DATE 10 / 17 / 2019
Yesterday, in the wee hours of the night, a frantic community came together to search for a six-year-old Minnesota boy who had stepped off his school bus at four in the afternoon and simply disappeared. As night fell, and temperatures dipped into the 40s, more and more people came to search. With over 600 volunteers, and the help of a heat-seeking drone, they were finally able to locate young Ethan Haus and his dog, Remington, in a cornfield about a mile from his house. The little boy had been safe and warm with the help of his faithful dog who lay next to him in what must have been a terrifying time for a child lost in the cold and darkness. Just a mile away, an easy stretch for a farm dog, a warm bed and food surely awaited Remington, but he would not leave the child’s side. This is yet another in a long list of true stories that bear testament to the love and fierce loyalty of a dog’s heart.
Similarly, in North Dakota a few years ago a 3-year old went missing one night in a rainstorm. A party of 200 volunteers mounted a search to find the boy as a fierce thunderstorm raged overhead for 7 long hours. Finally, around 2:00 AM the volunteers on foot were forced to call off their search due to impossible walking conditions caused by the heavy rainfall. A handful of volunteers on ATVs were able to continue to search for a few hours more. Suddenly, one of the ATV riders spotted a golden retriever-german shepherd mix curled up on the side of the road. Thinking that the unmoving dog had been injured, and could not stand, they stopped to help. As the dog stood to greet them, they found the 3-year old who had been hidden, huddled underneath his family dog. This dog, who no doubt had been terrified himself, had refused to leave the child’s side, choosing instead to lovingly shield him with his own body throughout a 7 hour thunderstorm.
During the past few weeks, there have been a handful of videos posted on Instagram and Facebook that have shown dogs comforting their owners during panic attacks. Dogs are trained as therapeutic comforters, and with good reason. Dogs have an amazing ability to sense a change in human emotions. In a study performed by University of London researchers, it was discovered that dogs were more likely to approach humans who were crying than if they were talking or humming. The dogs almost always displayed submissive behaviors when they approached individuals who were crying. It cannot be definitively proven that empathy drives a dog to join us on the couch when we’re sad, and wag their tails like crazy when we receive some good news, but it is certainly clear that they have an uncanny ability to sense how we feel. Check out this amazing video of a pet comforting someone during a panic attack.
If it wasn’t quite clear, we think dogs make amazing companions!
The Lilly Brush Team