I talk to my dogs. Anyone who has dogs talks to them. Even people without them talk to dogs when they meet them on the sidewalk or in Home Depot. When I talk to my dogs, I answer back for them in my dog voice.
“Do you want to lick the bucket?” I ask Sadie, my golden retriever, after finishing a tub of yogurt and setting it on the floor.
“You really need to ask that after all these years?” Sadie answers back in my dog voice. “For a dog trainer, you’re not very observant. Maybe we should practice. Go get some more buckets, ask me if I want to lick them, then put them on the floor.”
When the bucket is licked clean, I pick it up and say, “Boy, that sure is clean. You’re a good bucket cleaner.”
“I’m a specialist. What else do you have to clean? I feel like cleaning cottage cheese.”
“Cottage cheese will make you fat.”
“Fat shmat,” Sadie says. “Not that bland non-fat brand you bring home.”
“Look, I’ll make popcorn later for when we watch the DVD. How’s that sound?”
“Ooo, I like popcorn. With butter?”
“Yes, with butter.”
By the time I finish this conversational exchange, I’m half convinced Sadie actually said all that about cottage cheese and butter and is eagerly awaiting me to make popcorn. Her face certainly says so as she follows me into my office.