Sunday, May 3, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Are we there yet? If I were a dog for a day

TanyaPereznewW

By
From page A11 | April 24, 2013 |

I imagine this is common for pet-owners, but in my household, we often vocalize what our dog might be thinking. What might not be as common, I’m guessing, is that we’ve become a family of amateur ventriloquists.

Going back to our pre-kid days, my husband’s and my first dog, Fennie, was quite a blabbermouth. She developed a fairly sophisticated brand of observational humor, strangely peppered with a lot of salty language. I don’t know why she liked to swear, but Fennie knew all the choice words.

This habit of talking for our dog carried over to our next dog, Daisy. My husband and I started it, but even when the kids were quite young, they joined in vocalizing Daisy’s thoughts. By the way, dog voices are kind of high pitched with a nasal tone, at least in our family.

A typical Daisy-conversation goes like this:

Human: “Daisy, doesn’t it bother you to have water dripping from your face like that? Why don’t you drink more daintily?”

Daisy: “Why don’t you try dunking your fur-covered head into a bowl of water and see if you can keep from dripping, you bleepers!”

Honestly, having been a dog ventriloquist for the past 20 years, I can see the appeal in being an actual ventriloquist. Mind you, none of the Perezes actually tries to keep his or her mouth from moving while talking for Daisy, but we all say things with a certain spunk that doesn’t match up with our regular conversational style. Daisy is much more of a smart aleck than the rest of us.

Anyhoo, all this talking for the dog has made me feel like I really understand a dog’s concerns and interests. But I think my dog ventriloquism would greatly benefit from being Daisy for a day. I’ve decided that I’m willing to trade one human day and spend it as Daisy to find out what is going on in her mind. I’m only going to make this trade if I’m able to remember what I learned after my dog-day. And ideally, I’d trade in a particularly unpleasant human day, say the one a few Picnic Days ago where I fell off my bike and broke my hand and my teeth.

Of particular interest to me as I catalog information for the future is how bored is Daisy all day while we’re at school and work? Does she pine away, wishing that sound of tires coming up the street is one of her people’s cars? Or is she seriously sound asleep on the couch all day, happy to have some quiet?

When we do get home, Daisy is most excited to see me. I’m not just saying this, either … I am her favorite, no matter what the others in my household say. She rushes to the door to greet me with great gusto; and I reward her with heaps of attention, petting and sweet talk. But I’m curious what she thinks when she sees me. Is she thinking, “Oh, I love her so much!”? Or is she thinking, “My belly itches. This person will scratch it if I flop on the floor in front of her.” When I spend my day as a dog, I will definitely analyze this aspect of her personality.

I would also spend some time at the dog park to get a better understanding of her intense love of the place. And I want to know more about her sense of direction. At what point does she deduce we are headed to the veterinarian, and when does she realize we’re headed to Toad Hollow Dog Park?

I’m curious, too, about why Daisy chooses the spots she does to relax. I can appreciate the joy of the kitchen floor, where food is likely to drop; and the couch and our younger son’s bed seem like lovely locations to lounge. But why after we moved our coffee table from its usual position, did she sprawl out there as if it were the most precious place on the planet, like she’s been longing for the day that she could finally get to that special patch of rug.

Her other favorite spot is a pathetically flat bean bag chair. She paws at it, piles it, primps it and finally plops into it. And we laugh at her the whole time. I’ve wondered if she feels humiliated by our laughing, or if she knows we are laughing with her.

Of course, she spews a string of profanity as we laugh at her, in her nasally, high-pitched voice: “Ha ha, very funny, bleeping bleepers! Why don’t you get me a better bleeping beanbag!”

— Tanya Perez is an associate editor at The Enterprise. Her column publishes every other week on Wednesdays or Thursdays. Reach her at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter at @enterprisetanya

Comments

comments

.

News

Breaking barriers: For Prieto, it’s all about hard work

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Council to hear about drought pricing

By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1

Nigeria: Nearly 300 freed women, children led to safety

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
For the record

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

 
Peaceful Baltimore demonstrators praise top prosecutor

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Graveyard thefts land three Woodlanders behind bars

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A3

Downtown altercation leads to injuries

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A3

 
Woman arrested for brandishing knife on overpass

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A3

Yolo DA launches monthly newsletter

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
A Scottish setting for local author’s next book

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

Can plants talk? UCD prof will answer that question

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Free beginner yoga class offered

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Video discusses surveillance of prostate cancer

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
NAMI support group meets May 10

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Dr. G featured on the radio

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
Fee proposed on rail cars that haul oil, other flammables

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4 | Gallery

Indoor Fun Fly comes to Woodland

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
 
Internships move UCD doctoral students beyond academia

By Julia Ann Easley | From Page: A5 | Gallery

Make Mom a warm vanilla sugar scrub

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6

 
The secret to Mother’s Day gifting success: Give time, not stuff

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

Letter book is series of collected missives thanking Mom

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
If your mom fancies something fancy, consider a tea party

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Out of Africa and back to Davis: James Carey will give special presentation

By Kathy Keatley Garvey | From Page: A9 | Gallery

 
Big Day of Giving makes philanthropy easy

By Tanya Perez | From Page: A10 | Gallery

Tuleyome hosts Snow Mountain camping trip

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A12 | Gallery

 
Tuleyome Tales: How are a snake and a mushroom alike?

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A12 | Gallery

.

Forum

Advancing education for California’s former foster youths

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B4

 
With sincere gratitude

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

A wonderful day of service

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

 
Please help Baltimore

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

End of life doesn’t mean life must end

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B4 | Gallery

 
Eyewitness to the ‘fall’ of Vietnam: It was not a bloodbath

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B5 | Gallery

 
Dangers from prescription pills

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B6

 
.

Sports

UCD softball splits with Titans

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Trifecta of Devil teams open playoffs Tuesday

By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Defending champ DHS clinches a baseball playoff berth

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

Making memories at Aggie Stadium

By Wayne Tilcock | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
Sports briefs: DHS boys win to reach lacrosse playoffs

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3 | Gallery

UCD roundup: Aggie women speed past Hornets

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B12 | Gallery

 
Pro baseball roundup: Hudson pitches Giants past Angels

By The Associated Press | From Page: B12

.

Features

.

Arts

.

Business

Arcadia partners on soybean trait to improve yield

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

 
Marrone opens new greenhouse

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

 
New firm helps students on path to college

By Wendy Weitzel | From Page: A8

Yolo County real estate sales

By Zoe Juanitas | From Page: A8

 
.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Comics: Sunday, May 3, 2015

By Creator | From Page: B8