If They Could Only Talk

 If They Could Only Talk

By Terri Estes

We often wonder what our pets are thinking. What would they say if they could talk to us? Well, they actually do talk to us all the time! Maybe not with words, but with their tails and body language, with their eyes, their facial expressions and with a variety of vocal sounds. And, the truth is, we understand them most of the time!

Our cats and dogs usually manage to get their point across to us. Many of our pets have developed their own unique way of doing so. Of course, there are some common ways that they communicate with us; like when the cat circles around your legs with his back slightly arched and his tail straight up in the air, with its tip lightly flicking back and forth. He is telling you that he is hungry. Or, when the dog is happy to see you, he will wag is tail and jump all over you.

But many pets have developed more sophisticated ways to let us know what they are thinking, or what they want. For instance, one of my dogs, a golden retriever named Whiskey, can’t jump onto my bed. It’s just too high for him. When he wants a boost onto the bed, he goes to the hamper and grabs a sock and stands next to the bed and stomps his feet. If I ignore him, he goes to the hamper and gets another sock and comes back and stomps some more. This continues until I finally give in and get out of bed and give him a boost up onto the foot of the bed. The record number of socks that he has held in his mouth to date is six, but I think he can beat that.

My parents used to have a cat named Rocky (named for Rockaway). My Dad was a very early riser and would feed the cat as soon as he got up every morning at around 4:30 a.m. If, for some reason, he slept in, Rocky would jump up onto his dresser and start knocking things onto the floor with his paw, one by one, until my father would begrudgingly get up and feed him.

The owner/pet relationship is a dynamic one and, although they can’t speak words to us, they do in fact speak to us all the time. We know when our cat is annoyed. The wringing tail and angry face need no words. Most of us even know when our dogs have done something wrong. Their guilty look and skulking demeanor say it all.

They can’t speak, but we know when they are happy or angry. We know when they are scared, when they are playful and when they are sick. We speak more dog/cat than we think, and it is because our pets have taught us their language!

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