I am X-Celerator. I am an 80 pound yellow labrador guide dog. I work for a human named Chris Hofstader. He is a nice man, he gives me treats, feeds me my meals and we enjoy adventures walking around together.
The one problem I have with Chris is that I don’t understand him very well when he barks at me. Even worse, he doesn’t understand labrador very well and he seems not to understand the the North American dog language either. I don’t think he’s stupid and maybe his blindness makes it hard but other humans, humans who can see, don’t seem to understand even the smallest gestures that comprise most of our communication attempts.
I can tell Chris when I’m hungry. He understands my foot stomping and the whining sounds I make trying to use their language. I think my whining sound must be the same as the human word for food as it usually helps me get food from the humans.
Chris understands that when I do my tap dance in front of the door, I want to go outside to pee. He’s good at the tap dance gesture and always lets me out right away. He’s a good human that way.
Sometimes, though, I’ll try to tell Chris that the little dog they call Chloe, my yappy 8 pound sister, wants to come in from sunning herself. I go to him and tap his hand with my nose. I point the tip of my tail to the right and tilt my head, the universal dog gesture for “let the other dog in,” but he often ignores me. I don’t know how to say “let her in” using human talk. Can other dogs send me ideas on what they do?
While I was at the QED conference in England, a conference at which I was the only dog, I tried to ask strangers for snacks. No one gave me anything. A lot of people hugged, petted and hugged me but only Hayley gave me a treat and that was on the train where no one else could see that it is always a good idea to give a nice labrador like me a treat.
So, to my human friends, try to learn more labrador, it will help your communications with your dog. To my dog friends, tell me your tricks for getting treats!