Cowboy the Big Yellow Dog has a head like a dinosaur and a lethal tail.  My husband Eric calls Cowboy “Chewbacca” after the giant furry character in the original Star Wars movies, not because of his size, but because Cowboy talks like Chewbacca. A lot.  He’s even a video star.

His heart belongs to 13-year old Susanne. At 120+ pounds apiece and both blonde, they are a great match.  Suz loves to curl up with him nose to nose.  He wraps his paws around her arms to make sure she doesn’t leave him.

Suz asks him, “Do you love me?” He answers in Chewbacca noises that sound shockingly like “I love you.” “Do you love only me?” Chewbacca responds with something that sounds quite similar to “yes.” “Do you love me so much, more than anything in the world?” she asks, and again he replies. This goes on for a while, 5-6 iterations of question and “answer” until they tire of the game.

I’ve tried to re-create the scene myself, but to no avail. I slip into her position with Cowboy and ask, “Do you love me?”  His eyes smile, and he wacks his tail like a club against the ground, but he does not answer. “Do you love Eric?” Nothing. “Are you a good dog?” Silence. “Do you love Susanne?” Chewbecca agrees enthusiastically with a loud “Rarrr rarrr rarrrr.” I go back through my original questions, and he doesn’t make a sound.  The only thing he ever says to me – and he says it each day at 11:00 a.m. – is “out.”

Forget Cesar Millan. That girl is the dog whisperer.

What do you think: can dogs communicate verbally?  Do you think Cowboy knows what he is saying?  Do you have a talking dog, or other animal?  I’ve always thought of hounds as the most verbally expressive of dogs, but Cowboy is teaching me a thing or two about labs.  We also had a vocal German Shepherd.  And our cat Juliet won’t ever shut up, although she does not seem to be doing anything but cat-like vocalizations of her absolute disdain for anything and everything.

Personally, I believe Cowboy knows what he is saying.  He is emotional and expressive.  He brings out the best in us.  In fact, I believe animals often bring out the best in people, and I love including them in my fiction writing.  Some of my favorite books have strong animals characters, like Where the Red Fern Grows.  Do you have a favorite book with a strong animal character?

Tell me stories…




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35 Responses to Our Dog Whisperer and the Big Yellow TALKING Dog

  1. Eric says:

    Yes he really is that big. And yes he is probably thinking about eating the German Shepard.

    • Pamela says:

      Besides Sami, I think what he loves best is eating. And, while we shouldn’t talk about it here, he does have experience with cannibalism. Yikes! OMG, as I recall, it involved … the exact dog in the picture!!! Ha. Well, I wrote about that experience in Annalise. Nothing makes good drama like the cannibalism of one beloved pet by another. Told you — I love animals in writing, even if it isn’t pretty…

  2. Hi Pamela, I have a German Shepherd named Teddy, you can see his picture on his Twitter account @TeddyGermanShep. And he talks like Chewbacca and also talks in general. He is a very good communicator and knows plenty of words. You have to be careful what you say around him. “walk” “car” “Ball” all invoke a response. My favorite is when we ask if he is still hungry, he licks his lips and then hits his dish. He will also do that if no one asks but he is still hungry. Thanks for the smiles!

  3. […] to a low bridge under which our trailer could not pass.  As we turned around to take the long way, Cowboy, our 120-pound freakishly large lab, whimpered once, shot Bubba-mon an apologetic look in the rear view mirror, and unloaded the entire […]

  4. […] that my neighbors could be sex offenders or serial killers.   We have a home security system and a couple of big dogs, but I know that is not enough to keep a determined criminal out of our […]

  5. […] kid around about what a pain Juliet is, but we never really mean it. The rest of us love our pets, especially Samantha, and he sent it directly to her. This is a tragedy. I hope that someday they can forgive Eric (and […]

  6. […] Samantha: Middler schooler whose hygiene habits indicate she is not yet interested in boys .  Loves dogs, swimming, and […]

  7. […] and rarely without my red Vaio laptop. I live with my husband and our three youngest kids plus 200 pounds of pets in Houston, but our hearts are still in St. Croix, […]

  8. Baker Alkon says:

    The Animal Family by Randall Jarrell and illustrated by Sendak is one of my all time favorite books.

  9. […] Samantha: Middler schooler whose hygiene habits indicate she is not yet interested in boys .  Loves dogs, swimming, and […]

  10. […] that my neighbors could be sex offenders or serial killers.   We have a home security system and a couple of big dogs, but I know that is not enough to keep a determined criminal out of our […]

  11. John Dowling says:

    I love reading your blog, it always makes my day! Not trying to be critical, but Chewbacca was Han Solo’s sidekick in Star Wars. . . Star Trek had that pointy eared guy. . .


    • Pamela says:

      Dang, you’re right! OK, I’m going to fix it. And everytime someone reads your comment in the future, they’ll be like “what the heck was he talking about ?!?” She got it right. :)
      And thank you, John.

  12. […] Congrats to Sami who kicked booty in the Gulf Swimming (Houston) 13-14 year old girls Short Course Championships.  […]

  13. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by PamelaFaganHutchins, PamelaFaganHutchins. PamelaFaganHutchins said: Sami and Chewbacca have a language all their own :) […]

  14. Sadly, we have no pets, but I would like an orange tabby kitten. Joan doesn’t say No….she says Hell No. dang
    Love Cowboy and Samantha!

  15. Ally says:

    LOVE! LOL on the flashlight – I had a cat that used to do that, but my dog thinks I’m nuts for even suggesting it. Our dog is a head-cocker. I have full conversations with her, because she tips her head back and forth and acts like she’s full on listening. I’m sure she’s actually thinking, “What the heck is wrong with this woman? Why won’t she just throw the ball?”. But it’s fun to think she’s really truly listening. She’s most vocal right before she goes to bed when she picks her “baby” up in her mouth and walks from hubs side of the bed to my side to his to mine and so on, whining and talking the whole entire time. It lasts a full minute to a minute and a half (which is a lifetime when you are trying to go to sleep) and then she drops it right where my feet will find it in the morning and crawls into her bed and goes to sleep. We have NO IDEA what it means!!! LOL

    • Pamela says:

      I love talking dogs! Yours sounds hilarious. We also have a deathly silent dog with big expressive sad eyes who never smiles…but her tails wags her body until she quivers from head to tail!

  16. Grace says:

    I prolly read Where the Red Fern Grows ten times when I was a kid. Then I read it to my kids. And even though I know what’s coming, that book makes me cry every single time. That and Charlotte’s Web.

  17. LBDDiaries says:

    The only animal in my life is Alpha Hubby and he roars – well unless you count the thousands of pounds of cows out there who may not talk but they understand Alpha speak! I do believe dogs can talk and I know for sure they understand. Alpha Son’s dog is waaaaay smarter than her owners and it shows even if she is only 65 pounds! Animal book… would have to be the dragon stories I wrote for my son when he was 8.

  18. LBDDiaries says:

    p.s. what’s up with that guy John? You got it right.. hahahahahahaha. Had to, sorry.

  19. Heidi M says:

    Love love love this post. :) No talking animals here unless they’re of the Y chromosome variety!

  20. Sandy says:

    I definite pattern in your family…everyone talks/writes/blogs a whole lot!! I have an Australian Cattle Dog that is extremely verbal, so much so that it gets on my nerves sometimes.

    • Pamela says:

      I’m posting another Cowboy blog this next week, all on the snake bite experience. I video’ed him today when he WOULD.NOT.SHUT.UP about his paw. Not that I blame him. :)
      I love Australian Cattle Dogs. But they have so much energy! Whew!

  21. […] while expensive, cost more in terms of fear and suffering.  Our fear, Cowboy’s suffering.  Cowboy as in “Cowboy the Big Yellow Dog,” our 125-pound mutant yellow lab, the one who talks to […]

  22. […] offspring).  Samantha has a tremendous relationship to animals and objects.  We jokingly call her the Dog Whisperer, but it is true.  I think many of us can accept that some people have a different way of hearing […]

  23. […] head into my hand and stared up into my eyes and wagged his tail slowly.  He talked to me, he cried to me in his Chewbacca language.  Can a dog feel remorse, and ask for forgiveness?  This one sure seemed to. 48 hours later, 1st […]

  24. […] and make a permanent move when our youngest child Susanne graduates from high school, Susanne as in the Dog Whisperer, as in Cowboy’s best friend. Only one problem though: Cowboy will be 12 years old by then, which is 84 in normal dog years, and […]

  25. […] can’t miss him” type of dog. And he was the first family pet my kids had. He became Susanne’s big baby, since Clark Kent wasn’t much into dogs. She has about a million pets (two ducks, two cows […]

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