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Pet People

Thursday, April 12, 2007

What's In a Face?

Jennifer mentioned a while back that she wished all her cute little Poms in their pastel sweaters were "smiling" in the picture. I thought that was a cute thing to say, showing how much we see our pets as almost human.

But then I got to thinking about it the other day, when Scooter had a "look" on his face, and I realized, pets really do show expressions on their faces that we can read just like we can read a human face.

All three dogs were all over me on the couch. Scooter was jealous, and he was staring at Peanut with that look I know to be a mix of jealousy and ready-to-push him away. A look a jealous girlfriend might give if she spied her man checking out the headlights of woman in a low-cut top. His eyes narrowed a bit and he stared with a fixed gaze of disdain.

Peanut has a "leave-me-alone" look, the typical, slightly curled lip. Peanut, to me, also seems to often have a "worried" look on his face, like when he's protecting his ball or chewie as Scooter walks by. Or the eager, waiting for dinner look, or the it's-time-for-a-bath look or the caught-in-the-act look. They are endless, really.

Then you have the "wild" look--the look they get when they are all hyped up about something. Eyes big and excited, tongue out. The picture on the far right is actually Bennie, My Mom's favorite child. He had just had a short hair cut and then a bath, and was in that frisky mood. You can tell by the look on his face. The pictures second from left is my friend's dog Freeway when she was at the Humane Society before being adopted. She does have a real smile on her face!

Cats too have certain looks that give their emotions away, like when they spot a bird they think they can catch, for example, or are hiding and waiting to pounce and scare each other.

So, what can you read in the pet faces around you?

posted by Sandy at 4/12/2007 10:38:00 AM


Blogger Alice said...

Scooter (black cat) often has the "deer in headlights" look. His eyes are dish saucer round and he seems surprised at whatever he is looking at, usually hubby.

Aimee, dog princess, has a snarly look that lets everyone know that they are intruding on her private space. Her upper lip on the right side quivers up a little. Scooter runs for a high spot when he sees that look. Larry, senior cat, has a Zen look. He will perch next to his food dish and wait patiently, eyes half-closed, tail tucked over his front paws and just wait... eventually someone notices, usually me, and fills his dish. Charlie has a "oh boy" look, his head is slightly cocked to one side, his tongue lolls out of the side of his mouth and his eyes twinkle. Max most times looks like a pig about to be roasted. He carries a ball in his mouth constantly. When he has a larger size ball, he looks like a pig with an apple in his mouth ready for roasting.

Thursday, April 12, 2007 12:43:00 PM  
Blogger Pam said...

My Brittany has this wild eyed look so much of the time. She really gets it when she is going through one of her Hyperesthesia episodes. One of my friends used to call her Psycho Cat because of her eyes. She also has her calm look too. All of my girls have a different expression according to how they are feeling from calm and happy to "it's time to eat" and scared, anxious to happy, lazy and playful. They really are like people in this sense.

Thursday, April 12, 2007 6:34:00 PM  
Blogger Adrienne said...

Oscar does Elvis. When he wants to play he hooks his top lip on his K9. Stella will has those sad eyes all the time, but she does talk when she wants your attention. Mattie tells on her self when she does something wrong. She squints and blinks her eyes and hangs her head. Jazzy will love bite which still hurts. He does it and then pulls his head back and squints his eyes b/c he knows i'm going to thump him. I don't even have to do it any more for him to do it. He used to bite all the time and would draw blood, so to break him of it I would thump him on the nose. Now he just love bites but still waits for the thump.

Thursday, April 12, 2007 9:37:00 PM  
Blogger Stacey said...

Oh my gosh, how funny Adrienne, because I have an Elvis too! Punkin gets that lip curl thing going and it just cracks me up. If he had done it when he was a kitty, I would have named him Elvis for sure. If I can ever mangage to get a picture of it, I'll send it in.

Thursday, April 12, 2007 9:58:00 PM  
Blogger Skeeter said...

Skeeter use to do Elvis! We would laugh at him and I guess it would embarrass him because he would always leave the room when we laughed at him! Good luck snapping a picture of that Stacey as Elvis always “left the building” soon after his arrival at our house!

My girls show lots of emotions. I would never believe that you could see emotions on a black cat with them being so dark but you can see them as sure as I am sitting here! I can see joy, fear, excitement, confusion and my favorite would have to be “Ops I’m busted”

Friday, April 13, 2007 9:47:00 PM  
Blogger Pam said...

Sandy, I was looking at these photos again tonight and the one of the cat looks like it's sticking it's tongue out at someone on purpose, so cute. Who's kitty is it?

Saturday, April 14, 2007 9:59:00 PM  
Blogger Pam said...

Wait, is that Tarzan?

Sunday, April 15, 2007 5:16:00 PM  
Blogger Sandy said...

Are you talking about the black and white cat in the collage in this topic? That's Catfish, caught in the act of stretching and yawning at the same time, which makes him look like he is being evil with an arched back and hissing face.

Or are you talking about a different picture in a different topic?

Monday, April 16, 2007 8:13:00 AM  
Blogger Pam said...

Yes Sandy, the one in what's in a face. It's cute, the cat looks like it is sticking it's tongue out at someone.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007 7:21:00 PM  

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Pet People

Sandy Britt, an animal welfare advocate and volunteer with Clarksville rescue organizations, takes care of three dogs: Zoe, Scooter and Peanut; two cats: Catfish and Tarzan; and one husband, Glen, and according to him she takes care of them in that order.

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