How to know if your human has “the flu”

By Aubrey Beardsley

Does your human have flu? Or does your human have “the flu”? As I understand it they are the same thing. But I think if you have “the flu” it means you definitely have it.


Listening to Jeff’s heart. Only professional Dogtors should handle a stethoscope.

Is your human sleeping more than usual?

Is your human sleeping all the time? Does it feel like they fell asleep one week and woke up in the other? This does not mean that your human has suddenly become a cat. Species metaphormosis is actually a much rarer phenomenon than you might think. It probably means that your human has “the flu”. Which actually might be much worse than if your human turns into a cat.

Is your human groaning more than usual?

It is very important to know how to understand human behaviour and to read all their noises. A groan is not a noise to be worried about, and it definitely doesn’t mean that your human wants your kibble. So do not be alarmed. Allow your human to express their full range of groans and moans. They are not developing a behavioural problem. They probably have “the flu”.

Does your human feel like a self-heating blankie?

While this might sound good, it can get quite inconvenient. When they have the flu, sometimes humans get too hot even to lie beside. This is when you know they might have “the flu”.

Is your human sleeping beside some sort of Steampunk installation?

If your human falls asleep beside a steam-generating device, they are not trying to star in their own HG Wells story … maybe When the Sleeper Wakes … No, don’t worry, your human probably has “the flu”. “Just don’t let the steam out.”

Is your human barking?

You may have found that your human is barking a lot more than usual. Try to be patient, this is not at the dog walking past or the person slamming a car door at 2am. This is actually the sound of your human getting better. They call it coughing, possibly because humans are so afraid of barking. The barking may go on for a bit and will often be followed by a groan. Again, don’t crack open your human training books, this is all perfectly normal and agreeable. Just try to sleep through it. Your human has had “the flu”.

Has your human stopped moving furniture around?

Actually, this one might be specific to me. I just know that whenever human has a lot to do then human starts rearranging furniture. Nothing moves a deadline like moving a cupboard. But since “the flu” … nothing. That’s how I know that “the flu” is serious business.

What can you do?

If your human exhibits any of these symptoms, settle in, check your Netflix subscription,  and administer immediate care. The most important thing is constant supportive care. This requires excellent empathy (I think dogs are better than humans at this), 24 hour surveillance, and quick decision making so as to ensure a perfect spread of dogs all around your human at all times. If there is only one of you, then this may require some very quick decision making. Make sure you keep up your kibble. I also prescribe snuggles, administered liberally and often. Your human cannot overdose on snuggles, but beware, snuggles can become addictive.

Thank goodness for that.


Categories: Empathy, Human-Dog Bond

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