AKC Gazette

September 2001




Is there any doubt that dogs have feelings? “Not in my mind,” writes guest columnist Teri Gillard, of New York. Here’s proof in her own words:

Taylor’s Story

Let me tell you about Taylor. She is a rescued Bulldog. My son and daughter-in-law adopted her three years ago. When they moved to a new apartment, they could not take her with them.

They asked me to dog sit for a week or two while they found her a new family. It lasted two days before I told them I had found Taylor a new family – me.

Right from the start she picked out the right side of my bed. I thought that was a bit pushy, until I realized my back didn’t hurt as much when I got up in the morning. She sleeps back-to-back with me, providing a “living hot-pack” every night. Thanks to Taylor, my back has never felt better!

Recently, I had a scare with a lump in my breast. I didn’t tell anyone my fears, except Taylor, as I waited with dread for a doctor’s appointment. She stayed very close and listened carefully as I told her about what as going on. I believe she understood.

When I returned home with a clean bill of health, she was waiting at the door instead of in her usual position on the bed pillows. She immediately picked up on my good news and started bouncing around as only a Bulldog can. My friend was as happy as I was.

When I say, “Taylor, let’s go check the mail,” she looks at my feet. If I have shoes on, she goes to the front door and walks with me to the mailbox at the end of the driveway. If I am barefoot, she goes into the office and sits next to the computer.

She taught me from the start that she would not walk on snow. In New York this can’t be avoided. The solution? After I hear a snow report, I drape a cloth over the back steps onto a patch of grass. When the snow stops, I remove the cloth for Taylor’s access to the grass. If I tell this to people, they laugh. But I hate snow too.

One night I was driving to work when a state trooper stopped me on a routine seat-belt check. While he was looking at the car, he began talking on his portable radio. Next thing I knew, I saw five troopers approaching the car!

The troopers all looked into the car & started to laugh. Taylor was sitting in the front seat, fastened in her seat belt, with her head laying on the center console.

The troopers laughed even harder, saying that Taylor would make the perfect poster for seat-belt safety. After all, they said, if Taylor could wear a seat belt, why wouldn’t you have your child wear one?

Do dogs have emotions? Can they think? Do they know when you need them? You don’t have to ask me. Just spend some time with Taylor. – T.G.

Thanks, Teri, for this heartwarming column.

  1. William Andree, 204 S. Beach Dr., Monticello, IN 47960.

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