Jump to content
BC Boards
Sign in to follow this  
bc4ever

Can dogs really predict death?

Recommended Posts

My brother-in-law died this morning in a local Hospice facility. As I live the closest, I was the first to arrive. Lying midway between his room and the neighboring room was the resident dog, an aging Golden Retriever. We'd seen him wandering the halls during our two week vigil, but he had never come near our room. After the rest of the family arrived, I heard a lot of crying and activity next to us. When we left, there was a sign on the door to check at the desk before entering; usually a sign that someone has died.

 

For many years, this Hospice had two dogs that lived there, mingling with patients and their families but the one Black Lab had an almost perfect record for predicting impending death. Everyone knew that if this particular dog was seen lying in your doorway, death was not far off.

 

Do you believe there is anything to this? Are they picking up on things we can't sense, or is it perhaps increased activity by the staff when someone is close to death?

 

Whatever it is, having a gentle, fluffy dog to pet when you're grieving is better than any words that any human could ever speak. :rolleyes:

 

(Wasn't sure if this belonged here; my apologies in advance if it didn't.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am sorry for your loss, and yes I do believe that dogs can sense much more than we humans could ever imagine. It is remarkable that the dogs can handle that level of emotion from relative strangers but I'm so glad that they are there for you and other families.

 

Liz

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been a nurse for 18 years and I can say even for me there is something tangible about a person who is dying that goes way beyond simple vs or visual observation. There is a feeling in the room that is hard to describe it isnt a scary place or painful but, more like pressure. Possibly someone else can explain it better.

 

I would have no doubt a dog could sense it. Along with the smells of breath and sounds of the breathing. If they have proven dogs can predict cancer with sense of smell dying would have so many smells.

 

I wanted to add that I'm very sorry for your loss.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I've been a nurse for 18 years and I can say even for me there is something tangible about a person who is dying that goes way beyond simple vs or visual observation. There is a feeling in the room that is hard to describe it isnt a scary place or painful but, more like pressure. Possibly someone else can explain it better.

 

I've been attempting to do some reading on "affective consciousness" -- which, as I understand it, is a core emotional response that seems to be common among most mammals (including humans) -- the neuroscience is way above the level of an English Lit major, but it does make for some interesting reading, what I do understand of it.

 

Liz

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My sympathies for your family's loss.

 

I do think animals can sense impending death.

 

On a related note, I think it is great that more and more facilities for ill, elderly or dyijng patients have pets or allow pets to visit. It has to brighten the lives of the residents.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They do seem know when the time is near. Zoey knew a week ahead when our old cat, Angie, was getting ready to go. They never, ever socialized before, but a week before Angie died, Zoey just walked up to her, looked at her for a moment, layed down and started to lick the cats fur. She did that everyday for a couple of hours. The cat started to follow Zoey around everywhere. They never liked each other at all before, but Zoey became her very best buddy in her last days.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...