Do dogs have feelings?

What does a dog actually feel?

 Actually, I’ve wanted to write the blog article about ‘Do dogs have feelings?’ that’s been floating around in my head for a long time.

Of course, I already answered this question in the pre-Sophie era, but more in the direction of ‘dog is afraid/ is happy/feels lonely/ has fun’.

Since Sophie adopted us as leash bearer, I can only laugh about this limited view. Sophie has – pity. She feels and she suffers with us. No matter if it’s with other furry noses or with superhero lords and me. And at the moment there is a lot to feel and pity for Sophie.

For myself, the working day hasn’t changed at all, let alone the holidays, as some people call it cynically. Seven days a week I sit at my laptop for more or less long hours, desperately trying to revise my latest book for the ‘now but really’ last time. Yes, it’s not so easy to write a really smart thriller. In the meantime I don’t know who the culprit is anymore … 🙂

No, joking aside, the book is really heavy on my stomach, and every day that passes by makes me even more nervous. And then there’s the little dog blog, which is really a matter of the heart for me, and which deserves many more articles and photos.

Everything is different than before, definitely.

The pandemic, especially the lockdown, is restricting us all. What until a few weeks ago was a matter of course has now moved into the distant future. Instead, there is emptiness in our minds – roughly the same emptiness as in the toilet paper, flour and yeast shelves in the supermarket, which we enter with disposable gloves and a lousy feeling if possible only every week and a half.

On the other side it is quiet outside. Unusually quiet. Today is Easter Sunday, and like the days before, the sun is laughing from an (almost) cloudless sky. Normally the streets around our village, which lead to the northern Black Forest, would be really crazy. Day-trippers with bicycle racks on the roof, motorcyclists in a rattling convoy, convertible cruisers with more or less many horsepower. But it is quiet. Hardly a car on the road, let alone a motorcycle. Actually, I am always happy to have peace and quiet, but this ghostly, abnormal mood hits me in the head.

She feels the tension and the bad mood, and she doesn’t know how to deal with it. Master and mistress are funny, with their thoughts elsewhere, discuss and argue – and Sophie gets nervous. She hardly lets us out of her sight, and she needs to be stroked. Many strokes. Many strokes … It doesn’t matter if superhero master is desperately struggling through the pitfalls of the home office or if the helicopter mistress is crashing one deadline after the other.

And she keeps it just like mistress with the current moon phase: we are gaining weight. Both of us. And we’re doing it right. In the evening, the frustrating chocolate suddenly lands on the coffee table, and Sophie begs for one treat after another – if not from us, then from her fans on the street, who want to ‘at least give the dog a little pleasure’. We are standing several metres away from them according to the regulations and are inconsistent. Why do we always hold on to everything when we don’t even know if we’ll soon be able to …

And already we postpone the appointment ‘start a diet today’ just like all the other appointments. It can’t go on like this, of course. But even the once so relaxed walks through the nature reserve have now mutated into running the gauntlet: always keep your distance … Which is a real challenge in the afternoon at the latest, because for lack of leisure alternatives many people have discovered their love of walking, jogging and cycling. Right now the weather is just like on the famous Stachus. Which is probably deserted at the moment …

Sophie doesn’t really know what to think of all this hustle and bustle. Many strange dogs on ‘her’ track – and all of them are marking what they can do. Madame of course marks eagerly against it, but at some point all squeezing doesn’t help … With clenched teeth she trots home with us, where she first of all swallows her water bowl.

And then she wanders from one ‘Reserved for Sophie’ pillow to the next in order to keep an eye on the superhero master and the helicopter mistress at the same time, even though her eyes are always closed.

Actually I am dead tired …

Sophie is currently a ‘restless spirit’ not only during the day, but also at night. I always wanted to write a contribution about the topic ‘Can the dog go to bed?’ – note to me …

I’ll spoil it a little: Yes, Sophie can go to bed with me. Like all of her somewhat questionable habits, this is one of the habits we have ‘trained’ her for. That’s why we only complain very quietly when Sophie wakes up from her dreams night after night and needs immediate physical contact with the rest of the pack. But before that, the helicopter lady has to crawl through the whole dog for at least five minutes before Madame finally closes her eyes again and the wild dreaming continues – this time somewhere directly on our backs or feet.

The little mouse has had a lot of nightmares lately, it seems. At night she works through her worries during the day and is usually fit and alert again in the morning. In contrast to superhero masters and helicopter mistresses who have to sort out their cramped muscles and bent bones first.

Well, I can also sleep at right angles. It’s all a matter of goodwill.

Does my dog pity me?

For example in the morning, when we stagger out of bed with swollen eyes and calf cramps, while she was obviously able to sleep very well for at least the second part of the night thanks to extensive social hygiene?

Nope. No trace of pity.

At least not in this situation.

She shows her compassion in a different way. When visiting, she makes sure that all four- and two-legged friends are perfectly looked after – especially if the respective four- or two-legged friend is not feeling so well. People who don’t know Sophie so well are surprised that they suddenly have a treat in front of their feet. Dog mates can be happy about a freshly sucked bone, and if they don’t like it because of all the excitement, they get Sophie’s favorite toy. Preferably the totally loved crochet ball, which is already no longer recognizable as such.

When the mood barometer points to ‘relaxation’, Sophie finally relaxes (and collects her presents again) :-). But it is an obvious concern of hers that everyone feels comfortable. She really gives comfort – to us as well. And we all need it, as I said.

By the way, last week Sophie outdid herself again. When I was finally able to get some sleep after a sleepless night, suddenly something sharp-edged, sharp-edged, sticky and damp on my arm tore me from the longed-for peace. Half asleep I felt – a dried pig’s ear. Carefully pre-chewed and thickly salivated. And Sophie stood beside the bed and smiled radiantly at me from her wildly tousled dog’s face.

No, of course I didn’t eat the ear, but gave it back to her with a big kiss on the little pig-head. After all, it’s the gesture that counts…

Thank you, darling. It’ll be all right…

So, that’s it for today, this memorably different Easter Sunday. High time for a cuddle evening together on the sofa. Since the lock down situation is spreading fear and worries everywhere, it’s even more important to remember the essential things in life – and these have a lot to do with feelings at the moment, don’t you think?

I wish you and your pelt-nose that you get through this special time well and above all healthy. There will also be other, better times, for sure! In this sense, take care of yourself – and take care of yourself AND the others …