A San Diego veterinarian’s book, “How to Speak Dog,” has just been released by the National Geographic Society, and the author, Dr. Gary Weitzman, “hopes it will help people better grasp what their dogs are saying so they can respond better,” according to The Associated Press.
I hope that turns out to be true. I have never been able to understand what my dog says because all she does is bark. Of course, some barks seem to have different meaning. One such meaning is, “Let me out, I have to go to the bathroom (or to the lawn, as the case may be),” and I learned to understand that request — some might call it a demand — pretty quickly in our relationship.
However, that bark sounds a lot like the bark she uses when she wants to play with Mr. Pig, one of her squeak toys.
She also has a bark that means “I see the cat and I want to give her a piece of my mind.”
The cat doesn’t talk much. When she sees the dog, she just hisses, which makes the dog nervous. When the cat wants to eat, she squeaks, not unlike the sound Mr. Pig makes when the dog chews on him.
Meanwhile, a cat lover in Daly City apparently has read Dr. Weitzman’s book already, because he used dog language to let his parents know what he thought of them. He viciously bit and hit his parents after they refused to allow him to see the family cat.
The AP reports the incident like this:
“San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe says when 26-year-old Yevgeniy Bolshakov of Daly City came home from an outing Saturday, he asked his parents about the cat. When they told him it was recovering from surgery and that he couldn’t see the animal, Wagstaffe says, Bolshakov punched his 64-year-old father in the head, biting the older man on the arm and ripping off a piece of flesh, before biting and punching his mother.”
He is in the county jail in lieu of $100,000 bail, but soon may be transferred to the animal shelter. There, he probably will be fixed and put up for adoption.
My only worry about reading Weitzman’s book is that after I learn to speak dog, I may find out after a conversation or two that my dog is smarter than I am.