Thursday, March 01, 2007

Conversations with Pets


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Saucer Magnolia blooms this morning under cloudy skies.


I’m putting my reputation on the line tonight. Actually, I don’t even know what my reputation is, generally, so I shouldn’t really care. Friends and family have raised their eyebrows in confusion at some things I do from time to time, especially when they witness one of my quirky little habits. With a deep breath, I’ll continue…

Lots of people talk lovingly to their pets like I do. Other than hugging them and giving belly rubs, the soft and cheery tone of your voice along with direct eye contact communicates your love for them. I think they get it - and understand the way in which you hold them in the highest regard, sometimes even higher than your human family and friends.

Gulp.

I not only talk to my dogs but I carry two-way conversations with them - out loud. Yes, they answer my questions and ask me questions. They make random comments out of the blue. They talk to each other. A Boston Terrier face is so expressive that you can speak for them! If that’s not enough to raise your eyebrows - my dogs have their own voice. Bella, the sweet sister, sounds much like Pooh’s Piglet. Chloe, the sinister sister, sounds more like Pooh’s Rabbit. I use those voices because they have similar personalities as their voice characters; Bella being easily intimidated and soft-spoken and Chloe being intelligent and sharp-tongued. Mr. Biggins has a voice, too, similar to Deputy Dog. If you are rolling your eyes now, that’s OK because I’m rolling mine, too.

For instance, on my way home from work yesterday, I stopped at the heron’s pond and parked on my man-made shoulder of the road to see some red-winged blackbirds. Poof! Gone. I looked to my left and there was a Downy Woodpecker in plain view. Poof! Gone. I don’t think I can use my camera any faster and grumbled all the way home. Have you ever felt you might soar into space and explode into bits and pieces, if you didn’t tell someone about your plight? That’s why I have Bella and Chloe.

Me: “Hi Girlie Girls, Mommy’s home! Gimme kisses! I can’t believe I just lost two photo opportunities of birdies in thirty seconds! Can you believe that?” Dogs are boinging and giving sloppy kisses.

Bella (sweetly): “C-c-c-an we have a cookie?”

Chloe (tersely): Tell her we have to go outside on our business trip first!”

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Chloe the supervisor, disapproves.

A little later, they followed me outside with a container of sunflower seed for the feeders. As I do every day, I hang my camera around my neck and head out there. This time I stopped about six feet away from the feeders and raised my camera to get a nice shot of a female cardinal in a tree. I leaned on the fence for a minute or two and, lo and behold, a Chickadee landed on the feeder, close enough that I could see the light in its eyes! Could I get the perfect shot in less than five seconds? Of course not! The damned camera can’t keep up with me! Thirty seconds later, a fluffy Tufted Titmouse landed there. We were staring at each other, motionless and eye to eye…until…Bella came barreling along with her hula hoop, crashing over the pond rocks. Poof! Gone.

Me: “That’s it! Bella, I’m taking that blasted hula hoop away from you! I’m sick of it!”

Bella cringes: “B-b-b-b-ut! I didn’t m-m-mean it. Please, play with me?”

Chloe: “Put her in the house, mommy. She's annoying."


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I quit the photography battle and played with them in the yard until their tongues curled as tightly as a party blower. “Dog Talk” – it floats my boat and makes me laugh.

There are a few nice things I saw today and yesterday.


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The Robins have arrived in great numbers. Starlings seems to be habitual birds and perch in the same places at the same time of day.


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I’m surprised that the focus in this shot was on the Chickadee instead of on the top fence rail. This is the same bird that was almost within an arms length from me. Oh, the pain...

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Too bad the tail feathers are cut off in this photo.


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Munching away with her eye on me.

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A new visitor at my house last night. I sat with her and let her purr and slither all around me. Then, I firmly told her to “go home!” (She didn’t reply.)

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Yep. Spring has arrived here but March can be ferocious. The weather around the country is so severe. I wish it would relent and let everyone feel the warmth of sunshine on their backs.

14 comments:

NatureWoman said...

Mary, I'm LOL here!! Thanks for putting your dog's voices in my head as I went through your conversation - it was too cute! I can tell from your photos and Julie's photos of Chet that BT's are *very* expressive.
I feel for you regarding the lack of bird photos! The camera has to make all it's little whirling noises to get ready and by that time the bewds are gone.
March - in like a lion, out like a lamb, right? So it says. Glad to see spring has arrived at your house - means it will be coming here too, soon!

mon@rch said...

LOL, I also talk to my pets and they might not talk back (cats don't talk as much as dogs) but they always find a way to get the point across what they want! Glad you come out of the closet that you're a pet talker! Welcome to the club! <---- your secret is safe with me!

Janeyms said...

You know I talk to mine all the time. I mean how can you not talk to and for a BT? I keep saying that my Maeve Bean is a trilingual dog, the day she speaks to me in Spanish I won't be shocked in the least, if however she decides to fire off some Mandarin she might raise an eyebrow or two. She reminds me of your Chloe.
Loved your pictures of Spring...makes me antsy for the ice and snow to leave up here. Want me to express mail some to you?

Laurie said...

I love it! I absolutely love it! Your post had me rolling on the floor because my cats talk to me too!

Best post ever!!!

By the way, did you notice that your visitor looked similar to my "W" kitty?

LauraHinNJ said...

You mean that everybody doesn't have ongoing conversations with their animals??

lol!

Dogs (and bunnies) make good listeners.

Carol said...

Awesome!!Lols!! I really enjoyed your post.The photographs are wonderful too!!And this is so true. My pets have taken to this so naturally.Carol

Sonia said...

Just funny, Mary! I also talk with Flora everyday in out loud voice!
Love all photos!

Sandy said...

Mary, it is just fine to talk to your animals. Sometimes, I think our pets are more in tune with our feelings that family and friends are.

What is the X on your camera? You get the best shots with it.

Mary said...

Sandy, it's a simple camera - Kodak EasyShare with 12x optical and 4x digital. Next year, I'll be shopping around for another :o) I appreciate your compliment as I'm new at this.

Cuppa said...

Mmmmm, such a nice touch of spring in these pictures. Thank you.

We had a titch of spring earlier in the week, but today we are being blasted with an icy downpour that will turn to snow later in the day and not leave until 15cm of the stuff has blanketed our area.

Yes March can be stormy indeed.

Liza Lee Miller said...

Oh, Mary! I talk to my dogs too and always have. Ruby and I are still learning how to communicate with each other but we're doing it. Of course, she's still a puppy so I don't expect as much in depth communication from her.

My inlaws have always told me that I should write a book because I do such a great job of translating what the dog is saying/thinking and putting it into words . . . I think you have the knack as well.

And, I'm going to unashamedly steal that phrase of yours "Going on a business trip!" Chortle!

KGMom said...

Yes yes yes--pets can talk. As for the non-answering cat, that's because "dogs have masters; cats have staff." Cats choose when to talk--you come home, announce it, and they say--yawn, that's nice, big deal, we've been here all day.
And dogs are listeners too--we have a program in the local schools here: Reading to Dogs. It seems dogs listen, and don't criticize new readers who may mispronounce words!

Anonymous said...

You may think you occasionally miss the mark when attempting bird photography ( I respectfully disagree ), but you sure hit the mark when it comes to entertaining writing - particularly when it involves those precious pups. This is fun!

Cathy - from Looking Up

dguzman said...

Both my partner and I have conversations with the kitties and the bunny, and we also interpret the inter-kitty conversations and the kitty conversations with the bunny as well. Our friends just look at us like we're insane, but we understand the babies, and they understand us!

Love that pic of your visitor--what a cute kitty!