If you’re a pet owner then obviously you speak to them (how else will Max know he’s a good boy?). But don’t you wish they could talk back to you?One lucky dog owner Christina Hunger, 26, can say her canine pal does, in fact, communicate with her. That’s because Christina, a speech-language pathologist, has given her doggo Stella a customised keyboard which allows her to press what she wants to say. Stella, an 18-month-old Catahoula/Blue Heeler mix, has been learning to communicate her thoughts and feelings since she was eight weeks old.
Christina, from San Diego, created the device herself. All Stella has to do is press on the button with the word she wants to express.
Not only can Stella say when she’s hungry, wants to go for a walk, or just wants a belly rub, Stella has been able to form sentences.To date, she knows 29 words. Her most remarkable progress came when Stella was able to convey that she missed Christina’s fiancé Jake.
The clever doggo typed ‘want’, ‘Jake’ and ‘come’ and when he arrived a short while later, Stella pressed ‘happy’.
INTERESTING FACT ABOUT YOUR PET: Scientists believe that the world’s first known dog lived 31,700 years ago. This prehistoric dog resembled a large Siberian Husky.
That’s one smart dog.
Christina uses a similar device as part of her job teaching one and two-year-old children. She began teaching Stella in her infancy too.
Now Stella can combine up to five words to form a sentence.
‘I’m in constant amazement and shock,’ Christina told People. ‘Every day she says something cooler than she said the day before.
‘The way she uses words to communicate and the words she’s combining is really similar to a two-year-old child.’Christina has been documenting Stella’s learning journey on her blog Hunger for Words.
The pair now excitedly chat with each other as much as they can. Stella is also delighted to be able to chat with her human. When she first learned what the ‘walk’ button does, Stella repeatedly pressed on it.
‘I didn’t realise how much she was waiting to say it,’ added Christina.
‘She also loves saying “beach”. She was so happy and still says it very often.
‘I think how important dogs are to their humans,’ notes Christina. ‘I just imagine how much deeper the bond will be’.
Make him part of the family. Pets, especially dogs, need companionship. They are traditionally pack creatures and need the warmth and love that comes with living indoors with their family.
You can follow Stella’s progress on the blog Hunger for Words.