Sunday, January 25, 2015

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


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 Follow her on Twitter at @enterprisetanya





Bridges of Yolo County: Wear, tear … repair?

By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Four days of unusual, adventuresome music

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Spanish police arrest 4 suspected members of a jihadi cell

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Rockets kill 30 in Ukrainian city as rebels launch offensive

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Abe ‘speechless’ after video claims IS hostage dead

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

GOP presses state bills limiting gay rights before ruling

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Abortion opponents express renewed hope at California rally

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Share your love (story) with us

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Sip wines at St. James’ annual tasting

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

Fake schools draw federal scrutiny

By The Associated Press | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Winter produce available at Sutter market

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

Vote for your favorites in Readers’ Choice poll

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Donations to be distributed during homeless count

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A4

Speaker will share computer security tips

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Logos Books celebrates 5 years, offers language groups

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Australian olive oil company opens U.S. headquarters in Woodland

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

Explore at the YOLO Outdoor Expo

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Pedal around Davis on weekly bike ride

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Yolo animal shelter seeking rawhide donations

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A5

Woodland Healthcare employees take Great Kindness Challenge

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

At the Pond: Nest boxes give birds new homes

By Jean Jackman | From Page: A6 | Gallery

California ranks worst in nation for guidance counselors

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Davis, Woodland are saving water

By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A12

Words and Music Festival events

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A12



Family isn’t keen on relationship

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: A8

Caring for the aging mouth

By Samer Alassaad | From Page: A8

Big utilities’ nightmare begins to play out

By Tom Elias | From Page: A10

Mayor’s Corner: Let’s renew Davis together

By Dan Wolk | From Page: A10

We have the right to choose

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

We don’t have to suffer

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

City helped immensely

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

Rick McKee cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A10

When measles spreads from Disneyland, it’s a small world after all

By New York Times News Service | From Page: A11

From innovation parks to innovative buildings and planning

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11



Wildcats’ inaugural kids development league exceeds expectations

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Aggies get top 2015 gymnastics score, but fall short

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Loud crowd sees DHS boys win

By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Lady Devils hold off Pacers, stay perfect in league

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

UCD men take two tennis matches

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B8

Watney in ninth at Humana Challenge

By Staff and wire reports | From Page: B8







Davis man focusing on cannabidiol business

By Will Bellamy | From Page: A9

Marrone Bio’s Regalia approved for new uses in Canada

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9

UCD grad makes insurance ‘hot 100′ list

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

Yolo County real estate sales

By Zoe Juanitas | From Page: A9





Comics: Sunday, January 25, 2015

By Creator | From Page: B8