i had a dog who spoke english

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He watched TV with us every night... and I don't mean he just hung out with us while we watched. I mean he watched, waited for the commercials before he would get up to do anything, ran back when the show started again. I mean you could say anything to him and he would respond in precise accord... with no tone of voice or rote memorization involved. Complex things.

My boyfriend didn't believe me. He was a revolutionary, complete with a Che t-shirt, and a toy poodle was something little old rich ladies did, a yipping little disgrace to dogdom. I brought Jacques with us one day, fooling around. We'd gone to the deli for sandwiches and chips and were eating them on his brother's bed in his dungeon apartment. Jacques, of course, was interested.

He'd always been really funny about taking food from your hand, having learned early also that you might hurt someone if you just gleefully snapped it up without regard for anyone's fingers. He'd learned it without any remonstration, any "training". We just mentioned it when he was a puppy. So he'd take whatever item you offered him extremely gingerly and set it down in front of himself for a thorough inspection before he'd eat it. This was his ritual, and it had made everyone who ever knew him laugh and laugh and laugh.

I gave him a corn chip.

He was so careful he didn't even crack it.

He set it down and gave it the business, but decided not to eat it, turned and walked off. As he was just about out the door, I said, in no particular tone or timbre, "You really ought to try that. It's very good." He turned around and came back to the edge of the bed where he'd left his perfect corn chip and ate it. Bruce freaked.

He always asked me to bring my dog whenever we went out. He liked to be in his Che shirt and leather jacket, ripped jeans and biker boots, with my toy poodle... showing people how my dog spoke English.