Appreciation For The Dog

Our dog speaks human much better than we speak dog. We don’t give her credit for her ability. She uses our body language, our tone of voice and our words, to understand and respond to us. She’s worked hard to learn many phrases and commands. I don’t think I’ve put the same energy and concentration into learning her language. She’s bilingual. I am not.

Does Every Woof Mean Food?

I resort to guessing what her barks mean. If I’m eating, her woof means, “Food?” If she nudges me from behind when I get the cheese out of the fridge and stares at me, she means, “Food?” If I just came home, her woof might mean, “Welcome back. I missed you.” “What have you been doing?” “Can we go for a walk?” Or “Food?” 

I have no clue.

Photo by Dom Bucci on

Dog Buttons Help Me

Occasionally I know, but most of the time I’m guessing. Those voice command buttons make her meaning clear to me.* When she steps on the voice command “treat” button next to her cupboard, she means, “Food.” I am sure of it. When she presses the one near the back door and I hear, “Outside,” I know I have to open the door. But in other situations, my grasp of Woof is very poor. 

Turning Frustration Into Food

Photo by Mohan Nannapaneni on

I can see her frustration. She’ll woof long stories to our friends who pop by for a visit. She’s trying to participate in our conversations, but no one knows what she’s saying. Eventually, she stops trying, when she’s given a tasty new bone to chew on while we chat. I suspect her woofing may be blackmail for a treat. She’s that smart and I’m that clueless about Woof.

*To learn more about using voice buttons to communicate with dogs, click here. This is not a promotion for dog buttons.

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