Look who’s talking

Jen, aka Other Dog, is very ‘chatty’ – making sounds that approximate human speech in order to copy what she hears Chris and me doing.

Being a Border Collie, she knows a lot of English words and a fair few human concepts – for instance, smiling. On seeing someone she likes, she bares her teeth – not to snarl but to try to copy the smile reaction she sees from humans.

Her chatting has incorporated two phrases and concepts. Whenever I open the back door, I call out “peepees and poopoos!”. Now, if she wants to go outside, her chatter contains the word “reeree ah rooroo”.

She has also taken on board the most common thing she has heard Chris and I saying to each other, developing the word “ru-roo” to mean “human/person/not dog” – a corruption of “love you”.

The other day she came up with her first sentence. Chris popped out to the corner shop while she was in the back yard, so she didn’t see him leave. She was inside for his return though, and when he came through the door excitedly announced “ru-roo uh reeree ah rooroo!” – “you were outside!”