We have visitors and I couldn't be more excited. My sister and her 16 year old daughter are here for the first time since we moved here almost 15 years ago. As the time got closer and closer to the day that they would arrive I wondered if the dogs would know. Would they somehow know that these folks were more than just visitors? I'd seen my dogs pick out family members of people that they know before. Parents of my children's friend were immediately recognized by their scent. Luke was the best at it and the easiest to read. Being that he was always very on guard when a stranger would come we could tell when he knew someone. But even if he'd never met one of the parents he somehow knew that they were with the guy or gal that he did know and acted accordingly.
I remember Luke greeting a Mom of one of my son's best friends. He had never met the woman but knew her son well. You would have thought that she was an old friend by his behavior. When she came in he acted like he was excited to have finally met this boy's Mom, very cute. He did this several times over the years, so I wondered. Even though these strangers would not smell like me, would he be able to figure it out. There is the whole emotional vibe that dogs are so well in tune with. They have that and they have that something else that we humans do not possess. That thing that sets them apart, the ability to take the information from us and determine what is what. By reading the information that we give off they have a clearer picture of life around them.
So when we got home and came into the house Luke did indeed act like these were old friends. Elsa is not so clear of a read as she pretty much loves everyone and is more than happy if we have guests from anywhere. But Luke immediately opened his arms and welcomed them in. He is much more mellow now in is old age and stays more in the mid range of emotion. Much more than he use to be as a youngster but because I know him so well he is an easy read to me. He took the information I gave off by my voice, body language and actions as "we have another family member in the house." He opened his fuzzy arms and greeted them like the long lost family he'd never met.
I have talked about and told stories of Luke to my family over his 12.5 years. The fact now that my sister and her daughter have met him makes me very happy. They can now see the fuzzy man behind the stories; the dog who stole my heart 12.5 years ago. I love to share my dogs with others; who would not want to get to know an amazing dog? I love it when I get to meet other wonderful dogs who are the light of their owners eyes. But when a dog welcomes you into their home with open paws; well that's just plain glorious.
Is there something else that told Luke that these people belonged to us? Perhaps, maybe in our genetic make up there is a certain something, maybe scent that lets a dog know. But being the mere humans that we are we will never know. All I know is that dogs are far more amazing than we give them credit. They do little wondrous things everyday. We humans often miss those things because they are out of our day to day but if we pay close attention we can sometimes be witness to them. Watching and listening can unfold a whole canine world that is far more astounding that you might have ever guessed.