Ady & Flo
I’ve just woken up yawning, after sleeping for what seems like two days, to the news that researchers have found that dogs yawn after hearing their owners yawn.
Now all this sounds like some researchers have far too much time on their hands to be studying this sort of useless information. But since I’m dog tired from an incredibly hectic couple of days playing with my girlfriends at the lake, it is a timely piece of useless information.
The boss and his buddy were pretty tuckered out to, after kayaking through chilly winter lakes, launching into manic wild goose chases and getting tangled up in a live electric fence in his wetsuit. I can tell you, his facial expressions went quite a lot further than a yawn, and so did the language.
So these researchers apparently recorded the sound of 25 dog owners yawning. They then played these to the loyal pooches, along with the sound of one stranger yawn.
They found the dogs were five times more likely to yawn when they heard their owner.
The researchers say that this proves dogs have the capacity to empathise with humans. I certainly empathised with the boss while he was twitching and fizzing in the blackberry bush under a wire with a healthy voltage.
I’d have taken a photo if I knew how to use a camera. His buddy would’ve poured more water on to research the effects of extra moisture on a short-circuiting hunting buddy, if he’d been able to stop laughing long enough. I made a mental note to keep my long wet tail in the lowered position. Ady just yawned. With a tail that short, she can’t see all the fuss about electric fences. Besides, she just thought he was breakdancing.
A previous study by researchers found dogs can mimic yawning when they see a human doing it. But the latest research showed the bond goes even deeper, as dogs respond in similar numbers to an audio recording of a yawn.
I have been known to respond well to the mimicked sound of the refrigerator door opening. Yet another researcher isn’t that convinced, pointing out other studies have found dogs can look guilty even when we are not, so people should not always believe what their animals are telling them!
Anyway, Ady and I and our best friend Jess from the lake had a fab time, charging around after sticks and chooks (now they look guilty!) swimming in the lake and rampaging around the bush. At the end of a fantastic weekend we all were loaded back into the wagon, the boss yawned, the buddy yawned, me and Ady empathised with a synchronised yawn. It was a deep sleep back home in the back of the wagon.
Thanks to Chris and Keith and Jess for a great time. Sorry about the holes in the lawn. I think the guilty chooks did it.