Dogs are much more than just pets - they're family. And former soap star Gemma Atkinson can attest to that. She recently revealed how, during the first stages of her labour, her dogs never left her side.
By, 13 Jul 2019
24-year-old Ms Atkinson and 28-year-old Gorka Márquez announced the arrival of their daughter on July 4th this year. In February Atkinson revealed to her Instagram followers her pregnancy. She was flanked by her two dogs Ollie and Norman wearing placards around their necks which read, writes The Metro, "Guess what… Mum’s pregnant" and "We’re going to be big brothers!"
The couple announced the arrival of their baby on Instagram. At the time, Márquez posted a picture with the caption: “Our beautiful baby daughter arrived on Thursday 4th July and myself and Gem couldn’t be happier.”
A week after her daughter was born Atkinson explained how when her waters broke the dogs again stayed by her side. In a picture taken at the time she explains: “Gorks took this picture a few hours after my waters had broke.
“They didn’t leave my side, they were totally aware little sister was on her way.”
Scientists continue to investigate the extraordinary sense of smell possessed by dogs. In some cases it is hoped a dog's ability to detect illnesses and conditions will become more reliable than conventional tests. Dogs are known to have a sense of smell 10,000 to 100,000 times more acute than us, according to studies carried out over the last few years.
James Walker, former director of the Sensory Research Institute at Florida State University told NOVA: “Let's suppose they [dogs] are just 10,000 times better. If you make the analogy to vision, what you and I can see at a third of a mile, a dog could see more than 3,000 miles away and still see as well."
In Atkinson’s case it is likely the dogs could sense the nearness of the birth of her daughter. But they may also have responded to the couple’s general excitement. Either way, the picture is a compelling example of how dogs are more than just pets.