My name is Trumper, and I have a tail to tell; – no, I mean a tale. I’m sorry, but I can’t get used to all your funny spellings. Mind you, not many dogs are used to going into print. In fact, the only print I know is a footprint. And I can remember the time I came in from a muddy garden and left a set of muddy prints right 0across a nice pale pink carpet. I couldn’t deny they were mine because I was the only one with small round feet that fitted them. Did I get told off! – But what do you think they did? They gave me a bit of a whack, and threw me out in the garden again. What was the use of that? I just got muddy feet again, and would have left the same prints all over again if they had let me in. But that’s people for you!
But don’t get me wrong. I quite like people. Some of my best friends are people. It’s just that they’re so patronising, – do you know what that means? They look down on you. I don’t mean really look down, because even if I stand on my hind legs I don’t come much above knee-height on an adult male; – that’s a man to you.
It’s just that they think that basically you’re just stupid, and they’re so surprised if you do anything at all sensible.
“Sit!” they say. “Sit! SIT!”
Then they clump you on the bottom, press down hard on your back legs so that you couldn’t remain standing if you wanted to, and then say “There you are! He understands every word we say!”
Well, we do. More than they think. But it’s easy for them; – they’ve got words. Anyone can get a message across with words. What they would find really hard is saying something without any words at all, like we have to.
For instance, if I want to go out, what can I do? I might jump up on Master’s lap, but he’s probably reading the newspaper and isn’t very pleased. I could bark, and get told off for making a noise nu-necessarily. You see, we can understand their words, but they don’t understand our lack-of-words.
Suppose I need to go out in the garden, – you know what for. Sometimes I go and stand by the door. If I stand there long enough, they will notice, and then say:”Do you want to go out, then? There’s a clever boy!”
Well, not particularly clever. Where else would you go and stand if you wanted to go out? You could say that they’re the ones who are a bit clever for knowing what we want.
And that’s why I’ve gone into print.
You see they’ve got books on geography, books on history, books on gardening, books on cooking, books on the table – <that last one was a joke, just to show you we dogs have a sense of humour>. But they haven’t got a book on understanding dog’s lack-of-words.
That’s what this book is all about. Dogs and people understanding each other. And I thought the easiest way of describing it all was to take you through my life so far. – Though you’re quite right; I’m going to have to cheat a bit, because I’m going to have to use words.
So here goes.