Monday, July 8, 2019

NEED TO TALK TO CALLIE


No, I don't mean a sit down, heart to heart about her behavior, I mean just conversation.  There are two reasons for this.  One, since I live alone, I really only carry on conversations with friends or family a couple times a week and that isn't enough to exercise my vocal cords. As a result, I have a squeaky old lady voice from lack of use.  Of course if I get talking to Callie, I may end up one of those people you avoid in the grocery aisle who is merrily talking to themselves. Might be hard to control when to gab and when not to.

The other reason is I have just read  The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein.  It is the story told by a dog, Enzo who has an amazing vocabulary. Enzo also has a thorough understanding of human nature, philosophy, and knows a good bit of science. He also knows a ton about the sport of car racing which he has learned by watching TV and via long talks with his owner Denny who is a race car driver.  Denny talks to his dog Enzo about many things but mostly racing. 

Enzo believes in the Mongolian legend  that dogs who are prepared will be reincarnated as humans. This he learned from watching the  National Geographic channel. He watches a lot of TV.  Enzo is really excited about someday having thumbs and a tongue that can form words. 

There is definitely some humor to the story but also lots of angst, anger and tears. Typical dog story in that respect.

I realize Callie has a very limited vocabulary thanks to me.  She knows "good girl", "no", "ya want out?", "lets eat", "get in the car", and her favorite, "cookie."  We have never discussed politics, religion, global warming, health or finances. Enzo would think her quite handicapped.

As for the book, I HIGHLY recommend the first chapter for all pet owners.  It gave me peace about the times I have had to euthanize a pet and actually kept me reading during the longish sections about the art of auto racing. I'll admit I am probably a better driver now but just going to the store and around town, it seems over kill to have all this knowledge.  I rarely take a corner at 100 miles an hour anymore.

The book has been made into a movie and the voice of Enzo is handled by Kevin Costner.

The story has made me determined to talk in more depth to Callie however. Both to strengthen my vocal cords but also to show her more attention and maybe increase her vocabulary.

I have noticed that my cat Minnie actually shows more interest in conversation than Callie.  Perhaps Minnie is more advanced spiritually or is really good at faking it. We will see.

Do you talk to your pet?

45 comments :

  1. I loved that book!
    Callie may have to have a few more go rounds, but by all means start educating her now.
    And of course cats are more spiritually evolved. Humans come back as cats when they reach enlightenment. ;))

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    1. Olga,
      Now that is funny about cats. You mean Minnie may be someone from my past? Yikes, I'd better be nicer to her.

      Delete
  2. I love this post! And I love books written in a dog's voice so I will get this one for sure. And the idea of reincarnation is always fascinating.

    I don't talk Levi much and my vocal cords could really use the exercise. The problem with Levi is he talks back which is too much barking. I always say 'good morning' to him and he has a pretty big vocabulary of tricks.

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    1. Jean,
      Ha ha, according to the book, Levi is trying really hard to make you understand. Can't wait for the dog translator app.

      Delete
  3. I must read that book. No, I don't have any pets now that I live in an apartment... not interested in having to go out in bitter cold or blistering heat to walk a dog... nor constantly empty a little box. Nope, I live ALONE... and like it. But, I have noone to talk with so I talk to my Alexa or myself.

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    1. Latane,
      If anything happens to these two, they are my last. Hey, Alexa is very smart and answers most of our questions.

      Delete
  4. In my opinion, talking to your pet is more beneficial than talking to a therapist.

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    1. Joe,
      You are so right. I have a shirt that I always get compliments on. Strangers come up to me and say they love my shirt. It has the picture of a dog and the saying,"My therapist has a wet nose. "

      Delete
  5. Why of course I talk to my dog. She understands me no matter what anyone says. Hey I have to spell the word swim and if I accidentally say it in a conversation with others she will awake, run for her swim toy and run to the door. She listens better than my husband Patti. :-)

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    1. Peggy,
      They really are the world's best listeners and they never have a conflicting opinion. I know about that spelling thing. I have to spell cookie anytime around Callie.

      Delete
  6. Of course I talk to my pet ... who doesn't!?! Good book, I read it a while ago, and also saw a theater production. Look forward to the movie.

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    1. Tom,
      Way to go. Wow, trying to imagine a theater production. That had to have been cool.

      Delete
  7. I talk my cats constantly. Though I must admit it's not very intellectual discussions. A political rant once in awhile!

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    1. Eileen,
      Isn't it comforting that our animals hold the same opinions as we do and even belong to the same party. Never an argument but a safe place to vent.

      Delete
  8. Oh, yes I talk to Chancy all the time, I even ask him questions but have gotten few answers. The main answer is when I ask him if he wants to go outside...he runs to the door, wags his tail and waits for me to open the door. I have not read the book but I do want to see the movie. Hugs sweet Patti and nose kisses for Callie and Minnie from Chancy and me.

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    1. Maggie,
      Think you will enjoy the movie. I know what you mean. All I have to say is "do you want----" and I have Callie's complete attention. Of course if I add "bath", I have lost her.

      Delete
  9. I think that you should definitely talk to Callie more. My cats love it when we talk. They generally talk back and I've often wondered if they think me ignorant for not understanding their responses. Of course there are times when I know exactly what they're saying, but other times - not so much. Sounds like a good book. I have heard of it, but never read it. May have to check it out.

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    1. Rain,
      Think you will enjoy it. It gives a unique look into the mind of a pet. Know what you mean about cats answering. Minnie does that too but then according to Olga, they are more enlightened that even we are.

      Delete
  10. We have always talked to our dogs. We have had to make up words and then letters for "walk" or "park" lest they would get too excited about going for a nice walk or to the dog park.

    My Granny, who was my favorite person in the whole wide world died when I was 10. People told me she was happier in heaven and I should be glad she was there. I wasn't helped a bit. I didn't give a hoot about heaven, I wanted my Granny back. I know that bad things happen to good people and to good dogs as well. I can handle the bad things happening to people, but not to dogs. I'm one of the only people I know who did not love this book.

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    1. Carolyn,
      I know about spelling also. When they hear the magic word, it really gets them excited.
      I can see why you didn't like the book. Enzo did have to suffer as he aged and like most dog books, they are seldom with out tears.
      It also had to hit a bit close to home. I will really miss my Fridays with Lucy.

      Delete
  11. Absolutely! Talk to my plants, too. Heck--when my microwave is beeping I often am saying--"okay-okay, I'm coming". Guess I'm one of those old ladies--but then I've been this way since childhood--LOL! :)

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    1. Rita,
      I know, I even thank Alexa. Will have to talk to my plants more though as well as Callie. Can't hurt.

      Delete
  12. After a month of not seeing him, our borrowed cat Charlie is back. He can't tell me where he has been but he does listen when I talk to him.

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    1. Linda,
      They are the best listeners aren't they and they always seem to agree.
      Wonder where Charlie was? Maybe his owner was keeping him at home. Hope he wasn't sick.

      Delete
  13. I talk to Lola about as much as you talk to Callie. I'm not much of a conversation person and I think she is used to the quiet anyway.

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    1. River,
      Maybe Callie is also use to the quiet. My efforts to engage her recently have gone unnoticed. She just gives me a blank stare.

      Delete
  14. I remember seeing that book on the library shelf when it first came out. I didn't read it but now I look forward to it. Thanks for the recommendation. I'll go put it a hold on it right now. :-)

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    1. Djan,
      Like most dog stories there are some hard parts but there is some good philosophy through out. And you will corner better in the car:))

      Delete
  15. Of course I talk to my dog and have talked to all of them throughout their lives. Now that I am alone I talk to Millie even more. The only problem is she is now totally deaf so she takes no notice of my chatting.

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    1. Friko,
      Good to see you here. It has been a while. I'll bet that even deaf, she is aware of you trying to communicate. Think it is the eye contact they get off on.

      Delete
  16. I've been trying to teach Molly how to talk, but she just looks at me like I'm the stupidest thing she has ever encountered. All she really, really wants(and she does tell me this) is a treat. She's my Spice Girl in fur.

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    1. Snickelfritz,
      Ha ha, they will put up with most things for a treat.

      Delete
  17. We can't care for a dog anymore, but our two cats keep us busy enough. They own the place, we're just staff. And yes we talk to them, and they talk back. They also communicate very well with body language. When the younger one, a ginger devil, goes to the fridge and calls for service I can tell whether he wants his Fancy Feast or a strawberry yogurt by his body language though I couldn't tell you how. Husband hasn't a clue, and cat gets very frustrated and starts yelling, "What is wrong with him? Is he stooopeed?" He'll stomp around and yodel like a goatherd until he gets what he wants. And you better not offer him blueberry yogurt because that's nasty and he's going to rip on the sofa later because he holds a grudge. The older one, the Persian (Boss Cat), is very fastidious. He comes to get me after he's used the litter box, because he wants his bum cleaned with a baby wipe, and a bit of cream applied. There is a special cat word for this he uses only with me. Husband offered to do this for him once when I was out and got threatened with mayhem. "THIS is a mama-baby moment sir! Are you some kind of pervert?"

    But yes, they both understand English far better than we understand cattish which beggars the question of which is the more intelligent species. This does not keep me from screaming "Quit scratching the sofa or I'm going to saw your legs off at the knees and feed you to a SNAKE!" at the ginger devil in the middle of the night. Cats might be more "evolved" but this one has the talons of an eagle.

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    1. Deb,
      Wow, do you ever go above and beyond with the butt care. You are so well trained. Well done kitties. I have noticed my cat is more interested in conversation than my dog. Minnie gives me complete attention and even adds a few comments of her own. Sometimes I think it best we don't understand eachother.

      Delete
  18. I talk to Faith all the time, which has resulted in her understanding of countless words and phrases. Someday, I hope to write down all the words she understands. Samson understands more than he lets on, but I have never talked to him, or any other dog for that matter, as much as I talk to Faith. So Callie will learn a lot as you begin to talk to her more. I live alone, like you, and it's good to know that this will help my voice also. And in the grocery store, I often talk to people. Errol always did, I never did, but somehow I now do what he always did. Lots of fun and interesting things have come out of these conversations.

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    1. Inger,
      You are too young yet to have voice problems but talking to Faith may prevent it. I know it is often fun to talk to strangers. Amazing what they will tell you in a short amount of time.

      Delete
  19. I am ALWAYS talking to my pet. Sometimes these days, when I look at Isaiah and he's sound asleep on the table, it's like talking to an upside down manatee!

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    1. Hootin' Annie,
      I love that image. We need a picture of that.

      Delete
  20. Thank you for the review of this book. I've put a hold on it for my Kindle at the library. They have 3 copies and a long, long waiting list. Your post makes me want to get a dog.

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    1. Kay,
      I had to hold it at my library also. Seems it is pretty popular. Hope you enjoy it.

      Delete
  21. Dear Patti, I do talk to the three cats with whom I live.

    With Ellie, who is brindled, I discuss how we first met and how I didn't think she was anything more than ordinary. Now, however, she has become beautiful and wise. I embrace her philosophy of listening to the silence of our home. We do, however, often talk about her becoming more assertive with the two other cats.

    With Maggie, the long-haired calico, I talk about her beauty. And we ponder together whether she truly might have once been a CIA agent.

    With Matthew, who was a little feral when he first joined our troupe, I talk about the art of calming down and the possibility that he might give up racing around the house, navigating over and under the furniture! (I could read Enzo's book just to find out how to help Matthew.)

    I hadn't noticed that my voice was getting squeaky, but maybe it is. What I notice is that I talk more when I'm with someone because most of the time I'm alone. Because I'm nattering on, others have a hard time getting a word in edgewise.

    I'll see if the library has this book! Thanks for sharing it with us. Peace.

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  22. Dee,
    Ellie has evidently blossomed under your care. Thought it funny that Maggie might have been a CIA agent:)) I think Enzo and Matthew would get along well. Think you will enjoy the book.

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  23. Since I've started working from home I find I'm talking to myself or to my cat all day long! I read about that book/film and thought it sounded interesting. It's on my To Be Read list.

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  24. That book sounds great. I'll have to see if it is out on audiobooks yet and, if so, who the narrator is. Don't even go there about the squeaky granny voice. People on the phone always call me honey. Is it because I sound too old or too young. Don't answer. I'll just practice on Buddy and see if it changes that.

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  25. After our last dog passed, Hubby said no more, we are traveling. But I think he really did not want to face another loss painful loss.

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