Last updated: Feb. 15 2018 6 min read
When you get the strange sense that your dog is reading your mind or your cat focusing his eyes on a nonexistent, yet fascinating ‘something’ located just above your head, relax and accept this strange occurrence graciously and gratefully.
It could very well be ESP (extrasensory perception) and it most certainly a grand devotion because, in order for this phenomenon to work, ESP requires a strong bond of love between humans and their pets.
Since ESP is completely extrasensory, which means it cannot be seen, heard, smelled, tasted, or felt, how can we presume to attribute such non-physical powers to our seemingly purely physical pets?
We can, thanks to the painstaking research of Dr. Rhine and his team at the Duke University Parapsychology Laboratory in North Carolina. After well establishing the ESP ability in humans, the doctor and his team set out to determine if the same phenomenon existed in animals. Similar research was also carried out in Russia by two eminent scientists, Bkhterev and Durov.
Since the introductory research with animals, Dr. Rhine’s laboratory has been flooded with letters reporting ESP in pets, first and mainly with dogs, and then with cats. But almost every domesticated species had a spot in Dr. Rhine’s collection. Each case is meticulously investigated to determine its authenticity. ‘Homing’ studies (referred to as ‘psi-training’ by Dr. Rhine) are the most common, but stories involving other forms of ESP are also documented in evidence.
One of the most popular cases involves a Collie named Bob. His ‘homing’ feat gained him headlines from all over the world, lots of fan mail, and even a motion picture. Bob’s adventure started out as a vacation motor trip from Oregon to the East Coast. On the way back to Oregon, Bob’s family realized that their beloved pet was missing.
After an unsuccessful search for Bob, the heartbroken family drove back to Oregon: approximately 2,500 miles. Bob’s most charming trick was holding up his right front paw when he was hungry. Four months later, he presented himself at the door of his home in Oregon: paw outstretched.
Another inspiring case is that of a mixed-breed dog named Henry. Henry was left with friends in Illinois when his family moved to Michigan. Six weeks later, Henry excitedly greeted his family on a street corner of their new town in Michigan.
The dog made it perfectly clear that he was looking at his family, and the stunned family was convinced that the dog was their beloved dog, Henry. But was the dog really Henry? The collar was familiar. The Illinois family, with whom Henry had been left, drove to Michigan to satisfy their doubts. Dr. Rhine and his staff from Duke University flew to Michigan to verify the story. Everyone agreed that the dog was indeed Henry.
Most of us have had experiences that can possibly be attributed to ESP. It seems more than coincidence to find a friend’s telephone line busy because he or she is in the process of dialing your number. And how about the friend you haven’t thought about or seen in years, and then all of a sudden hear from or meet them unexpectedly?
Do dogs have ESP? One famous case is that of Daisy, a stray mixed-breed. This case was also thoroughly checked out and authenticated.
Daisy charmed herself to a New York City family on vacation at a lake approximately thirty miles from the city. The family befriended her and gave her all of the food and love she demanded. After a short time, Daisy delivered four healthy puppies, which also received the love and care of the adopted family.
When the summer ended and the human family had to return to their home in New York, they gave Daisy and her puppies to a permanent resident neighbor. They felt that Daisy and her puppies would be happier in the freedom and space that the country offers, rather than their Manhattan apartment.
About three weeks after their return to the city, they heard a scratching at the apartment door. When they opened it, there was Daisy, carrying one of the puppies in her mouth. It was a happy reunion and nothing was too good for Daisy and her puppy.
The next day, Daisy was gone. The family scoured the neighborhood but with no success of finding Daisy. About five days later, Daisy came back with another puppy. This went on until she had her four puppies under the roof of her human family.
How in the world was she able to find her human family in an apartment she had never seen, in a city the size of New York? Nobody has a clue, and ESP would seem to be the only answer.
There are many, many more similar stories that are documented, including the one about the famous Shepherd named Prince. During World War I, Prince swam the English Channel to find his owner in one of the thousands of trenches in France. This story became very famous and received international acclaim.
There are also stories on record of dogs being able to sense their own danger. One such case involves an old hunting dog named Flash. Whenever Flash’s owner picked up the shotgun, Flash was out of the door and into the field before the gun was loaded. But the sad day came when the dog, old and decrepit, was to be ‘put out of his misery’. This time when the gun was picked up the dog disappeared under the house and was found in the farthest corner trembling with fear and unresponsive to commands or coaxing.
Another case involves a German Shepherd and his owner. The man took off in his private plane from an airport in Georgia to fly to New England and left his dog at home with his parents. Flying over Pennsylvania, the plane crashed. The dog’s owner was found by a farmer. He was alive but unconscious and taken to the hospital where he regained consciousness about twelve hours later.
Back home in Georgia, at the time of the crash, the dog disappeared under the house. With the flashlight, he could be seen lying motionless and dazed and was unresponsive to commands or water or food. He remained in this state the whole time his owner was unconscious. When his owner regained consciousness, the dog came out from under the house, ate, and appeared perfectly normal.
ESP studies show that successful telepathy is dependent on the temperament of both the sender and receiver and that it is sometimes present and sometimes absent. In other words, people and animals might make astoundingly high scores for a given period and then suddenly lose the capacity completely. Most important, ESP depends on a close emotional tie between the subjects.
A good example is the case of Casey, a Pennsylvania family dog. The three children in the family were Boy Scouts who loved to camp out on weekends. One night, the mother and father had driven the boys to set-up their favorite campsite about twenty miles from home. When the boys were settled, mom and dad drove back home and retired for the night.
They were asleep only for about two hours when Casey broke their slumber with a strange howling. It was so persistent and strange that they realized something might be wrong with the boys. They quickly dressed and started to drive to the campsite. About five miles where they had left the boys, there was a red glow in the sky. As they drove closer, they recognized it was a forest fire. They were driving to the campsite from the south while the fire was traveling from north to south. They got to the boys and evacuated them just in time.
In the story of a family dog in Virginia named Harry, he knew something was wrong with his family but had only his veterinarian to tell it to. The vet was taking care of the dog while the family was vacationing in Florida. Harry’s howl was so weird and agonizing that the vet made a note of the date and time. When Harry’s family returned and picked him up, the vet told them about the dog’s strange behavior. The family was astounded. On the specified date, at the recorded time, they had been marooned in a flash flood.
Many of us have heard a story about the actions of a dog at the death of his owner. One of the most famous has to do with Gary Cooper’s three dogs. As his death approached, the dogs were on guard with a group of reporters outside the bedroom. It was precisely recorded that at the exact time Gary Cooper passed away, all three dogs began to howl and were devastated for quite some time.
Another story tells of a woman who returned to her family home after being away for five years. During this time, her mother had died. The woman went to the cemetery to visit her mother’s grave and brought along her small terrier, Tippy. At the cemetery, Tippy leaped out of the car and ran around in circles whining.
The woman went to get water for a vase of flowers. When she found the grave, Tippy was lying on top of it moaning in the strangest way. Tippy had never been to the graveyard and none of the other members of the family had been there for over a year.
Science has yet to discover exactly what makes ESP works, but there is no question of its existence. If you and your pet have it, you are blessed with the greatest compliment an animal can bestow.