My dog Joe occasionally talks. That is apparently a big surprise to folks. We don’t have long conversations, but he generally gets his point across. Now what Joe and I talk about in the privacy of our home is our business and nobody else’s, but I gave it some thought and I saw how it might seem curious. I made a point to ask him about it.
I went to my office and sat down. Joe lay on the floor sleeping, his nose between his front paws.
“Joe, people don’t seem to have a great interest in what I write, but they are devilishly puzzled by a talking dog.”
He raised his head to look at me.
“Well what would they expect? I don’t have opposable thumbs. I can’t hold a pen to paper. (He held up his paws) I’ll never master a keyboard with these things. How did they expect me to communicate? Telepathy?”
“Well, you know that and I know that, but still. Why don’t you help me out with this and talk more? Like politics, maybe, or current events?”
Joe moved closer to me and put his paw on my knee. “Listen. People get uneasy when their politicians and their dogs start talking. Dogs and politicians ought to stay quiet for the most part. Things just run better that way. I’m no Donald Trump. I’m no Chuck Schumer either. (He points his paw at me) Now you take Calvin Coolidge. He never said much. People listened.”
Now that made sense to me. If more people listened to him carefully, Joe would be thought of as the Calvin Coolidge of dogs. He uses fewer words than any dog I know. I leaned on the desk and rested my chin in my hand as I stared at him. “Are you saying we need a President like Coolidge?”
“What you people do bores me. But I promise you if I trotted into the kitchen right now and said “I’m thirsty,” I bet I would get me some water.”
I smiled. You see, he won’t talk to Mary. In the kitchen, he’s the Harpo Marx of dogs. But she talks to him frequently and I get a lot of information that way.
“I see your point. But consider this. Yesterday I was reading about the election and the people who got into the Capitol building and all these security measures for the inauguration, and this impeachment thing. All you did was yawn.”
He yawned again. He began to lick himself. “You people can do. What you want. But can you imagine. How calm and peaceful it would be right now. If all the dogs and people. Just stopped barking. And went outside. And smelled their yard?”
“Have it your way. But I am a little concerned. Listen to this. A reader says it is “simply unbelievable” and “an insult” to her intelligence to suggest that you might sit in my office or downstairs in the workshop and discuss politics.”
He stopped and looked up at me. “Insulting. Is that so? I’ll bet when she was a kid she watched Mr. Ed every week. You people get your intelligence insulted too often. If all I talked about was chasing a tennis ball and barking at other dogs in the neighborhood, nobody would listen. I’m a dog, that’s what I do. What kind of a life would that be? She thinks I don’t talk and I think she talks too much. That’s a brick wall, my friend. That’s when I start sniffing around for bugs.”
“You’re not following, Joe. Some people are saying that I spend too much time alone with you. They think I’m losing my mind.”
Joe sat up and stared at me. “Oh, I’m following, mister. I will never, NEVER (stomps his paw on the floor) stop spending time with you. Losing your mind? Well. That ship sailed a long time ago. Let’s stop wasting time. I’d like to go outside now and get the paper.”