On my walk this morning l met Ben, another 4 legged like me, well he wasn’t like me, because he is a boy and l am a girl! Point is, he is a dog like me, that’s what l meant. Dad said that Ben was probably a Labrador Rotty cross, whatever that is, although he didn’t particularly look cross, if anything he looked quite the opposite!
Ben was with his two legged parents and another dog, but be was really excited when he saw us, and although he was in the middle of a field, he came running over to me. I could see in his eyes that he wanted to see who l was, and l was quite interested to meet him too, because l had not seen him before… Like ever, so it looked like fun!
When other dogs come running over to me, Dad always ensures l am on a shorter lead so that l don’t trip him up or even me, because that has happened before, and can be kind of embarrassing especially if you are trying to look smart, cool and pretty.
But Ben was off lead, and when he started running across the field to see me, although Mummy said it was us, his own Mummy was running behind him calling out his name, although l knew he was a ’Ben’ the moment his eyes locked onto mine, because he said “Hey, my name’s Ben, what’s yours?”
Anyway, Ben finally got to us, with his Mummy panting behind him and he started to run circles all over the place, and he was so excited, he wasn’t barking, or yapping, or yelping, but he was speaking with his body, and his tail and his nose and his eyes!! He went and saw my Mummy first, then started swaggering over to Dad and me.
It’s always funny, because Dad starts to trip up a little when other dogs are running circles around us, because l also start to circle play – which is like a series of mini jumps in a tight circle, with my tail wagging! But Ben wouldn’t shut up, he was just so excited … and he kept laughing whilst he was speaking really fast!!
“Ha, ha, hiya, my name’s Ben, what’s yours? Do you see my two legged Mummy chasing me, that’s funny isn’t it ha ha, she is always chasing me and saying Ben, Ben, Ben come back, ha ha, do you wanna play? Ha ha, here she comes, Ben, Ben, Ben stop, so doya wanna playdoya? Doya, wanna play? Watch this …..!”
Ben just kept running around me, Dad, Mummy, and his own Mummy was clearly getting a little frustrated, and l could see his Mummy’s point, because l was also starting to get a little tired, because he never shut up, was always laughing and kept on moving!
His Mummy grabbed him a couple of times, but fell over in the field! Ben just laughed and continued running around us all, until my Mummy even with her Nawdik poles still in her hands managed to grab him, and give him to his own mummy!
“Seeya!” Ben laughed as he was clipped to his lead and walked off.
It was very clear that Ben was too much dog for his little Mummy especially if she cannot control him and keeps falling over …! Dad said, Ben was a handful, and shouldn’t have been off lead, and Mummy said he was a big dog and his Mummy was small, but he was young and just excited. Mummy was right, Ben was a good dog, but was allowed to act up, and was young and was excited and was fun, maybe a little too much fun, but if l had been younger then l would have played.
I knew all about Ben, before he actually reached us, and although he talked to me, without making a single doggy noise, l knew all there was to know about him. He was young, healthy, foolish and full of energy, BUT he was really happy!
You see, as l have said before, two leggeds over complicate things, we 4 leggeds can communicate really quickly to each other without actually ever speaking.
My Mummy is reeeeally clever at understanding me! My Dad [my typist] can be a little slow on K9 uptake! But he is still pretty good which is good considering he types what l say and think to him, and he doesn’t make that many mistakes! But l use a different language with Dad to the one l use with Mummy! With Dad, l speak to him with my barks and my paws, and with Mummy, sometimes all l have to use is my eyes, that is how good she is! [Although at my own concession, at times l can get Mummy to do extra things because l play up to her!!]
Now if any of you have been following my adventures, you will know that one of my favourite book series is the Doctor Doolittle ones. They are awesome to literally paw over, or is it pore, either way, paw or pore same thing. I love to read them. Polynesia [the parrot] said this …
“But animals don’t always speak with their mouths,” said the parrot in a high voice, raising her eyebrows. “They talk with their ears, with their feet, with their tails – with everything. Sometimes they don’t WANT to make a noise.”
[The story of Doctor Doolittle – Chapter 2 “Animal Language” 1920 Hugh Lofting]
Polynesia sums it all up so beautifully, don’t you think? Because it’s totally true!
Despite what people can think, we dogs can actually talk.
I talk more now, than l ever did when l was a puppy 4 legged, and l use a number of differing ways to do so, l can talk to two leggeds who are not my own, Mummy and Dad who are my own, other dogs, other 4 leggeds and well, anyone really if they are willing to observe and listen. But not everyone is though and Dad says that is atypical to most species and especially two leggeds who hardly ever really listen, just hear!
He says two leggeds many a time just give each other lip service which l find really strange and if honest a little confusing? What does that mean, l see Mummy and Dad touching faces and with their lips, is this what he means? If so, how has that got anything to do with people not listening? I listen and hear things with my ears not my lips, although l can sense things with my nose and in many ways l can also communicate with my nose and the various twitches l have. Still l come back to two leggeds over complicating things.
Does Dad mean lip service like this?
Something l just thought of though, l do remember watching the big box and they talked of Eskymoss touching their noses as a form of greeting, but again that’s not listening, so is that nose service?
Sheesh l need to stop this and get on with the task at paw … doggy communications!
Dad says [cheeky!] that sometimes l never be quiet, and that at times l am really noisy, a right little Miss Vocal, especially when it is Walkies time! But l am really excited and l just want to tell them both how excited l am. A little bit like Ben was to me this morning, really excited. Mummy gets me like totally, and Dad well he is as said a little behind on such matters!
If Mummy is out during the day which sometimes she is, when she gets home l am really excited and l have to tell her, everything that has happened during the day, my moods and my happiness at seeing her again. Dad just says l am overly vocal, and he mimics me …
… “Owl wirrel wirrel, wowler, wirrel, wowler, owler, oooller” I sometimes am embarrassed for him if l have to say so myself! What on earth is wrong with him, l don’t say anything of that nature, l am using doggy speak yes, but it’s still words like theirs!! I mean honestly what does “owl wirrel wirrel, wowler, wirrel, wowler, owler, oooller” even mean??! Honestly!
Thank goodness for Mummy, because l think Dad is losing the plot!
But we K9’s do have different types of bark, and yips and yelps, and howls and whines, and moans and well, all sorts really. When l am talking excitedly, l am mostly yipping, and yapping small barks. Sometimes it is loud like a yippy howl, and sometimes it is a soft sniffle yap, and other times it is a snuggly yelp. When l am excited, it is louder and can get louder and louder, but that is because l am so very pleased that l can tell everyone how l am feeling.
By being vocal like l am to Mummy and Dad, l am able to explain to them how l feel, l can emphasize my pleasure with the way my body moves, if l wag my tail and saunter or swagger to them, if l am happy and calm this is also reflective.
You can imagine just how Dad is taking all this information at present as he types and now l am having to act a little more slowly, but l will outline briefly what each “Miss Vocal” noise means …
… Cannot believe l am about to give all my secrets away!
Well l can bark if excited, equally l can bark if l am trying to get the attention of Mummy or Dad, or if l think there is something suspicious, or if l am a little apprehensive or nervous and if something doesn’t smell, look or sound right! Then l can also bark if l am trying to tell everybody something like ‘danger, danger!’ I won’t bore everyone, but then comes the different loudness to these barks, and whilst it may sound complicated, it is STILL way less complicated than two legged talking! I also bark at the big winged things that come into the garden and steal the bird food meant for the smaller winged things! Dad calls them [big ones] pigeons!
Now it’s not often that l actually growl admittedly, but sometimes l do it when there is something l am really truly not sure of, or a little worried or anxious and scared about, and sometimes l growl and l end up looking silly!! Like when Mummy moved one of the outside mats onto the small wall, and because l had never seen it there before it looked like a strange frightening monster! IT DID!! So l growled at that and went into hunt mode!
You can imagine how stupid l felt when Mummy came along and said “Doods it’s just the door mat!?” But, l am a veteran 4 leggeds l carried my recovery off like a true boss! I just stared at her, as if to say ‘Yeah, yeah, l knew that, was just practising!”
Sometimes l growl at other dogs, because they are acting silly, or annoying, or scary, but that doesn’t often happen, and then there is my playtime growl if l am playing tuggy with Mummy or ping pong Gerty with Mummy and Dad!
Ok, now l have to be honest and say that at times, yes l have been known to howl. It’s not often, but it can happen. Dad, stop looking at me like that!! I sometimes … Dad! Sometimes l do it, if l am sad, or anxious, if Mummy and Dad go out and leave me in the house … Dad what? I know you come back, but l don’t know that at the time do l? I only know that when you come back! “Yeah? Yeah! Try being a dog Dad!”
Now not ALL yelps, yips and yaps are bad, it is reflective upon the situation …
Sometimes l can hurt myself when playing and l might yelp, or Dad or Mummy accidentally step on my tail, or we bump into each other, that is usually the reason behind a yelp. But little yips and yaps are sometimes present when l am excited, playing, happy or answering back. “What are you looking at me like that for Dad, of course l answer back!”
Sometimes either Mummy or Dad tells me off for whining or what Dad calls moaning about nothing, but it’s not about nothing, it’s usually about something or something else, but it’s never not for nothing! But l also know that if l want to bug Dad, l just ‘moan’ a little and l can get my own way!! If l want to go on my walk earlier, l will play up a bit. You see sometimes they both forget that l am the most important 4 legged in their lives, so if l want to go Walkies early then that is what needs to be done.
I have learned how to manipulate my two leggeds you see, l can get past Mummy with my eyes and l can wangle Dad with my Moany Minnie routine!!
[I know right butter wouldn’t melt in my mouth eh?!]
So that is basically my vocabulary, and in addition to that l have a few other little noises like ‘woo woo’ at various lengths and pitches which l think is what Dad tries to replicate at times … rather horribly l hasten to add!
So, how about your K9’s and pooches, how do they talk to you? I look forward to seeing your answers! But for now, it’s …
“Tootle pip from Doodlepip!”
“………… Miss Vocal, honestly!!”