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Hmm. Reminds me of Ricky Jay's Learned Pigs and Fireproof Women,
which, btw, has an informative discussion of Le Petomane in the end.

Cheers,
Peter
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Kate Troy 
  To: [log in to unmask] 
  Sent: Wednesday, July 25, 2007 5:26 PM
  Subject: Re: Rewrite The Waste Land


  My dog, Red, doesn't like the telephone.  A couple of times, when I had to take a trip without them, I would call and my husband would put the phone to Red's ear and I would talk to her, but this always freaked her out a bit. The problem was the Red is so smart and emotional that she knew it was my voice but I wasn't there and she didn't understand and so became upset.  Red is very much a "thinking" dog.  As for sounds, Red makes amazing sounds with her vocal chords.

  Kate

  In a message dated 7/25/2007 1:08:46 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time, [log in to unmask] writes:
    Anyone who not only lives with but pays a great deal of attention to an
    animal (in my case cats) knows that they do more than simply respond in
    automatic ways to certain sounds and that they engage in something that
    is like a verbal exchange.  They don't make the sounds we do, but their
    sounds seem highly complex and varied to me, and I am always astounded
    when a scientist "discovers," for example, empathy in animals or glee at
    being tickled in a rat.  Given that our DNA is only slightly different
    from theirs, it would seem more unlikely that they would be so totally
    different.

    One of my Siamese cats--now, alas, dead--loved to talk on the phone.  A
    friend would say "let me talk to Fritz," and would then say all sorts of
    amusing cat things while I held the phone up.  He got so used to it that
    when the phone rang, he would run to sit by me and would wait for his
    turn.  If no one talked to him, he would sooner or later set up a
    Siamese protest (if you've had one, you know the sound) until he heard
    his name and talk over the phone.  My friends got used to being asked if
    they wanted to talk with Fritz.  This could be called just a response to
    a sign, but he knew it meant someone saying his name and other words to
    him, and he instantly purred.  He was quite aware that it called for
    response.  I'm not sure how different our response to the phone is.








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