So Much to Say… with So Little Sound

Or… Who Hit the Mute Button?

Niko, my late German shepherd, was a very talkative fellow. And by “talkative” I mean he yelled at me. A lot. In his defense, it was usually when I had a treat or tennis ball in my hand but still… The funny thing about his “yelling” was that when he did it, it was either very loud and commanding (“Throw the damn ball!”) or it was like someone had hit his “mute button.”  The silent yelling was hilarious!! He would jump up and down and move his large muzzle but all I heard was air being sucked in and his teeth gnashing. He was very animated and would get extremely agitated the longer I withheld the ball or treat. And the more I laughed and said, “Speak!” or “Tell me!” the more agitated and animated he would get – yet still he wouldn’t make any sound. At some point he would finally get so fed up (or he somehow got unmuted), he would let out a loud and very annoyed “WOOF!” I never figured out why he did it and had never heard of a dog doing the same thing. It didn’t matter – I was amused by it. Always.

Let's go play... Please??!

“Let’s go play…”

Every day I see Jacques do something that he learned from Rocky. I watched (and laughed) while he learned these (mostly bad) habits. Niko had been gone for almost two years when we adopted Jacques, so Jacques never had the opportunity to “learn” anything from Niko. Needless to say, I was surprised when he started exhibiting some very Niko-like behavior…

As it turns out, Jacques also has a mute button. We have to work really hard to get him to actually speak (out loud) on command. He goes through the motions – very animated ones at that – but no real sounds come out. Jacques is a bit more stubborn than Niko was, so we quit asking, “Are you a good boy?” or “Do you want a treat?” much sooner than we did with Niko and just give him the treat, otherwise we’d be waiting for a. Long. Time.

(By the way, is it strange that Jacques likes carrots? I mean, he goes CRAZY for them!! I’ve never seen a dog get more excited over a carrot than they do a b-o-n-e. Maybe in addition to being part cat, he’s part rabbit? I guess I would believe that if I didn’t see him bark like an idiot while chasing rabbits out of our yard…)

Now, don’t think that Jacques doesn’t bark. Believe me – he does. And it’s usually at an inconvenient time like when we’re on the phone, when we have visitors over, or when we’re trying to sleep…  He seems to save his “banshee” barking for when we’ve just sat down to a quiet dinner or have just curled up in bed. This little guy who has so much to say apparently chooses his moments to speak up. If I didn’t know better I would think he was doing that on purpose.

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14 thoughts on “So Much to Say… with So Little Sound

  1. Hmmm, I love carrots too. I don’t think it is odd that Jacques likes them at all…they are crunchy and a little sweet (but healthy, as if we dogs know that). I love the “mute” button…it’s almost like he is using his “inside voice”…that is something I do not possess. BOL
    Happy weekend
    Oz

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    • “Inside voice”… I hadn’t thought about that. Good call, Oz. Haha! My Rocky didn’t have an inside voice either. We say he had voice immodulation problems. 🙂 There’s nothing wrong with that. You obviously are very excited and/or passionate about what you’re saying. Thanks for stopping by! Happy weekend to you too!

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  2. Jacques sounds like a real character. Obviously Rocky did a great job in training him up to take over.
    Douggie the doggie loves carrots as well, he has one every day at 4.30 for afternoon tea. If I forget about it he soon reminds me. He also likes cabbage, swede and broccoli. Odd dog.

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  3. Maddie is not much of a speaker either, but she sure does SNORE! The doxie is the vocal one of the two, and they both love carrots and apples very, very much. I can’t any for myself without sharing with them.

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      • Okay, the carrots and apples I get… But fennel??! I have only had that once or twice in my life and really enjoy it as a slaw. I can’t imagine a dog liking that! That’s… unique. 🙂

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      • I didn’t get it at first either when a stalk fell to the ground while prepping vegs. But then if they love sweet flavors, it does make sense (for the sweet licorice flavor of fennel). No wait, now that I think about it, they love celery sticks too. Maybe it’s for all the crunching sounds.

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      • Huh. Celery. I never would have guessed. Yeah, it’s got to be the crunchiness that they like. I personally don’t like celery – I don’t like all the little strings that get stuck in my teeth. But I can see how a dog wouldn’t really care about that… 🙂

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    • Haha!! It sounds like you have a nice balance – one that is vocal and one that isn’t, unless she is snoring. That’s pretty funny!

      Jacques has a lot to say – he constantly grumbles and mumbles… It’s just when we actually talk to him and try to get him to respond that he seems to lose the ability to make noise.

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    • Hi there, Albert & Albert’s human! Wow – you’re quite the healthy eater! (Brussels sprouts?? Interesting.) I never knew dogs liked fruits and vegetables so much.

      Haha – yes he does have quite the collection of toys. He has A few that are his favorites, but he really enjoys playing with all of them. It’s a ruff life, but someone has to live it, right?

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  4. Hi Jacque. Do you like bananas? If you do, you can have mine. Mom has started eating them as a snack at work. I think it is just so she doesn’t have to share with me (I go to work most days with her). Other than bananas and any chips, I eat everything else!

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    • Hi Lexi! Jacques hasn’t tried bananas… I’ll have to bring some home for him to try. (I like them but my husband doesn’t, so I don’t get them that often.) If he likes them, I’ll let him know that you kindly offered to share yours. I’ve been surprised at what you guys like… although some dogs eat poo, so I really shouldn’t be *that* surprised. 😀

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