The Small Dog Despairs…


Sometimes…well, okay, often, I despair of my two-legs, I really do.

She is so proud of how well we communicate, but what she really means is that while I understand loads of her language, not just smells and body language, but words too… she can pretty much only understand a little bit of mine.

Granted, she has got used to telling the difference between the special blinks that just show I’m paying attention and the ones that show that, in spite of everything, I love her. And she’s got a pretty good vocabulary for barks, ear-angles and tails. She knows when I’m not feeling too good and can ‘read’ when I am inviting her to play… and even tell the difference between when I’m telling the pigeons to go away or when there is a real intruder out there.

But, she just doesn’t get my singing.

I think the problem is my parentage. She’s used to setters… she knows I am intelligent, even though some dog sites use words like ‘a little willful’ and say we have ‘a tendency toward independent decision making’… But she’s never lived with a Toller before… and my dad was a Toller. Now, the site does mention my intelligence and inventiveness, even if it does say I am ‘strong willed’ and ‘can take control of a household’. It also says, “screams, sheds, likes to roll in dead fish and other stinky things, and is generally smarter than the average person.”

Well, I don’t scream… but I do sing. And my two-legs has no musical appreciation…or understanding.

Take the other night. I am curled up on the sofa. Outside it is dark and damp, but she still has the door open for me. And then, I see it… an intruder… so I start singing to her to let her know. It was fairly obvious… but all I get is,

“What’s the matter, girlie?”

“Don’t you feel well, my girl?”

Then she gets up to come and cuddle me.

That’s all very well, and normally, I’d be fine with that, but six inches of fat, brown slug is now slithering down the side of the rug towards my ball. I’d have dealt with it myself, but I’m not allowed to touch slugs. So I kept singing. And it took me ages to get her to look in the right direction!

And they call me a ‘dumb animal’…

I mean, she did get it eventually and unstuck the thing from the floor. They weld themselves onto it, you know. She said it would be happier in the garden. I thought she would be happier not finding it barefoot in the dark…

It is hard work being the intelligent one in this household ๐Ÿ˜‰

So, anyway, I’m going to have a bit of a rest, ’cause she’s off adventuring again for the first time in ages, and I’m going to stay somewhere I don’t need to guard quite as much. I’ll tell you about it when I get back.

Much love,

Ani xxx




Published by Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She writes alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. Find out more at France and Vincent. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at and on Twitter @SCVincent. Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email:

63 thoughts on “The Small Dog Despairs…

  1. Ani you are so patient, my two legs are fairly well trained but like you I have a devil of a job getting important information and instructions though their thick skulls. Enjoy your holiday ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’œ

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Ani, While I happen to think your two-legs is brighter than some humans I know…you must remember she’s still only a human being, and us humans can be a tad complicated. Perhaps her holiday will do her good and set her thinking straight..Do hope so! Love Another confused human. x


  3. You are REALLY smart, Ani – never doubt that! I can’t imagine stepping on a garden slug in the dark. Then you would hear your two-legged sing! I can’t sing but I can make a lot of noise jumping around and hissing – I found a black snake in the hallway the other night, and had to work hard to get my two leggeds to wake up!
    Your friend, Garfield


  4. You are one smart cookie, Ani. Iยดm sure your singing is great. I donยดt sing but I whimper in my sleep. At least thatยดs what they tell me. Licks, Dot. xo


  5. I know what you mean, Ani. Humans are lucky we love them so much. They think they’re so smart, but for such supposedly clever creatures humans are really not so smart a lot of the time. Anyway, I’m glad you managed to get her to pay attention properly and figure out what you were trying to tell her – eventually. Lots of licks, Lilie


  6. I am sure you are very glad you didn’t end up standing on a slug in the dark, Sue. I stood on a rain spider once and it was most unpleasant. It went crunch, crunch under my bare feet and, of course, the spider didn’t live to see another morning.


  7. It also says, โ€œscreams, sheds, likes to roll in dead fish and other stinky things, and is generally smarter than the average person.โ€
    Certainly true, Ani. You saved your two-legs from a rather icky visitor. I would have screamed myself if I’d stepped on that thing in the dark!


  8. Ani, I’m cracking up. And those glasses just added to the laughter. LOL hilarious. And I have to add that if your two legses cannot distinguish between your call to attention bark, to your singing, maybe you should change your tune? Lol Hugs ๐Ÿ™‚ xxx


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