No More Woof means way more trouble! - Los Angeles Post-ExaminerLos Angeles Post-Examiner

No More Woof means way more trouble!

Last week it was announced that the Nordic Society for Invention and Discovery has developed a product called No More Woof – a headset your beloved Fido can wear that will translate his brainwaves into human language that you can understand. I am sincerely worried about this, because 1) we can’t even keep the batteries in our television remote controls current (the strip of bruises on all of my family members’ legs is from hitting the remotes on their thighs to “wake up” the batteries), and 2) my three dogs walking around looking like NASA flight coordinators while I am cruising around in my robe and slippers? It seems like the pet/human balance of power would be way too off kilter for my comfort.

Copper with the author's son James (Photo by Deirdre Reilly)

Copper with the author’s son James
(Photo by Deirdre Reilly)

I have three dogs. My oldest dog is an eight year old rescue hound mix named Copper, who we have had since he was a puppy. He is originally from Virginia, so we figure he has a Southern accent. Our second dog is a five-year old rat terrier named Neeley, who has the energy of a tornado and is completely, utterly devoted to me. Were he human, I would probably have to take out a restraining order on him – I step out of the shower, Neeley is there. I turn the corner, Neeley is there. I wake up at night, Neeley is staring at me with adoring eyes. (If I find a wall of pictures of me in the basement, I am calling the FBI on him.) Our last dog is Baby, a mini poodle we rescued last year. (I use the word “we” lightly; my husband still thinks I am “looking for just the right home for her.”) Baby is just glad to be out of the shelter, so she goes along with anything.

Here is what I am picturing, should I outfit my three dogs with headsets that can turn their thoughts about our family into words:

Copper: Ya’ll see what Ma did when she was cleaning? I declare, she was throwin’ away pennies that she swept up right into the trash! Mutterin’ somethin’ about “got to get this done so I can watch The Bachelor.” Throwin’ pennies away!

Neeley: Shut up; she is perfect. I’ll come for you when you least expect it, Copper. Watch your back, my friend.

Baby: I’m just happy to be here, frankly. I thought it was funny when she drove James to school wearing combat boots, pajama pants, a tennis visor, and a poncho. She seemed worried about running out of gas and being seen by other humans.

Neeley (Photo by Deirdre Reilly)

Neeley
(Photo by Deirdre Reilly)

Neeley: Shut up, Baby. I know where your dog bed is. She is perfect and she is mine and we are going to get married and live in the mountains.

Copper: Any of ya’ll remember when we last had a walk? They keep sayin’ it’s winter and it’s icy, but we still got legs! My muscles seem to be shrivelin’ up, and I get winded walkin’ down the hall! And Pa seems to be tired of flippin’ our poops in the backyard into the bushes with his shovel! He keeps saying, “I was made for bigger things.” What in tarnation could that mean?

Baby: Oh, that’s okay, Copper. I thought it was cute when they fed us Cheerios for three days because they kept forgetting dog food. I feel healthier already. The boy that shoots hockey pucks gives me all his vegetables, too. I love it here!

Neeley (worried): Has she seemed distant lately? I am going to send her flowers and run her a bath when she gets home. Maybe a night out in the city, too.

Copper: Did ya’ll see when she brought food in from the take-out restaurant and put it in her own dishes and served it to guests? She seemed stumped when that lady asked her for her recipe, and turned the conversation to global warming! That was sure-enough smart of her!

Neeley: She is smart, she is brilliant, she is MINE.

Baby (Photo by Deirdre Reilly)

Baby
(Photo by Deirdre Reilly)

Baby: Did you guys notice that they have decided to ignore the sounds coming from the refrigerator? They said it will “fix itself.” Isn’t that what they said about the dryer — and then the big fire trucks came and they got a new Home Depot credit card? Should we worry?

Neeley: What you two need to worry about is how much she loves me. I’m going to see if it is possible to get rose petals in winter.

Copper (yawning): Ya’ll do that, Neeley. I’m going to take a nap on her bed and dream of spring, when the leashes come back out.

Baby: World Peace!
•••• •••• ••••• •••• ••••
So, I am not going to be purchasing the thought-reading headsets for my dogs, now that I see how judgmental and observant they really are. As for Neeley – I’m thinking intensive therapy… and a can of mace!


About the author

Deirdre Reilly

Deirdre Reilly has written one humor book, and authored a syndicated family life column for Gatehouse Media for 13 years. She has won a Massachusetts Press Award for humor, her op-eds have been published in the Boston Herald and The Hartford Courant, and she has had short fiction published in literary journals. Deirdre was raised in Columbia, Md., and now lives outside Boston, Ma. She enjoys outdoor pursuits, and is obsessed with the care and happiness of a retired carriage horse named Nello that she bought for a few hundred dollars on a menopausal whim. Contact the author.
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