There is a legend that on Christmas Eve at midnight, the animals can talk. But this isn’t Christmas, and it isn’t midnight. So is what this dog doing talking? He certainly seems to think so! (Be sure to check out the video below and let us know what you think.)
But his talking is kind of like the adult voices in the Peanuts cartoons, where they say “Wah-wah-wah” instead of actually speaking any words. Nevertheless, the children seemed to know exactly what their folks meant.
This is Charlie, a yellow Labrador retriever who is conversing with his owner. As soon as she starts talking, Charlie joins in. “Arrrah, arrah,” he says. Is he trying to communicate with his owner?
Sometimes, apparently, he sounds like he’s saying “I love you,” and if so, he’s not the first dog to enunciate those special words. “RRoooah, rrooah,” Charlie says.
A psychologist and dog expert from the University of British Columbia, Stanley Coren, has a story he likes to tell about a colleague and her dog. Each day, she would greet the dog with a cheerful, two-syllable “Hel-lo!” Pretty soon, the dog began imitating the greeting, and it did, indeed, sound like her owner’s words.
Harry Miles Johnson, a scientist at Johns Hopkins University didn’t believe that the dogs who mastered this skill were actually talking. His paper, published in 1912 in Science, said that the dogs' "speech" is “the production of vocal sounds which produce illusion in the hearer.”
Charlie’s owner seems convinced otherwise. Maybe he’s just saying what he thinks most of us are saying… “blah, blah, blah.”
Or maybe he has something important he’s trying to convey. Listen closely as you watch this video. What do you hear? Could Charlie really be trying to say something we need to listen to?
Share the video with your friends. What do they think Charlie is saying?