Patty Takes on Winston

Patty can see Winston.


At least I think Patty can *sense* Winston.

When Winston, my black dog of depression, leaps out of the bag, morphs and starts misbehaving, I’ve noticed my pomeranian Patty has been suddenly like velcro at my side.  Usually she’d be off loving Dolly (which looks indistinguishable from biting, mauling and beating up her stuffed meerkat) or sleeping under the futon.  But when Winston threatens to comes out, Patty has been right there.

I first noticed this when walking her.  I’d bring her back in and usually she would trot back through the myriad of doors we have to pass in my building.  But on bad days, she would try to get me to go back outside until I’ve dragged her through too many doors.  She would persist at the front door, act odd and then give up.  At first I assumed she wasn’t finished with her business but each time that has not been the case.  She stayed close by, keeping an eye on me although I feel fine.  Then later, Winston would come out and run amok.

black pug art

Courtesty Black Pug Art, Deviant Art

It turns out this type of behavior is not unusual.  Sensitive canines such as  seizure alert dogs are being used to assist epileptics.  They also may be able to detect other disorders including diabetes and cancer.  Scientists aren’t sure exactly why animals are able to detect the onset of a seizure or a hypoglycemic attack in a human. They theorize dogs are able to smell chemical changes or are more connected to us.  Their reactions can be false positives; dogs may react whether it’s an actual episode or not not.  However scientists point out the important thing is the owner’s response to the dog’s signals.  A diabetic should immediately test her blood sugar; an epileptic should find a safe place to avoid injury.  Googling this subject, I’ve learned dogs are also being used as psychiatric service animals to detect disorders like depression.

I’m learning to anticipate the slumps, either alerting myself to log the episode, checking medication or rearranging activities.  This has been immeasurable in assisting the doctor in treating my condition. Although Patty has not been trained for any type of detection, perhaps being such a sensitive dog, she has trained herself to anticipate my moods. It appears as if Patty and Winston are squaring off nose to nose like competitors.  This possibility grows stronger every day.

If it’s true, it’s an amazing thing.

12 thoughts on “Patty Takes on Winston

  1. That’s awesome! Did you know that there are programs that use dogs as reading “tutors”? The thought process is that kids are less stressed reading out loud to dogs than to other people.

    • I recall hearing something about that. Dogs are also being used to engage patients in nursing homes and care centers. Isn’t it amazing what our “best friends” do for us? 😀

  2. Keep Patty close! Winston’s just a bully; Patty is a defender.
    The dog-read tutor programmes are awesome, Jazz, lots of success.

  3. Glad to finally see this post since you’ve been tempting us with it for ages… 😉

    Critters are pretty interesting in how they react to us. That day when I missed flying to Chicago to hang with you & Elsa after Christmas cuz I was sick as a dog, Leo spent the entire time curled up on my lap. He wasn’t a lap cat by any means. But when I was so sick, he was there. (Glad I don’t have to be sick for Linus & Lucy to be lap cats. Heh.)

  4. Hi Judiang,

    I’ve read about companion and service animals and their sensitivity to us and our conditions. It’s an amazing thing. And I think science has only scratched the surface in understanding what’s going on.

    I think I’ve said before, we have to spell in front of our dogs Sophie and Max–like w-a-l-k. Or if they catch on to our spelling now and again–due to our vocal inflections–then we have to come up with euphemisms. Ha! Our companion animals are smarter than we give them credit for sometimes.

    It sounds like you’ve got a great friend in Patty there. Give her a doggy treat!

    Cheers! Grati ;->

    • Oh yes, I had to spell in front of Lance. Unfortunately he also learned P-I-Z-Z-A too. If he heard me ordering it, it was already too late. LOL! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

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