She doesn’t ask me in English, but Honey often has questions. I’ve learned over the years that our life together is better if I don’t ignore her when she’s asking me something.
Do you answer your dog’s questions?
Where Did He Go?
We had stopped at the South Carolina marina so Mike could build shelves for our boat in their workshop.
I took Honey off the boat for a walk. Knowing Mike was back on the boat, she went happily with me,
But by the time we returned to the marina, Mike was just coming up the dock to go to the workshop. He greeted me and Honey. Then, while her back was turned, he disappeared.
Honey was very concerned.
She shows no anxiety when one or both of us leaves the boat. But if we split up on shore, she starts to worry.
Honey didn’t want to play. She didn’t want to greet friendly strangers. She didn’t want to return to the boat.
To set her mind at ease, I answered her question.
I walked her into the workshop where Mike was setting up. Once Honey knew where he was, she was happy to return to the boat.
What’s In Your Hand?
Well meaning strangers who want to treat my dog make me crazy.
They clutch dried-out supermarket dog biscuits in their hands while telling my dog to sit. Then they get frustrated because she doesn’t stay seated even though they only asked her to sit, not to stay.
In the meantime, Honey can smell the treat and she’s getting frustrated.
After all, she did what they asked (sat). It’s not her fault she’s literal.
End result? I have a dog who gets aroused when strangers hold things in their hands—money, cell phones, wallets, keys, etc.
It doesn’t happen to me. Because I answer her question.
I open my hands and let her sniff.
Instantly, she knows what I’m holding isn’t food and her curiosity is sated.
Do You Love Me?
How much emptier would the internet be without videos of people’s pets lounging on their computers?
Sorry. I think it’s only advanced creatures, like humans, who go out of their way to be intentional nuisances.
Pets are simply asking a question.
If Honey moves over to rest her head on my knee while I’m typing on the computer, she’s asking me a question. And if I simply push her away because she’s being a nuisance, I’m not answering her question.
And it’s the question we most want our animals to know the answer to. Right?
Your Turn: Do your pets ask you questions? What are they?