E.Q. of (Wo)Man’s Best Friend

dog-intelligenceWould Fido really follow you, his beloved pet owner, to the ends of the earth?

Does Mittens know to give you extra cuddles and purrs when you’ve had a rough day?

Check out these fascinating anecdotes about the emotional intelligence of pets shared by veterinarian and columnist Dr. Michael W. Fox.

In one instance, a chronically ill man named John died. Immediately after the funeral, John’s dog disappeared. Several days later, a family friend found the dog “hungry and haggard, lying on John’s grave” – a site which was “many miles outside the city” and where the dog had never been before.

Another story featured a young woman who moved out of her family’s home into an apartment seven miles away on the other side the city. One day, her cat, which had been living with her parents, was waiting for her outside the young woman’s apartment. The cat had never been there before.

Now here’s my anecdote about the emotional intelligence of our dog Toby:

I came home early yesterday after a tough day at work. Just a few hours earlier, I had been sitting in a staff meeting jotting down my to-do list for my final weeks at work. (With regret, I gave notice to a FT job because they could/would not allow me to work part-time.)

Despite my multi-tasking during the meeting, I listened to my boss’s flow of announcements. After one particular announcement, my pen stopped moving. Did I just hear that correctly? My boss declaring that a former colleague was rejoining the staff? In a 20-hour per week position? The part-time position that had been vacant for months and did not look like it would be re-filled. That job I did not apply for because the position required applicants to have military experience? The same military experience that this former colleague did not possess either?!?!? Did I miss something? Was the job re-posted? Did my boss NOT recall my telling him that I really loved working for the company and would appreciate any help/guidance he could give around connecting me with a part-time job in another department since that option wasn’t available in his?

My list scribbling resumed, but now it took another form. In teeny, tiny letters, I wrote, “Do not cry. Do not cry. Do not cry.” I was furious about the news of this backroom hiring. And when I get angry, I cry. OK, I was hurt, too. And when I feel hurt, I cry.

After the staff meeting, on the drive home from work, and for the first few hours at home, I gave myself full permission to cry. How did  Toby, our middle-age Chocolate Lab, react to his distressed owner? He barely noticed when I entered the room. Kept on licking himself. I don’t even think his head turned to acknowledge me.

I love my dog dearly, but clearly he won’t be profiled by Dr. Fox for his emotional intelligence anytime soon.

As for me? Once I regain my emotional intelligence, I will be having a chat with my boss. I’ll keep you posted.


  • Cindy L. Says:
    3-11-2010 08:28:46

    Enjoyed your pet post! I have to say, my cat Jack (who typically ignores me when I call him) seems to sense when I am grieving or feeling blue. I’ve been dealing with lately with my widowed mother’s serious health issues, and when I return home from the hospital feeling sad, Jack show up out of nowhere and curl up next to me. Warms my heart!

  • Barb Says:
    3-11-2010 09:15:43

    Enjoyed your post, and I’m looking forward to the next installment on the job front! Maybe Toby knows that all will be well?? But good luck anyway.

  • Maura Says:
    3-11-2010 09:32:26

    I am so glad you were able to hold it together in the meeting AND that you gave yourself permission to cry when you felt the time was right. I am mad at your boss, too. He is starting to sound a bit like Michael Scott. I look forward to your next post after your meeting with him.

  • Sharon Says:
    3-11-2010 11:52:13

    Hurtful. That’s the word that came to mind after I read about what your boss said. Good luck with your meeting to find out what is going on.

  • Cindy L. Says:
    3-11-2010 16:37:25

    I want to add that I hope you’ll keep us posted on what your boss says after the meeting. I got caught up in the pet tangent, but didn’t mean to be insensitive to the real issue at hand. You deserve better treatment. Good luck to you. CL

    Post a comment:
    Wonder why you have to provide your name and email to leave a comment? We did, too! It's a preventive measure so that automated robots don't inundate our blog with unwanted spam. As fellow Wise Women, we value your privacy. We will not sell/rent/divulge your contact information. Honest!

    There is such a difference when living simply or serving others is done out of a spirit of gratitude rather than guilt. A given life is different from a driven life.
    Mary Jo Leddy

    Subscribe to the Coffee Chat

    Join the conversation and savor your connection with other women ...
    Life happens when you share

    Subscribe via e-mail:

    RSS Subscribe via RSS