Dog tense

October 18, 2006

"Cody ponders the future" by Daniel Shiplacoff

I’m fairly sure that dogs do not have a sophisticated sense of time. Discussing something in the past tense with a dog is a waste of time. It will scan your sentence waiting for a word it knows, and respond accordingly. “Cody! Remember when I told you that I we weren’t going for a WALK?” And he would leap into the air with excitement, acknowledging the one word he knows, “walk.”

All too often we use the future tense with our dogs by saying: Fido, wanna go for a walk? Fido leaps into the air, and you respond, “Ok, but in a few minutes.” They have no idea what you mean. I’ve settled on, “you have to wait” and the dog lies down near you and waits, knowing that his fantasy, the WALK, would be happening in the near future.

After the walk, saying “did you enjoy the walk” just doesn’t translate.

[Photo: “Cody ponders the future” by Daniel Shiplacoff”]

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