You may have heard about Oscar, the nursing home cat who has a knack for predicting when patients are near the end - and serving as a comforting presence during their last moments.
Or read about dogs who can sense seizures, sniff out cancer or alert us to heart attacks.
There are even reports about erratic animal behavior before earthquakes and tsunamis.
The extrasensory animal abilities are getting a lot of attention these days. And it's no wonder. Our furry friends' ability to sense - or predict, depending on how you view it - impending events is simply uncanny. Not to mention, fascinating.
Is it a scent that sets them off? Or a vibration they can feel? Or is it something else entirely?
The scientific part of me says there's an explanation - and it probably has something to do with the fact that my dogs' sense of smell is about a bazillion times better than mine. Of course they can smell it when something starts to go off. But part of me chalks it up to pure ESP.
Because I think my dog has it.
Gunner is too preoccupied with the smells of pizza and peanut butter to worry about sniffing out diseases, but I will tell you this. That dog knows when we're about to go on a walk.
Ok, so that was anticlimactic. And, admittedly, nowhere near as cool as a cat who can sense death, but it baffles me just the same. Because when I come home and I'm feeling lazy, or maybe just leaning toward a jog on the treadmill, Gunner doesn't flinch. But when I've got it in my mind that a walk outside might be nice… Gunner is all over me - literally the second I get home - jumping up and down with excitement like an Easter Bunny on a sugar high.
If that's not ESP, then I simply don't know what is.
What do you think? Do animals have ESP? Or just much, much better senses than us? Offer up your opinion in the comments below.