If Dogs could Talk

Dogs are pretty wonderful, at least I think so. Each breed has its differences, but I think we can generalize in a few areas:

On the minus side, a dog is a bit like raising a small child all over again. Food, healthcare, grooming and perhaps some toys must be provided at your expense. It requires repetitive instructions to learn acceptable habits for peeing, pooping, barking, respecting the owner’s possessions and walking on a leash. But this is not all bad, these instructions develop habits in the owner too, and help to establish a happy owner/dog relationship. If the owner’s mindset is not compatible with this then perhaps a dog is not in the cards. Another animal with lower maintenance requirements such as a cat may be more appropriate.

Far outweighing this on the plus side, however, is they are great companions. They want to be with you, do things with you; in short, please you. What other living thing hops around unable to contain its excitement when you walk in the door, whether you’ve been gone thirty minutes or three months? They almost never take a day off or have a bad day, in fact they are usually the antidote to your bad day. They want to be close to you, even in your lap if they’re small enough (our Maltipoo, Sherlock, is in mine as I write this). They are generally content with the food you provide and the sleeping spot you designate. And if they have reasonable smarts they can be trained to provide simple services for you.
As owners bond with their dogs, feelings of true affection develop, almost as if they were an adopted member of the family. They aren’t human, of course, but human-like attributes associated with this “family membership” can begin to creep in. “We’re headed to the store, do you think Fido would like to go?” “We’ll be gone all day, should we leave the TV on for Fido? Hmm, which channel would he like?” It gets to the point that we talk, or want to talk to the dog like it is one of the family. We assume our dog voice and the dog turns its head to the side with a quizzical look. Does it understand? And then we take a half step away from reality and utter the universal words in a plaintive manner, “if only you could talk.” How cool would that be! After all those years of questioning looks and sometimes barks, the dog could share some wisdom and feelings like “you know, a blue collar is really more my style.” “An occasional table scrap would be appreciated.” “OK, I’m putting my paw down and saying it will require two doggie treats in the future for me to roll over.” Wait, I’m not liking the direction this dog talk idea is going 😊.

Nevertheless, supposing scientists someday figure out how to make dogs talk, what would they say? I invite you to respond with your own ideas about what dogs would say, If Dogs could Talk.