If Dinah could talk


by cheri

Those of us who own animals have probably wondered what they would say in certain situations; the older I have grown, the more often this thought occurs to me.

My horse Cricket, who  left this earth for Horse Heaven, unless other horses have had a say in who gets in and who does not,  certainly would have asked me why we had to wait until Hizzoner’s father was ready to ride. The conversation may have gone like this:

Ok, Cheri. You have tightened the cruel cinch, put that lousy cold bit in my old mouth, slapped my butt for good luck, and hoisted your hundred-plus pounds onto my wide back. We are ready to go, aren’t we?

Be patient, Cricket. Stop pawing the ground, first right, then left, then dust, then mild impatience, then head-throwing, and then more dancing, dust, and anxiety. Stop that now!

Ok, Cheri. Who does that man think he is?

He’s the one whose barn you sleep in, the one who orders your hay, your vet, your manicures. In short, he’s the reason you are here. And he’s a fiddler-not the type that has musical talent but rather the type who wants everything just so.


My dog Dinah, who is thankfully still wandering this earth, despite having eaten everything from rats to paper towels, certainly would participate in the following conversations:

Ok, Cheri. I’m wondering about that contraption called the Central Vac. You know I’m deathly afraid of vacuums and leaf blowers, but since you and Hizzoner remodeled the kitchen–damnit, the only place I am allowed in this whole stinkin’ house–what’s with that secret noisy opening under the new dishwasher?

I’m not sure to what you are referring o’ furry one.

Very funny. LOL. That place under the new dishwasher that you keep kicking when trying to Swiffer my hair. Suddenly, the peacefulness of my space ruptures into suction. Is that a secret vacuum? I’ve noticed the glee on your face.

Oh that. Yes, Dinah, that is a place where some of your shedded hair can be eliminated. The other hairs, of course, are stuck to my black sweat pants, black Yoga pants, black socks and (God forbid) Hizzoner’s pants.

I would also like to broach the subject of my meals. Why am I relegated to canned low-fat gastrointestinal food when your grilled halibut topped with crispy shallots smells so much better?

Dinah dear, your diet changed when your Aunt Sara observed that your head had shrunk.

Dinah,  sometimes we don’t see ourselves as we really are– overweight, aging, slouching, greying, wrinkling hunks of protoplasm. I did not see how fat (sorry, let’s tell it as it was) you had become thanks to Hizzoner’s  tossing you sesame stix, cookies, Triscuits, scraps, and Yahuda Matzohs. Although he isn’t a dog lover, he is a food lover and to see you there, salivating all over his slippers while he tries to relax after a grueling day dealing with greedy and acrimonious types and BART–well, he’s to blame for your new diet.

Thanks. That doesn’t really address my problem, but since I have your ear, I’d like to complain about my bed, a cheap version of a memory foam luxury that I saw at Pet Smart last month. I noticed that you were looking at the prices of these beds. Gee, I seem to remember a large truck pulling down into our driveway last fall to deliver a Tempur-Pedic to you and Hizzoner. You didn’t even blink when ordering that bed. I know; I heard your conversation.

Dinah, your visit to the veterinary ER cost us a small fortune last May, so your expenses are on a budget.

I saw that picture of your sister’s dog Buca asleep on HER BED. My feelings are hurt. Let’s end it with that.


And also, since I was a puppy, I have been forced to listen to Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald way too early in the morning.

Tell Hizzoner that!


About Cheri

Writer, artist, cable television host, grandmother to four!
This entry was posted in dogs and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to If Dinah could talk

  1. 4brig says:

    What wonderful chats we have with our critters.
    Though I think there is good reason why God made it so they couldn’t actually answer us!

  2. shoreacres says:

    You know it’s not only our intimate companions who have things to say. Let me be late with the peanuts in the shell, and there are three bluejays who let me know about it. A bluejay coming to a window to peck for attention is something to behold.

    Dinah’s a doll, but I must say that photo of your sister’s dog is a combination of sweet and hilarious. That’s one secure animal.

  3. Cheri says:

    I loved that photo I took of Buca last weekend and was trying to figure out a way to post it. Isn’t she the BEST???

  4. wkkortas says:

    The sun is up,
    It’s time for cheer
    Not for a dog to whine
    I’m sleepin’ here!
    It’s delightful
    It’s delicious
    It’s de-love-ly…

    (The Ella version just noses out the Liltin’ Miss Martha Tilton.)

  5. Lue Perrine says:

    🤣 Too funny but what if true! Ha!
    Certainly true about the
    Before👱‍♀️ and After! 👵
    LOL! 😂
    What great writing talent you have!

  6. Richard says:

    This ingenious piece of writing is utterly convincing in its ease of expression.

    Part of our instinct for survival is to work out, with the assistance of language, what is running through the minds of others. Yet, as the comments reveal, we use this facility for our own purposes to strip pets and livestock of their natures so as to dominate and implant our own. Only when they hunt, are hunted or reproduce do other animals exhibit anything like our capacity for communication.

    Dr Doolittle masquerades as a children’s classic.

    Your reflections are, indeed, deadly serious, though I do admit to being delightfully engaged!

    • Cheri says:

      Well, if I were able to engage a mind like yours, by fabricating a conversation between my pets, then I have achieved my blogging goal. Have you read Dr. Doolittle? I have not, and your reference too it, made me wonder if I should have. Cricket and Dinah were(are) much beloved pets whose conversation with me, I am sure, would not be much different from what I wrote. Did you ever talk to Glenys’ cats?

      • Richard says:

        I read Dr Doolittle several times as a child and loved it.

        It never occurred to me to talk to the cats (nor to plants) but that did not stop me from trying to work out what they were thinking. If they seemed to approve of me, I was much flattered. Misty managed to conceal her attentions when she was courting, except on one occasion when she sat by a window watching avidly for something next door in a way I had never seen her watch before. Only later when she became a mother and lavished all her maternal instincts on her single kitten, a love that endured for the rest of her life, did I put two and two together.

        When another of our cats became semi-feral, I drew enormous satisfaction from re-taming her simply by very gentle stroking.

        My budgerigars had no interest in communicating much, although when Jack and Jill hatched a chick, I often held this sweet, vulnerable morsel of life in the palm of my hand to keep him warm. After he fledged, I gave him to my niece; he was extremely tame, amusing and a great talker.

        The goldfish in our pond show all the qualities we aspire to: gentleness kindness, tolerance, unquestioning acceptance of the young, the old and the sick. I am sure they say “Thank you” whenever they give way to each other. They never collide, except when it is warm and the sun shines brightly in that particular season of the year.

        I have never adopted a dog, but admire their unquestioning loyalty. At about age seven, I was introduced to the facts of life in very explicit manner by two dogs in the middle of the road. “Look,” I said to a clutch of chattering women,” those dogs are stuck together!” Never before had I witnessed such a collective smile and snigger. The communication was unmistakeable.

        I love horses most of all and wonder at the enigmatic processes behind those sad, apprehensive eyes.

  7. Cheri says:

    I learned a bit more about you through this lovely, long animated comment. I had no idea that you, too, love horses most of all although unlike you, I do not see sadness in their large eyes but rather an acute awareness of their surroundings. Fish! I love your observations and look forward to seeing in person their unquestioning acceptance of the old.

  8. Chris says:

    What a wonderful way for me to start the weekend. Wish you had more pets so I could your conversations with them. Wouldn’t this be a wonderful writing assignment for a creative writing class? I think I’m going to share this piece with the girls and see if anyone is interested in writing about their pets – six chickens, two dogs, and a cat.

  9. Cheri says:

    I would love to read each of the girls’ dialogues about their pets, especially Willow, the dog, or maybe reading the words that chickens would say would be even more entertaining. If I had a cow, I wonder what she would udder.

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