I’ll jump right into my conversation with Stella, the Olde English Bulldogge, with a question:
Me: Stella, what in the world did you say to Wiggles that got her so wound up and freaked out?
Stella: You know Wiggles. You don’t have to say much to her to freak her out.
Me: But she was more agitated than I have ever seen her. I really want to understand how you all communicate with each other. You weren’t even talking at first…if that whiny weird bulldog type raw raw rah noise can be called ‘talking’…
Stella: How insulting! Of course, it’s talking!
Me: I’m never sure.
Stella: What else would it be?
Me: High pitched yawning. Low pitched burping.
Stella: No, those are different. Allow me to demonstrate…
Me: That’s okay. Not right now. What I witnessed between you two was, first, you calling her over to your crate and Wiggles responding.
Stella: Wiggles always does what I say.
Me: We’ll get into that later. Wiggles was relaxed and then you two shared a silent, nose to nose conversation, no noises, just staring at each other, and Wiggles completely changed. She stood up straight. She hopped around Stella style…
Stella: Thank you for naming that particular movement after me. I did invent it.
Me: While I doubt that, calling it the Stella Hop is the easiest way for me to refer to it. Back to the point, you then verbally aimed Wiggles at the cat. What did you say to Wiggles that transformed her in an instant from a laid back, cat-friendly bulldog to a bulging-eyed bundle of nerves?
Stella: Simple. I said, “Are you a bulldog or a cat? If you’re a bulldog, start acting like one! Now, go chase that cat off the piano!” And that’s when you interfered.
Me: I am a human. What I do is correction, not interference.
Stella: Well, it interfered with my plan.
Me: I calmed her down, that’s all. I just wish I could understand what you all are saying, but the sounds make no sense to me.
Stella: And you believe humans make sense. You never stop barking. Sit! Come! Go! No! By the way, are those two the same word, just with a different accent? And even after we do what we think you want us to do, you keep barking. It is all so confusing.
Me: Sort of the way Wiggles was confused when you told her to chase the cat and she didn’t want to or understand why.
Stella: No, that’s completely different. I can see that we still have a language barrier.
Me: At least we’re working on it.
Stella: Humph! Stupid cat! Why can’t she act more like a bulldog? We outnumber her. You can hear us coming. She pads around on those silly soft feet and all of a sudden, WHOA! She’s right behind you. Hey, did you see where she sneaked into your room and knocked over some of your stuff?
Stella: You’ll never catch a bulldog knocking your stuff over or…oh…well, never mind.
“There are, it may be, so many kinds of voices in the world, and none of them is without signification.”
(1 Corinthians 14:10 KJV)
Copyright 2016 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.