I was born and raised in an English-speaking household. In high school, I studied German for four years. Thanks to Sesame Street as a child, I learned to count to ten in Spanish. Dora the Explorer helped expand my Spanish vocabulary with a few more words when I watched when my children were younger. I have even learned a few French words related to dance thanks to my daughters’ ballet classes. However, there is one language that is truly puzzling to me and I would love to understand better: canine.
Oh, how I wish I could speak the language of the dogs! To be able to differentiate the difference between the barks and whines, growls and grunts would be wonderful. To really know if Timmy, or anyone else, is trapped in a well…But, alas, the verbal language of the dog alludes me. When I ask, “What are you barking at?” I just get a look from the dog as if I am an idiot. “I JUST told you what I was barking at! There is a BIRD on the front porch!!!”
There is, however, one word, one vocalization, which I have managed to translate: “Arf”. Yes, I am fairly certain that “Arf” means “Mom”. Just as my kids holler for me, so does Mr. K. Of course, he doesn’t say anything after “Arf”, I am supposed to figure that out by non-verbal cues.
“Arf” while standing in the kitchen means, “Mom, I’m hungry!”
“Arf” while looking at the front door means, “Mom, I need to potty!”
“Arf” when the kids are getting too rowdy means, “Mom, make them stop! They are annoying me!”
“Arf” when standing in the hallway looking back at me means, “Mom, come on! Let’s go to your room and take a nap.”
And just as my kids get excited and repeat, “Mom! Mom! Mom!!!” So does Mr. K. “Arf! Arf! Arf!!!”
Although it would be nice to know more of the Canine language, for now, I am satisfied with the little I have learned. Who knows, maybe someday my knowledge will grow and I will understand more, maybe even speak it myself. Until then, I will be content being lovingly known as “Arf” by my sweet little fur-baby.