A memory from a few years back popped up when I and the twins were talking about understanding dog “language”! And they were trying to fit words to different barks, grunts, groans, growls, and whines… it was fun and I had tears running down my face as we rolled with laughter. I recalled having posted in WP something about a dog and its owner at an amusement park we had visited about three or four years back. Sharing it here as the memory brings a smile and a chuckle back again.
“We’re going to an Amusement Park this Saturday,” piped the twins.
“On an island.”
“Yes. It’s not too far. We’ll be taking a ferry ride.”
“Okaay… How do you have an island with no sea around?”
“It’s a river island.”
Satisfied with this info, I wondered what I’d do at the amusement park. To see me on a normal day, of which, thankfully, I have many in the continuum of ‘good’, ‘not-so-good’, ‘better’ days, you’d wonder why I was skeptical about the amount I’d have to walk and the possibility that I wouldn’t be able to enjoy the outing.
Well, my condition is quite unpredictable. I could be walking, bending, and doing things normally… and then, just like that, I’d be laid down with a lumbar disc issue which would leave me unable to walk, sit up or even turn myself on my side in bed; not to mention, the excruciating pain. And then, not to be left behind, are a cervical disc and knees that like to surprise me now and then. So every action, even though I am careful, can trigger terrible consequences. Although I am careful, things can go wrong with the most simple turn or bend I make.
So, I decided I’d be the official photographer and resort to people watching to keep occupied and humored. I wasn’t disappointed. One encounter with a young couple and a grandma with her little grandson makes me laugh even now.
I was sitting on a bench and eating nachos while the rest were doing the rounds of a few rides that they had still to go on. A young, Indian couple with a cute little dog, a 5-month-old pup, sat on the bench behind me. I picked up a conversation about the pup. Soon, a granny, whose grandson was crying sought the pup as a good diversion for the little boy; it worked. He stopped crying and she swapped stories with the couple about their respective pets. I returned to my nachos.
Just as I lost interest in their conversation, the grandma turned to leave, her purpose in speaking to them being achieved. The pup began yapping at her as she walked away and she turned and waved to it. It wagged its tail. Then she turned to leave again and it yapped. This drew my attention back to them and I eavesdropped on the conversation that followed. I admit I’m glad I did… I was getting bored!
The young man apologized for his pup’s incessant barking and thought he should explain it like this:
“He doesn’t want you to go. He wants to talk to you.”
“Yes, yes, I know,” she said, graciously but eager to move on. However, the young man was not done yet. So she lingered a while longer as he continued.
“But he can’t talk, you see,” he explained, as if he were imparting some unknown fact, “that is why he is barking.”
‘She knows that silly!’ my mind said. I was enjoying this little scene that was playing out before me.
“It seems he likes you and doesn’t want you to go. So sorry,” the young man continued. And tried to pacify the pup that was getting shriller and more agitated.
I wondered, ‘why are you going on and on playing interpreter? It’s a dog. It’s barking. Period!’
“Yes,” chipped in his companion, grinning broadly, “he can’t talk our language, no? So he’s talking in his language.” I thought she was done, but she wasn’t.
“We can understand his language,” she said with a broad grin, nodding her head from side to side, “but everyone can’t understand, you see. So don’t mind that he’s barking at you. He’s actually liking you.”
The smile on the lady’s face was no longer amiable and a glazed look replaced the warm one. I could see that she wasn’t sure how to respond to that. Were they daft or did they presume she was daft? She opted to say nothing.
She nodded her head briskly and walked away with a quicker step dreading, I suppose, that he’d drag the inane conversation further.
I was indeed at the Amusement Park and I’d had a quiet laughter ride with no risk of injury!