I don’t know about everyone else, but I’m pretty sure most of us would give up a right leg and a piece of our souls to be able to communicate with our canine companions.
A lucky pet mom named Alexis Devine has managed to start building the bridge that would connect ourselves and our four-legged family members. Back in 2019, Alexis adopted Bunny, an intelligent sheepadoodle, and together they are learning to communicate! Alexis was inspired by speech-language pathologist Christina Hunger and her dog Stella, who were the first dynamic duo to use a soundboard to communicate.
This initial soundboard, of which Alexis modeled her own after, was further improved upon once she met cognitive scientist Leo Trottier, who was looking for beta testers for his new device which is what Bunny and Alexis have been using to this day. This soundboard looks a bit like a twister-mat, it consists of colored, labeled paw-sized buttons on a large specially made pad. When a button is stood on by said sheepadoodle, the board speaks aloud the labeled word.
Currently, Bunny (so far) can communicate 45 English phrases/words, some such as “play”, “scritches”, “I love you, mom” and can even ask for specific destinations like “beach” or “park”, or for Spooky the cat to play with him (much to Spooky’s displeasure).
Devine has stated that so far this has been a positive experience and rightfully so, can you imagine how much joy and laughter can be had if your dog could comment and give their opinion of daily life!
Feature Image Source: Pixabay