A dog’s life. They can hear. And I think they can understand.

Since the age of 13, I have owned a dog. Buster, rest his soul, was a kind and beautiful golden retriever who was afraid of storms. Newton was a kind hearted dog who just wanted to share his love.. Bailey? She was a little rough around the edges but had a great home for the final years of her sickly life. And Mutley the dog, he is purely nuts! Crazy! Fun as can be, a kind heart, but a maniac during storms and intensely worried all of the time.

Throughout my life, I came to realize all of the animals I owned actually had very human emotions. They are intelligent, they remember things. They even seemingly understood every single word spoken to them by either me or others.. Strange, I always thought. I became convinced that they are experts on the human language, learning just as well as children do from an early age.

And then this article came around: DOGS USE THE SAME PART OF THE BRAIN AS HUMAN BEINGS TO PROCESS SPEECH. Reuters reports,

The study showed that dogs, like people, use the left hemisphere of their brain to process words, and a right hemisphere brain region to process intonation. Praise activates dogs’ reward center only when both words and intonation match.

“We showed dogs praise words and non-praise words, in both praising and non-praising intonation, and we found that dogs just like humans can separately process word meaning information … in the speech signal and intonational information,” lead researcher Attila Andics of the Department of Ethology told Reuters.

And they do it in a way that is similar to how it is done in the human brain,” he said, adding that the research was unique because how animals process human speech has not been analyzed this way elsewhere.

. . .

Andics said the new findings could lead to examining whether dogs can differentiate between speakers and meaningful sentences.

I believe it. I also believe we aren’t quite fully there in understanding any brain, let alone a dog brain or human.

This is my son Ayden with his best friend Mutley the dog. 

But as a down  owner, I know for a fact all of my previous and current pets know exactly what I am talking about when I talk to them. I bet it’s the same for you if you have a cat. Or any other animal or reptile. They are a part of the family.

I don’t think I need a study to tell me that my dog knows the days I am happy or the days I am grumpy. But thankfully studies are now beginning to anyway.

This is my with a family member’s dog. It is not Mutley. It is more like 15 Mutleys put together. By the way, I am the guy on the right. 🙂 

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