Blog

Ti parli dog?

I speak a different language. I get scoffed at by strangers and am judged by passerbys. I know what it feels like to be looked at differently by ignorant English-speakers.

My ex-boyfriend spoke Swiss German and at first sound, I didn’t like it. It sounded like everyone had a giant piece of phlegm permanently stuck in their throats. When languages were created, who on earth thought that “eigentlich” sounded good? I don’t exactly think English is the prettiest of languages but Swiss German was way worse.

After months of dating him, though, I began to hear words that were more pleasing to the ear. I loved “wilkommen” or “unter”. I felt a false air of sophistication when I said them. Maybe I could even trick native Swiss speakers into thinking that I was recently initiated into their elite culture…Not so much, all the Swiss saw right through me. To them, I was just another one trying to imitate their sacred language and invade their country.

So after all was said, I found that Swiss German was actually quite elegant. My stupid American ignorance got in the way to see the beauty of the language.

Now, as karma has it, I am feeling the way that so many foreigners must feel once they arrive in our country. Not welcome nor accepted.

In my language, each one of my words is laced with emotion and vigor. No word is said without a change in pitch or without fervor. My friends hang on my every vowel pronunciation or consonant stress. See, I personalize my language for each of my friends.

Some are called “princess” others “buddy.” Each day when I walk outside, the cacophony of the city melts away when I am deep in conversation with my friends. I have six straight hours of peace. In my language, no one is criticized, judged or belittled. Everyone is put on a pedestal and loved unconditionally. All of my praise is reciprocated by kisses, hugs and tail wags.

So I may be judged by strangers, but I can guarantee that I happier than most. Once you enter my secret language society, there is no going back. You will find the time to think outside of the city chaos, time to breathe, time to listen to what your dog is telling you. Is he pulling on the leash and jumping from left to right on the sidewalk? Slow down and relax your heart before you take him on a walk. Is he crying when you leave? Calm yourself and ease your anxiety. Your dog is only anxious if you are.

When you genuinely speak to your dog, he will give you some valuable advice. Take time out to love and you will be loved. Take time out to be quiet and you will receive serenity.

These are all secrets I have learned from my dogs and that is why I think the English language should be intertwined with dog. This post may come off as preachy but I can assure you I am not preaching. I am simply encouraging you to speak dog for awhile and see what happens.