I believe animals have emotions. They can sense things we cannot. My dog knew I was pregnant before I did. She suddenly was driving me nuts. Whenever I tried to sleep, she'd jump on the bed, (not allowed) and place her head over my stomach. And once my son was born, NOTHING could make her budge from under the cradle or crib when he was sleeping. If he stirred, Annibelle would bolt from the room to get me, grabbing a peice of my clothing until I complied.
The hens will snub me if I do something stupid like take too much time in releasing them from the coop. They snub me when I remove roosters for rehoming. The favorite hens of the roosters go into mourning. If the dogs are happy, the hens aren't against teasing to play and pick on, or if the dogs aren't feeling their best, they sense it and wait it out. When one goes broody, suddenly all the others decide to lay their eggs as close to her as possible. The broody has become complient in our three times a day routine in taking her from her nest and depositing her outside by food and water and a little outside social interaction before going back to her nesting 'duty'. I've actually witnessed two hens be very gentle to her, sitting nearly chest to chest, beaks touching in some sort of wordless communication shared.
I think it unique that chickens have different personalities. When their different personalities interact, their social skills refine. Roosters for example are very protective. They are passionate in protecting their flock. Some hens are subserviant towards humans. Some just want to hang out and jump on laps. Even when you don't have food. Dean Koontz has a wonderful book out about his dog Trixi, how they became a family. In it, he also explains her death, and the process of getting another dog whom was supposed to be used as a service dog. Reading over the end of the book and what THIS dog remembered, and her reactions/emotions is amazing.
Dogs used in recovery take their work to heart. Most of them have a difficult time once recovering a body and must have time off to recover themselves.
Is it my imagination, or does it seem like if you have a room filled with people whom adore cats, the cat will ignore them all until the lone cat hater walks in. Then the cat is all over them as a best bud. Almost see them smile....