A visiting friend asks, “Do you want to me to let Graidy out? He’s pacing by the door.”

“Nah, must be around 4 o’clock,” I say, looking at the clock to confirm. “He wants to be fed.”

A while later the same friend, noticing Graidy at the door again, says, “Is Graidy hungry again already?”

“Nope, he wants to go out now.” I get up to let him out.

“This is like having a mother translate for her babbling baby!” My friend says, shaking her head, laughing. “How can you tell the difference?”

“It’s simple. When he’s pacing by the door, he’s really pacing by the food dish that happens to be by the door, which means Feed me. Standing at the door means Let me out. He’s being perfectly clear.”

“Mmhmm.”

“No, really,” I say. “He and Kiera have extensive vocabularies. You wouldn’t believe how much they’re able to communicate; they can hold entire conversations.”

“Yeah, like anybody but you could tell the difference between Graidy’s pacing and standing…”

“You’ve never had any dogs, have you?”

“Nope.”

“Didn’t think so.”