Those of us who grew up in the 50’s and 60’s remember Lassie and how she would show her humans what was going on, alerting them to those in trouble. These humans, while they were continuously skeptical, slowly learned to pay attention to her signals. In reality, Lassie was communicating so much more.
This is a short story of how clearly animals communicate how much they understand of what we say to them and how we say it.
The last time Jim was gone (for only 2 nights), he offhandedly said to Eddie from across the room “I’ll going on a trip for 2 nights and I’ll be back.” I’m not sure Eddie even knew he was talking to him.
The first night, Eddie crawled under the bed where Jim sleeps and licked the carpet for about 30 minutes. Was he licking skin cells or the lotion Jim puts on his feet? He wouldn’t come out and get on the bed like he usually does. He lay there looking sad.
The second night, he again went under the bed where Jim sleeps and started to make very sad whines and cries. As I looked at him he just stared at me and while I saw no tears, I imagine he was crying in his own way. I told him that Jim would be back the next night and suggested he come up and sleep in Jim’s spot on the bed.
He did come up on the bed, but lay on the foot of the bed. Much to my surprise, I awoke at 2:30am and looked over and next to me with his head on the pillow and the covers pulled up around his neck was Eddie! He had followed my suggestion. How he got himself into that position, I’ll never know. I laughed and snapped a couple of photos. He never stirred and stayed there the rest of the night.