I recently finished reading Unlocking the Animal Mind: How Your Pet’s Feelings Hold the Key to His Health and Happiness by Franklin McMillan, D.V.M.
Dr. McMillan explores the connection between an animal’s emotions and their behavior. In other words, why our pets do what they do. He includes lots of examples from his practice, and I very much enjoyed reading them all. In one story, he talks about a 9 week old puppy named Bogie, whose pet parent was trying to house break him. She would scoop him up as soon as she caught him in the act, immediately take him outside, where he would proceed to play, nip at her ankles, anything but his business. The author explains that from Bogie’s point of view, this is wonderful! Everytime he squats in the house, his favorite person gives him lots of attention and takes him outside to play!
In the chapter “The Mind/Body Connection” he tells the story of Rico and Pablo, two cats who had lived together for 16 years. When Pablo became ill and was euthanized, Rico never was the same. A once robust kitty was now extremely ill.
The chapter “A Peaceful End” really got me as the author discusses the anxiety we pet parents have when making a decision about euthansia. From personal experience, Rick and I have been in that situation twice. One time with Cubby, a poodle/terrier mix who was suffering from liver disease. We felt we waited too long in her case. Then with Skittles, a corgi/terrier mix with throat cancer, where perhaps we were too hasty in having Skittles put down.
In full disclosure, if you choose to purchase Unlocking the Animal Mind: How Your Pet’s Feelings Hold the Key to His Health and Happiness through any of the links I have provided, I will receive an affiliate commission from Amazon.com.