Friday, April 15, 2016
Tails From Rainbow Bridge: What you Say and what we Hear
Researchers have discovered ten words that are used most frequently when dog and humans play together. Humans say the words but what humans mean to say and what dogs hear are different.
When humans say “you” they mean the dog to whom they are speaking. When dogs hear the word “you” they know the humans mean them, and it is the most wonderful word. The human’s attention is on us! We are the most important being in the world to them. “You” means love.
When humans say “good” they are telling us that we have done the right thing. The word “good” to us means that we have reached our goal. We have been “good.” We want nothing more than to be good. When they tell us we are good, it is confirmation that our life is complete.
Humans use the word “it.” “Leave it.” “Fetch it.” “Bring it.” It is the lone bark of words. When we let out a lone bark humans don’t know what we mean, just like when humans make the guttural sound “it” we don’t know what they mean. What is it?
We do understand “get” but that word does not have any power on its own. We only care about what “get” modifies. “Get the kibble,” affect us greatly. “Get down” means nothing to us.
The researchers name “go” and “gonna” as the same word. Nothing could be further from the truth. “Gonna” means something in the future. “We are gonna go for a walk.” We aren’t interested in false promises. “Let’s go for a walk!” Now you have our attention. We’re not interested in what you’re gonna do. We live in the now.
We agree what “come” means but not all “comes” are alike. There is the “come” and let’s have fun. And then there is the “come” in the house and stop having fun. We don’t like that “come.” Humans weigh all come equally, but dogs know the difference.
The next most popular word is “girl.” Of course, it is. I am a girl, and I can tell you that girls are much more popular than boys. Nothing wrong with boys but people say “good girl” much more than “good boy” because girls are better. In fact, the word “boy’ is ranked higher because of the number of people who say “oh boy I wish you were a girl.”
Rounding out the top ten are the words “yay” and “that.” I don’t know how that comes into play talk except for “yay you got that!” which is kind of lame. All I can figure is that “yay” and “that” are popular safe words with parents.
Next year I hope “treat,” “chicken,” and “hamburger” are on the list. Humans need to say “If you get this stick I will get you chicken or hamburger for a treat more often.”