Published: Mar 3, 2020 9:30:00 AM


My dog knows all the sounds I make.

She knows what they mean, little *skrks* and *lomps* and *clanks* communicating where I am and where I'll be next. Hanging out is her only objective. And playing objective-1A. And the best places to hang out and play are in a room with a human. While she cannot speak, she remains intelligent, confident, and conscientious.

In truth, I cannot speak, either, not at least in a human-on-dog conversational manner. Lucky me, she knows all the sounds I make. 

I must not make many sounds. She must be quite confident in herself.

On command, without speaking

She knows the trimming click of a keyboard. Odds of hanging out / playing when I make this sound: 20%. Let's watch and observe.

She knows the *plomp* of a laptop shutting. Odds of hanging out / playing when I make this sound: +60% (to a total of 80%)

She knows the *whank* of cupboards opening and shutting in the kitchen. Odds of hanging out / playing when I make this sound: 90%. It is a god-written fact I can kick her ball down the stairs while I make breakfast. To live, and see a ball un-kicked in this moment, betrays fact, gravity, and her tiny dog-sentience manifestation.

She knows the *biep* of a PlayStation turning on. Odds of hanging out / playing when I make this sound: 50%. You'd be surprised how quickly your hands are free, and empty, and chew toy-ready when a video game has to load every few minutes.

She knows the silence of sitting in the dark, meditating. Odds of hanging out / playing when I make this sound: 0%. She guards the landscape from up on the bed, eyes on the door, her wolf-brain alive in the night.

She knows the tiny, impossible *te-kik* of a phone's on / off switch. Odds of hanging out / playing when I make this sound: 15-60%. This is a negotiation. A phone does not require two hands! She knows this. Free up one hand for petting, why don't you?

She knows the *crink-wassh* of a shower handle and head. Odds of hanging out / playing when I make this sound: 0%. The bathroom is a deadly mystery. People go in smelling one way and return smelling different. Guard the door.

She knows the *blerrrhhhppp* of an intercom (I don't make this sound). Odds of hanging out / playing when she hears this sound: -50%. This is a war-horn from the matter-space beyond comprehension. It heralds an intruder's arrival in this sanctuary den. Do these people even know how to hang out / play?

In her eyes, they will soon learn:

1) You suck at playing by comparison
2) I will show you how bad at playing / hanging out you are

Oh, man. Uh. My dog is hyper-intelligent. She's manipulative and patient. She's bossy and walks with more self-esteem than most people. Is she cooler than me? Did I teach her this stuff? I didn't teach her anything. I didn't have time to teach her to be this sassy. She just picked up hanging out / playing with me her whole life.

Am I a hyper-intelligent, manipulative, super villain-patient, bossy, and confident cool-man? Where did I learn all that? I'd better have a good think about all this.

-- Alex Crumb
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