It has come to my attention that some people wonder why I write in English when I’m a Portuguese dog. Of course, this question comes from a person. A dog wouldn’t have to ask.
You see, we dogs communicate using and interpreting body language, smell, and intonation. Since the electronic media have taken over the world, curious dogs like me have adapted in order to communicate with dogs beyond our actual physical location. Yes, we have used other means before, and continue to do so.
|fire hydrant sketch, colour pencil|
Fire hydrants are a perfect example. They are to dogs what public notice boards are to people. If we want to leave a message for someone and it’s not too personal (because any dog who comes along can smell it) then the fire hydrant is the place to do it. If I was to arrive in Lagos for a pre-arranged get together with Rita and she wasn’t at the bookstore where she said she'd be, then the first place I would check would be the nearest fire hydrant to see if she’d left me a message. One sniff of the fire hydrant would tell me that Rita was waiting for me at the News Café. Of course we leave messages in other places besides fire hydrants, but those are usually found just by chance.
But back to the question of communicating in English. Why English and not Portuguese? Well, two reasons really. The first is that English is the people language that I’m most familiar with. This comes from being a free dog living on the streets. Most of the people who pay any attention to me are English - either English people who have moved here or people on holiday. Even those non-Portuguese people who come from a country where English isn’t the primary language still speak English here. It’s the language in common with the most people – expatriates, holiday makers, and people working at bars, restaurants, shops, museums … It’s all around me, so that’s the easiest for me to use.
The other reason for using English is that I’m trying to reach out into the wider world and connect with other dogs (and people too) who don’t necessarily speak Portuguese. If there is a language that is common among us then it’s likely to be English. For anyone who doesn’t speak English, I’ve provided a translator tool near the top of the blog so the whole blog can be translated into the language of choice at the touch of a button. Magic!
Of course I realize that I could make this a video blog and use body language and intonation to communicate with dogs all over the world, but until the technical whizzes figure out how to transmit smell over the internet, video communication would lack the subtlety necessary to communicate coherently.
|the fine art of communication|
And besides, it’s kinda fun having people take part in this as well. I don’t think they could ever learn to communicate fully in our language. For one thing, they really seem reluctant to partake in a good butt sniffing. Oh well, their loss.
|This speaks volumes!|