Shelley Widhalm

Dog Talk

In Alone, Best Friends, Talking on December 5, 2010 at 8:30 am

I’ve become the girl who talks to her dog. I no longer live with the family, so I don’t have the constant conversations going on around me. In other words, I don’t always have someone to talk to if I don’t schedule a coffee date or a lunch or dinner out.

I’ve somehow started talking to my dog. It’s not a “How’s my, girl?” and “Aren’t you a cutie?” It’s more like, “How was your day? What did you do? Were you a good girl? Oh good, you didn’t potty on the floor. What a good girl. … Be quiet, silly girl. It’s just noise. Stop barking. STOP. It’s all right, I love you. …”

I tell my dog what I’m doing, so she won’t wonder where I’m going. “I’m going to take a shower. I’m going to brush my teeth. I’m getting the mail.” The only thing I don’t tell her is that I’m going to the fridge. She knows the second my foot touches the wood floor in front of it. It must make a special sound or something.

This might be all right, but I caught myself holding a conversation with my dog when we were outside on a walk. I figured it’s time for me to start calling all of my girlfriends. Okay, okay, I’m not crazy. I just like to talk.

And so does Zoey. She has a language hidden underneath all of her barks, her whining and what I call her happy sound, the sound she makes when she is in the ecstasy of play. I’m jealous, too, of the dog that is the receiving end of all of my talk. All she has to do is listen and play and just be. My best friend seems to know what I’m saying, or at least I imagine it to be that way.

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