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His Master's Voice: Talking to Your Pet

I talk to my dog. Not constantly, but every other morning when I take Charlie for his walk (My Lovely Wife and I alternate) I address him in a language I'm pretty sure he doesn't understand and I'm certain he is incapable of answering in. I worry that my occasional dog-directed monologues may make me look strange in the eyes of joggers out for their morning run.

Now, I would really worry about my sanity if I talked to Charlie about non-dog-related subjects: "Didn't Portis look good on Sunday?" "You think I should get out of stocks and into bonds?" That sort of thing. Oh I'll occasionally make polite small talk--"Brrr, it's cold"--but most of my comments are directly related to his status as a dog: "Don't eat that, Charlie!" "Hurry up. If you need to pee, pee. Don't stand there sniffing that leaf all day."

I talk to Charlie at home, too, especially if it's just the two of us in the house. I feel this patter lets him know he is a valued member of the family, even if, like most dogs, he can be incredibly annoying at times. What I'm wondering this morning is how many of you talk to your dogs. Or your cats, though I suspect cats hear/understand/give a *&%# about even less than dogs do. So:

The thing I really wonder, though, is what Charlie would say to me if he could. It must be frustrating having to listen to someone and not being able to answer back. So would you please help me put words in Charlie's mouth by annotating this photo I snapped yesterday? Just put your caption in the Comments field. I'll pick my favorite tonight and the winner will receive the official "John Kelly's Commons" prize: a postcard autographed by a Post Pulitzer winner. Thanks.


Oh, before I forget: I'm cooking something up for Thursday. A turkey. Your turkey. On Thanksgiving I want you to e-mail me a photo of your bird. I'll post them here. More details tomorrow.

By John Kelly  |  November 25, 2008; 9:00 AM ET
 | Tags: Charlie, polls  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Capturing the Flag: Long May It Wave
Next: Celebrity Roast: Send Me Your Turkey Pictures


Alright already! I jumped and I sat. Are we done here now? Can we please move on? Because there are plenty of other trees that will go the way of this one if I don't water them.

Posted by: northgs | November 25, 2008 9:41 AM | Report abuse

I am not your trained monkey.

Posted by: jeannec1 | November 25, 2008 10:32 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: nall92 | November 25, 2008 10:38 AM | Report abuse

You can keep talking, but truly I'll need some privacy if you expect me to do what I do best!

Posted by: mandrews311 | November 25, 2008 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Je parle fran├žais, vous idiot.

Posted by: DorkusMaximus1 | November 25, 2008 11:41 AM | Report abuse

I don't care about your problems, when are we going to eat?

Posted by: RFRboy | November 25, 2008 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Why DON'T you ever ask me about your portfolio? I have happen to some great ideas for investing.

Posted by: Janine1 | November 25, 2008 12:01 PM | Report abuse

I'm only doing this because I love you a lot.

Posted by: Volnole | November 25, 2008 12:08 PM | Report abuse

I thought the best way to catch squirrels would be to get up as far in a tree as possible! Whaddya think?

Posted by: bridgegirl1975 | November 25, 2008 12:17 PM | Report abuse

John; if you make me another one of those hard, dried out biscuits I'm going to teach you the meaning of biting the hand that feeds you.

Posted by: rlc5495 | November 25, 2008 12:48 PM | Report abuse

What? I'm part bird-dog!

Posted by: akchild | November 25, 2008 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Hey, one of these in the living room would be a great Chrismas present!

Posted by: andyinohio | November 25, 2008 2:01 PM | Report abuse

CAR !!!

Posted by: rb2clouds | November 25, 2008 2:29 PM | Report abuse

ok, so, chip monks are not mice,..right. I understand now

Posted by: rb2clouds | November 25, 2008 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Dad, we need to talk, have a seat.

Posted by: rb2clouds | November 25, 2008 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Hurry up and take the photo John. I geting bored up here!!

Posted by: vetswidow | November 25, 2008 2:42 PM | Report abuse

What the ..... Stump!

Posted by: popo4 | November 25, 2008 2:46 PM | Report abuse

WHAT?!?!? What are you looking at? Have you never seen someone sit on a tree stump?

Posted by: BichonOwner | November 25, 2008 3:15 PM | Report abuse

This is on the inaugural parade route, right?

Posted by: mimmer1 | November 25, 2008 3:20 PM | Report abuse

I'm king of the castle and you're a dirty rascal......

Posted by: jlm6th | November 25, 2008 3:22 PM | Report abuse

If you think those squirrels can make a driver wreck their car, wait till you see what I can do!

Posted by: SHELLY1234 | November 25, 2008 3:28 PM | Report abuse

HSMLR (Handsome Single Male Labrador Retriever) seeks SFLR (Single Female Labrador Retriever)to accompany him on long romantic walks in the woods.

Posted by: cbowers161 | November 25, 2008 3:58 PM | Report abuse

I told you you'd never get all that wood in the car...

Posted by: dr_klahn | November 25, 2008 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Hey John, look at my morning wood!

Posted by: dr_klahn | November 25, 2008 4:03 PM | Report abuse

It's true. I'm cuter than you.

Posted by: caroleg1 | November 25, 2008 4:09 PM | Report abuse

You know, John, I've never looked at it that way. Who knew my morning explorations annoyed you. I'll try to be more considerate in the future. So sorry.

Posted by: Slinger61 | November 25, 2008 4:11 PM | Report abuse

See the little whole in that other tree? I am SURE I saw a tree Gnome go in there. Stick your hand in there and see. kthanks

Posted by: rb2clouds | November 25, 2008 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Ouch...doesn't look the park ranger likes our new Christmas tree as much as you.

Posted by: dr_klahn | November 25, 2008 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Another picture?! WHY must you embarrass me out here?!

Posted by: tryingtobeagoodhuman | November 25, 2008 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Sometimes I just sits and thinks and sometime I just sits ....

Posted by: karensmith1 | November 25, 2008 4:42 PM | Report abuse

If you post this online I will tell all of my facebook friends that you talk to your dog.

Posted by: MmeLaca | November 25, 2008 5:33 PM | Report abuse

I guess I could be even more handsome, but I really don't know how.

Posted by: waterfrontproperty | November 25, 2008 5:46 PM | Report abuse

Does this tree stump make my butt look fat?

Posted by: 7900rmc | November 25, 2008 8:21 PM | Report abuse

John, I wait ALL DAY to pee OUTSIDE. Let me revel! Wait until I pee off of this stump.

Posted by: aurelia49 | November 25, 2008 10:02 PM | Report abuse

I'm gay.

Posted by: Clarion | November 25, 2008 11:14 PM | Report abuse

Your codependent I have abandonment issues.

Posted by: hemroid | November 26, 2008 6:24 AM | Report abuse

John Kelly? He can be incredibly annoying at times.

Posted by: klshannon | November 26, 2008 7:24 AM | Report abuse

Yo bud I only get one chance to say this, so here it goes. This talking thing has got to stop! I love you but do you have any idea what the neighbors are saying about you behind your back?

Posted by: gerstein | November 26, 2008 8:06 AM | Report abuse

I not only talk to my dog Iccarus, who is a 14yr old MUTT!, and my new puppy Miko, a 12wk old French Mastiff. I also sing and dance for them while I'm getting ready for work in the mornings. Of course they smile and wag their tails at me, but secretly I do believe they think I'm slightly off my rocker.

As for that caption
"Hurry up and take the damn thing will ya!"

Posted by: kellydavis2 | November 26, 2008 8:51 AM | Report abuse

First of all, the name is Charles! Second, get your finger off the lens! Third, listen to me...stick to writing!

Posted by: exfed07 | November 26, 2008 8:00 PM | Report abuse

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