by Janet Spencer

If two people, or two creatures, are connected by an elastic band, and one of them shakes it or lets it go, the other one feels the difference. They may not understand the exact circumstances of the event, but they definitely know that something has changed. People and their pets are often connected by just such a psychic rubber band. Author Rupert Sheldrake studied this phenomenon extensively and wrote a book called “Dogs That Know When Their Owners Are Coming Home.”


A dog sitter was caring for a friend’s dog when the dog went to stand at the front door, remaining there for three hours. The dog sitter thought the dog needed to relieve himself, but that wasn’t the case. Three hours later, the dog’s owner showed up – two days before he was due to return home. “I had no idea the owner would return early, and I have no idea how the dog knew that,” the dog sitter remarked.

• When Louise set off for home from her place of work, her husband at home noted that their dog BJ always went to the door to wait for her, regardless of the time she left, and regardless of what vehicle she used: her car, her husband’s car, a work vehicle, or a taxi.   

Hocking County Veterans Service Commission


One dog’s propensity for knowing when his people were coming home was so striking that the couple who owned him started taking notes on his behavior. One day the wife went into town to do some shopping while the husband stayed home with the dog. The husband noted that the dog went and stood at his post by the window at 4:15, waited there for a few minutes, and then took a nap on the living room rug. An hour later, he resumed his post at the window, and the wife returned home shortly after. When she walked in the door, her husband said, “You decided to come home at 4:15, changed your mind, and left for home at 5:15 instead, didn’t you?” She confirmed that was true.   

• During WWII, one dog had an uncanny ability to know when his master, a pilot, was returning to the airfield. The dog would go out as soon as he sensed the correct plane was returning. The pilot’s comrades thought the dog was reacting to the particular whine of the specific plane that his master customarily flew. But then one day, the pilot left in the morning flying his usual plane, but returned that afternoon – from the opposite direction – in a different plane. The entire company was flabbergasted when the dog completely ignored the usual plane, and went out instead to greet his master when he stepped out of the second “wrong” plane.


One dog owner told about the time when she had the thought that she should get her dog’s big blue ball and go out into the yard for a game of fetch. To her surprise, the dog showed up in her room with the blue ball a few minutes later. On another occasion, she thought to herself, “I wish my dog wouldn’t leave his toys strewn all over the house; I’m likely to trip and fall.” Within the hour, the dog had collected every one of his toys and deposited them neatly in his toy box.


One woman went to work in town six miles from her home, leaving her terrier behind. The dog had never been to her place of work. One day, the dog escaped from yard. She was surprised to find him sitting on the front steps of her workplace several hours later. She had no idea how he found her there.

• A boy adopted a greyhound, and although his entire family loved the dog, they lived in an apartment that was too small to accommodate him. They arranged for a family in the country to adopt the dog. Arriving at the farm, they tied the dog up in the back yard of the house, and then they all went to eat at the local pub a few miles away. Just as they were finishing, the greyhound showed up at the door of the pub, a piece of gnawed rope dangling from his neck.


A woman was out for a ramble in the country with her German shepherd.    After they had walked a good ways, the dog sat down and refused to go any further. He could not be dragged or cajoled to continue on the walk. Discouraged, the woman turned towards home with the dog eagerly leading the way. Just then a horrendous storm quickly moved in. Just as they reached the safety of the doorstep, a torrential rainfall with dangerous hailstorms pelted the area. She was glad that the dog had sensed the approaching storm and had the sense to warn her in time.

• During WWII, the citizens of England were subjected to ruthless German bombing raids. One citizen reported that their little black mongrel dog would bark to go out at the back door, and would bark up a storm while in the backyard.    Without fail, the bombing raids would start almost exactly ten minutes later. The dog was so accurate in his predictions that his owners would go up and down the street warning the neighbors of the impending raid.


Dogs sometimes also have a strong reaction to people they don’t like. In one instance, a guy had a friend who disliked dogs intensely, but came by to visit him and his German shepherd at regular intervals. On one occasion, the dog stood up at the door and growled intensely ten minutes before the dog-hating friend arrived. From that point forward, the German shepherd had to be shut in the garage whenever the friend came by, and the dog always knew ten or fifteen minutes prior to his arrival.

• A vet noted that his mother-in-law’s dog was always friendly to him whenever he stopped by on a social visit to his mother-in-law’s home. But whenever he visited in his capacity at a veterinarian, the dog went and hid. There was no way the dog could have known the difference, and the vet even kept his doctor bag out of sight, but the dog always knew when he was on duty and when he was not.

• A dog who was routinely taken in to the groomer’s once every six weeks or so would constantly intuit the due date, hiding under the bed until the threat had passed. “We never figured out how she knew which day and which hour,” said the owners.


A woman was amazed to find that her dog, a beagle mix named Annie, was able to sense whenever she was about to suffer an epileptic seizure. The dog would leap on her lap and lick her face. She knew that this was the signal to lie down until the seizure passed. The dog had never been trained to do this.

• Some dogs are able to give diabetics a warning when their blood sugar drops to dangerously low levels. One guy’s dog wakes him up in the middle of the night when he is sound asleep to prevent him from slipping into a diabetic coma.