As a lover of dogs, cats, and all things animals, I can’t help but want to communicate with them, as well as allow them to communicate with me. However, I, like most, have thought that there’s only so much we can do. We love on our pets and animals, we feed them, we are excited to see them, and often find ways to express our love. It wasn’t until a couple of years ago that I saw something mind-blowing. I’m hear today to introduce you to Loula, the talking dog.
Well…here she is, my beloved puppy (currently 8 months old). Doesn’t she look excited to meet you? This is how she feels after I took her to a tennis match with oodles of people, her puppy friend, Arwyn (a newfiepoo), and loads of walking to and from. She’s a might tuckered; wouldn’t you say? haha. If you want to read more about her story and how she came to be with me and my family, you can start HERE.
She is not only an answer to prayer but is also quite the entertainer and healing balm in a very dark time. Maybe more on that in the future as I’m able to share.
As you can imagine, I am so excited to have you meet Loula the talking dog – our beloved puppy. To give you a quick background and an example of how hard she and myself and my kids have worked with her, take a peek at the video below. I dare you not to giggle!!
As I mention in the video, I first became enamored with the idea of communicating with my pets when I saw Bunny, the talking dog online. Not only did I find this information after our dearly loved dog, Teddy, passed, I felt this would be perfect for my next bow-wow adventure. Then, I got my hands on the book by Christina Hunger at Hunger for Words, about how she taught her dog, Stella, to talk using speech therapy buttons. Talk about mind-blowing!!
After waiting for two years to move and seeing that not happening, and also after having some hard times, I felt a dog would be a great therapy for myself and my family. True to the thought, Loula has been just that. But not only did she bring light to us, we were able to get her out of a sad situation as well.
First, I researched the idea of Loula the talking dog coming to fruition and found that the FluentPet buttons (for any animal…even cats) would be my choice. If you watch the video above, I explain more on that in there.
Furthermore, Loula has went from 2 words to 22 words in two months. WOW!! As a matter of fact, she knows more words than I have buttons for, but am slowly introducing them.
It’s been an awesome journey and I’m looking forward to the future in so many ways.
LOULA THE TALKING DOG JOURNAL
• Introduced potty and play buttons
• Interest in buttons, but not much in potty
• Switched play button to bubbles – instant reaction, began pawing at button with misses
• High engagement in bubbles button. By evening, hit it several times with our response.
• Using bubble button better and recognizing potty button
• Felt the bubbles were creating obsession and high vigilance negative behavior (overexcited on walks, constant searching for bubbles, etc. – I researched bubbles before introducing them so it wouldn’t cause issues. Turns out it is much like a red laser light that is not a good idea. No more bubbles for Loula)
• Replaced bubbles button with tug.
• Added Run button
• She used all buttons today
• After waking, I directed Loula to use her words. She went and hit potty 3 times.
• A bit after potty-ing, she came and bumped me. I signed, “Loula want eat” without using verbal cues. She smiled, put her paw on my lap and then stood up.
• She’s getting more precise. I found that by stomping on Later, she is enticed to hit Now. Today, I hit Later after we asked for Yummy. She growled and stomped on Now.
• After switching up buttons of the last two weeks, we have arrived at Potty, Eat, Later, Now, Yummy, Drink
• We need buttons for Outside, Play, and Ride
• I’ve backed off telling her to use her words but have directed her there with body language. She has embraced the buttons more and has become more accurate.
• She now uses all 5 words with precision and is even using potty for outside
• Today, I knew she wanted to eat, so was waiting for her to initiate. When she went for the button – she missed. I hit Eat, she jumped up, landed on eat, then stomped on eat with her paw. Haha.
• Getting to our lunchtime, her naptime, she wanted to play. I signed to her mama Eat, she stomped on Later immediately followed by Potty because she wanted to go outside. What a hoot!
• At dinner (early for her around 4:30pm) she went to her buttons and hit quickly Eat Now. By golly she’s got it!
• Breakthrough again! Each time I take Loula out to potty or outside to play or walks, I talk about what’s going on outside…wind, birds, cold, rain, wet, etc. Her available buttons are currently Potty, Eat, Later, Now, Drink, and Yummy. After coming inside after potty with it pouring out, she went to her buttons and hit Potty followed by Drink. She literally wanted Outside and Rain! She put together that Potty means Outside and Drink means Rain/Water. Wow!!
• I had to go get water and was gone for about an hour. While gone, Miss S signed to Loula “Mama Home Later”. Loula replied with her button “Now”. ha!
• Early in the morning, Lily will come inside and sometimes Loula is too jacked up. Today, I had to get her to sit to leave Lily alone and walked out of the room…Loula followed. She then went and hit Later. Haha. Later Lily…yes.
• Josie told me she was drinking ice cream from the bowl as she was making ice cream and Loula hit ” Yummy Drink Later.
• At bedtime, Lily wanted outside and was sitting by the back door. Sleepy Loula ambled up to her and just wanted a sniff. Lily hissed and growled at Loula. Sleepy Loula turned around, went to her buttons, and hit Later.
• Loula saw Miss J drinking milk while pouring it for all at dinner. She let Loula have a taste off her finger. After serving up the glasses, Loula went to her words and hit Yummy Drink. She wanted more milk and kept asking all night and again the next day.
• Finally, we got 6 more buttons and 3 pads. One button for Mama, Loula, and Lily. Instantly Loula began using them by pressing the names. Within 30 minutes, she hit Outside, Potty, Loula. Then, I added Lily when Lily needed to Eat and I modeled Lily, Eat, Now. Loula went and hit Later. I got Lily’s food and modeled it again. Then Loula hit Now Lily, Outside, Potty. She wanted Lily back outside.
• Early at 5am (feels like 4am since spring forward) Lily wanted to be let out when I got up. Loula was super eager to greet her, but I made her wait/stay while I hit Lily Potty Outside. As soon as I let Lily out, Loula hopped up and hit Loula, Mama, Eat. I’m mindblown she used these words like that after I only introduced last evening in flippant fashion…not much modeling. Wow! Smart pup
• Lily just came in fast because it’s barely 24° out. When she came in, Loula wanted to follow her. I told her to stay so Lily could settle. As soon as Lily left, she hopped up and hit Loula, Mama, Potty followed by Lily Later Yummy. Ha!
• Five minutes later, Mr. I came out and she was all wiggly. I told her to settle and had to make her sit. Then, I told her Mr. I potty and when he walked off, she hit Later, then came back to me. I loved on her, and she turned to walk away and hit Mama. Crazy!
• Loula just had her dinner with her Bob-A-Lot and wanted my attention. I told her to talk to me. She hit Yummy. I modeled Yummy Later, followed by Mama Eat Now. Loula replied with Lily, Mama, Eat, Later. What a stinker! (now realizing she uses Lily for the kids since they have no button)
• Just got up at 4:20 am for the day and went to use the restroom in the dark, per usual. As I came out, I hear Loula plop down on the floor next to Lily who’s in the chair. I greet Lily with a rub and hear Loula snoring. As I walk out to the kitchen and turn on the light, I hear Lily hiss, followed by Loula slowly ambling out. She walks right over to her words and hits OUCH.
• Had Loula out in the front yard off leash to check recall on her. A family was coming down the street with 3 men, a lady, and a baby in stroller. Lady began talking sweet to Loula and she focused in on her. I had her sit/stay and she kept her head down as we’ve been working on off-leash with recall command. They got two houses down and she took off. I tried to call her back without success because they were baby talking and rubbing her. When I got her inside, she went straight to her buttons and hit Ouch.
• Miss J and I were sitting on the retaining wall while Loula was inside. She eventually came up to the open window…waited.. then began barking. We continued to talk ignoring her and all of a sudden, we hear “Loula, Potty, Play”. We both died laughing because it was so unexpected! I thought it was the answering machine going off. Haha!
• It’s 10:30am and I thought Loula came to me because she needed to Eat. I went and modeled the words to her. She looked at me and then hit Later and I asked, “Later?”. She did a lip flap slap at me. Just then, Miss J comes up from the basement and says, “I already fed her!!”. Loula didn’t take the opportunity to eat twice!
• Just introduced All Done and all the kid’s names as new buttons as well as Yes and No. A few hours later, Miss J modeled J—- Lovies while JC sat on the pew. Loula hit All Done J—- and went to him.
• So…we knew Loula had sass. Miss C told Loula to use her words and hit Loula. Loula then hit NO.
• At dinner, Mr. O got up and so she figured it was time to beg for food. She went up under Miss S’s armpit and I told her Mama Eat, S—– Eat. She went and hit NO.
Before you go, take a minute to leave some comment love for myself (and my kids) who have put in countless love and hours to teach our Loula the talking dog. Additionally, pin and share to inspire other animal lovers out there too.