14 year old Tingeling. She had gone 90% deaf and depended on her son Alvin to hear for her, and often followed him the last bit of her life whenever she could not follow me. She died here at home peacefully on the couch with me, with the help of a vet she knew – and was wrapped in a pink towel with my name embroidered on it. The bundle was lying on the floor when the other dogs was allowed to see and smell her. I wanted them to understand that she had passed. How they reacted, I could never have guessed.
They approached her ever so slowly, their tails lowering more and more as they got closer. Gently they sniffed her with tails down. After a while I put her on the bed in a cold room next to the hallway, to lay until the next day, when she was to be buried in the garden. But Alvin followed the bundle and would not leave her side. I didn´t know what to think. Did he guard her? Was he grieving? Did he understand? WHAT did he understand? I let him be for a little while. And whenever we passed that room, he wanted in and I let him. Very reluctantly he left the bundle each time and came with me again.
The next day he, and my other smooth fox terrier Pinocchio, followed Tingeling to her grave and again Alvin would not leave the site. I had to put a large, heavy slate on top to prevent him from digging her up, and not before the slate was in place I could get him to leave her grave and follow me.
We both, I think, had two weeks of silent grieving before I couldn´t stop myself and cried aloud, and so comes the second part about dogs emotions. Pinocchio came towards me to lick my tears, and since my crying didn´t stop at that, he came closer, and closer, until he ended up on top of my shoulder, leaning on my cheek and ear with his 9 kg body weight. And there he lay. Through my sobs I thanked him and told him what a good dog he was. Finally, as I stopped sobbing, he left my shoulder and looked at me, deep into my eyes. For a long while. I will never forget that look. It spoke more than thousand words.
Dogs are amazing.