Monday, January 14, 2013

Conversing with a Dog

Communication between myself and my Wheaten Terrier:

"Hector, are you hungry?"
Hector appearing suddenly out of wherever he is sleeping or doing mischief. He looks at me with large eyes and occasionally licks his mouth.

"Hector, do you want to go for a walk?"
Hector jumps and skips around the room with an exhilarated, keyed-up look on his face. Absolutely always willing. He never ever says no, bless him.

"Hector, let go!"
Hector backs up with a rag between his teeth, or a pen, or some nonsense thing he has picked up to get my attention. He runs around the living room table until I command "in place", then runs around may legs and sits down on my left side and lets me have whatever he has stolen.

A cat crosses the road on our walk:
"Hector, please don't pull. It's so icy and it hurts if I fall down. I am much older than you. You have short legs and you are only 2 years old, or fourteen counting my type of years. You are much more limber and flexible than I am."
Hector turns around and looks at me and continues pulling until I growl like a mama bear, then he decides to walk nicely next to me. (I am speaking from experience - see blog about summersaults on the ice)

On the other hand, sometimes he starts the conversation:

"Aooooh", he says, sounding like a small wolf.
"Yes, Hector," I say. "I know you're hungry, but I can't feed you every time you want something. You'd be rolling down the hill if I did." Finally he gives up and curls up into a ball on the floor.

Hector stands next to me and puts his paw on my foot.
I used to think he was cute, wanting to stand close to me. But no. He is widening his territory saying, "I am big and I demand this space and more."

Hector jumps on the door handle outside. I open the door and he backs off a few meters and looks at me, then eyes a bush next to the door, then looks back at me again. This he repeats a few more times. He has a favorite bush he likes to hide treasures under. treasures like small bones and treats I give him (see blog about Hector as The Treasure Hunter) and wants to tell me about it.

The problem with having a super social dog is that he wants to greet everyone who passes the Duck and Cherry. "Helloooo" sounds like a loud, angry bark to some.
"Please, Hector," I say, "humans don't think barking is as cool as you believe it is."
This I may have to repeat a million more times. Hector has not yet understood what I am saying.

These are a few examples of interesting conversation I have with our dog. He is a handful, but adorable and very sweet.

Photos of Duck and Cherry's Hector, two-year old Irish Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier.

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