Why is it that we assume that if our animals could communicate with us, it would be in badly spelled, ungrammatical baby talk? There are dozens of posts on Facebook of dogs and cats with funny fake “dialog,” and I have yet to see one that isn’t a twisted form of English. Don’t get me wrong, I smile with most of these little photo funnies. I just wonder what it is that makes us infantilize our dogs? Why do we assume they’re just a stupider or less educated (though clearly more comic) version of ourselves?
Maybe we’re just all trying to understand our dogs better. I think, based on what I’ve read and experienced, that dogs are complex social beings with emotional lives that are different from our own and elemental drives that we don’t always relate to well. By imagining their thoughts we explain them to ourselves in terms we understand–even if those terms are our own rather than the dogs’.
But I’m going to believe that if ever a dog could speak to me, it would be in complete, correct, declarative sentences!