For the past 5 days I have been slowly extricating myself from what people are calling the 2013 Superflu. Personally I don't think there's anything Super about it. I woke up Saturday morning with some chest congestion and before it got too bad I took the dogs for a quick walk (knowing they'd be more relaxed and nap if they had) and then we all crashed for the rest of the day. Mostly a cough, aches and pains and an irresistible desire to sleep have been my symptoms and there is light at the end of the tunnel this sunny morning.
I'm not hoping for sympathy based on the paragraph above, it's just a virus, the first time I've been sick since February 2011, and I'll get over it; no, what I want to discuss is how the dogs behave when I'm sick. I've never been sick since Cora was born, which is a weird thing to say, but her birthday is June 14, 2011, and it was a new experience for her to have a Mommy who spent days lying in bed instead of paying attention to her.
When we get sick I know we smell different to the dogs. It's well documented that dogs can smell cancer cells, they can sense epileptic seizures and there is no doubt in my mind that a virus changes us so that dogs know there is something not quite right. In all mine have been very good about not demanding too much attention and quietly napping when I need them to - however lying almost directly on me when I'm sick in an effort to comfort me isn't exactly the best route to take.
I'll never forget waking up in the middle of the night on Saturday(or Sunday morning, however you want to look at it) and being soaked through with sweat, boiling to death and having the chills - I'm not even sure how that's possible. I sat up suddenly to try to get some air since I felt like I was being smothered, and startled Leeloo who sat up also. There was enough light to be able to see her sniffing the air in my direction and make out the expression on her face which said "Mommy, you don't smell right at all." Smell right, feel right ... nothing was right.
Since I also have chest congestion sometimes when I'm sitting on the couch and the dogs are at eye level, if I am having one of my many coughing fits, they smell the air coming out of my lungs and the concern in their eyes is touching. Or confusion - mostly that's Cora because she is a dog who tries to figure things out, although this is something that cannot be explained to a dog.
At any rate, we are on the back end of whatever this is and I sincerely hope it's another 2 years before I get sick again. I'm sure the dogs feel the same way since our walks have been short and that, in their world, doesn't have a lot of valid excuses. There's no denying that the dogs are great company when you're nursing yourself back to health, although they don't bring you hot lemon tea when you want it.