Kibbles did not get adopted this weekend. He went to two adoptions. When I picked him up on Sunday I sensed that he was feeling depressed and dejected. Although Kibbles is always a favorite of the volunteers and spends more time outside of a crate then in, he was oddly subdued for the ride home.
In the training world, we are always told not to anthropomorphize our dogs. That’s a fancy word for making them have human traits but more studies are showing that dogs have emotions and can read emotions in their humans. In a recent article on the National Geographic website published on August 8, 2013, a new study shows that dogs yawn more in response to their owners’ yawns then they do to strangers’ yawns. This suggests that the dogs are “emotionally connected” to their humans.
Well we didn’t need some scientific study to tell us that, right? When I am sick or feeling down, I know my dogs sense this. I get extra cuddles and even the high-strung Bailey knows that I can’t deal with her shenanigans. But, do you think dogs feel emotions all on their own?
Of course they do! As we get to know our dogs, whether they are permanent parts of the family of foster members of the family, we start to see their moods and their emotions. How they feel guides how they react in a situation. I knew that Kibbles was not feeling like his usual fun-loving self when I picked him up until he ran to our front door and was greeted by his foster sisters who welcomed him home.
Kibbles almost immediately perked up. He ran around smelling everyone and them smelling him. We went outside in our backyard and he chased the big girls around. My heart swelled and I was grateful he didn’t get adopted. I wanted more time with this baby.
My heart says the right place for Kibbles is at the Litt Palace of Puppy Love but that would make dog number five as a permanent resident. My brain says that if I adopt him, there goes my ability to foster. Although I probably could still foster but I think my husband would divorce me. My friend, Eileen, also a volunteer at Mostly Mutts and previous foster mom for Kibbles, thinks he belongs at our house.
So, was Kibbles sad about the adoption events or was he sad that he wasn’t with us this weekend? I like to think it is a little of both.