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When Itzl was a year old, he learned to talk human words.  Not many, but reliably.

His first word was "Aaarrrrrr", and he learned to say that to people wearing tricorn hats.

His second word was, "Now."  He learned that word to tell hearing people that they needed to do something.  

His third word, he taught himself.

My son, nicknamed Beaners after his great love of beans when he was a toddler, was sitting on the sofa, eating those new Oberto Jerky Chips when Itzl went up to beg for a taste. I told Beaners if he wanted to share with Itzl, he would have to get Itzl to obey a command first - sit or dance or something. No free snacks for Itzl. That's been my rule since I got him. This is particularly important for several reasons:  he was training to be a service dog, he needed to know that food is free but treats are earned, and he's small so he has to burn off energy faster to get treats.

Well, Beaners is harder to train than Itzl, but he can be trained. So he gave Itzl a command, Itzl obeyed, and he got his snack.

Then Itzl decided he wanted another taste. So he went up to Beaners and said, very clearly, "Now!"

When Beaners stared at him and said, "Wha?", Itzl firmly repeated, "Now! Meat now!"

Beaners was so amazed, he gave Itzl another bite.

And therafter, whenever Itzl wanted a jerky chip, he told Beaners, "Meat now!", and Beaners would give it to him.

See, I told you Beaners could be trained.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Next word: Squirrel! n/t (6+ / 0-)

    Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

    by JeffW on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 10:39:39 AM PDT

  •  Yay! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, sheddhead

    A Noddy interlude.

  •  One of my cats once learned a word (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Noddy, JeffW, sheddhead

    She could say 'hello.'

    I would always come home and say, 'hello' to her, and one day she started saying it back. She would only say it when I'd been out of the house for a while and came home.

    Friends who heard it were really astonished.

    We cannot be content...if some fraction of our people--whether it be one-third or one-fifth or one-tenth--is ill-fed, ill-clothed, ill-housed, and insecure. FDR

    by wide eyed lib on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 11:42:52 AM PDT

  •  Everytime I feed my cat burt (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Noddy, JeffW, sheddhead

    He doesn't actually vocalize but he looks at me with that disappointed gaze that says "Fucking Friskies Whitefish Platter again!"

    apparently due to ancient hardware and the transition to dk4 I can't recc tip jars or comments any longer so in lieu of the 'standard nod' you'll see a variety of replies until this gets fixed or becomes a mighty big fucking pain in the ass

    by oopsaDaisy on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 12:00:20 PM PDT

  •  We had a dog that vocalized... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Noddy, sheddhead

    ...something that sounded a lot like "Milk Bone" when she wanted a Milk Bone.

    Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

    by JeffW on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 01:59:58 PM PDT

  •  Recommended for the Smile (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Noddy, sheddhead, DvCM

    you gave me.  My dog sort of says my name, but he communicates best by movement.  He will block my path and then lead me to whatever he wants - his water bowl,  the sofa to retrieve a toy etc.  If I'm sitting, he will stand teetering on his back legs inches from my knees.  Cute but annoying, because he won't quit until I get up and follow him.

    He spends much time on the footstool under the front window woofing softly at anything that walks or flies, but if a person even hesitates at the gate, he turns his head toward me and barks furiously until I respond.

    Bud was a used dog when he was given to me.  He knew no tricks, was disobedient, and lived for only one thing - to be in constant physical contact with an obliging human being.  I understand why Bichons are considered the quintessential lap dog. Historically they were favoured by aristocratic women . You can often find them in antique paintings sitting in the folds of their owners' skirts or perched beside them on a settee.

    It took a while to learn his language .

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