Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Learning a new language in Mexico

These past couple of days, I've been working hard to learn a new language while living in Mexico.  And, you may be surprised to hear that it's not Spanish - but Bella-ese.

Yes, our friends left us in their house on Sunday to go back to the US - but they didn't take their little dog Bella with them. Instead, she is in our care.

Now we know Bella quite well.  When our friends come to our home in the US, they normally bring Bella with them and while we go out for dinner, she stays home with Harold our parrot.  Harold talks to her all night - but Bella stays quite quiet.

Anyhow, since we've been her carers for the last few days, I've been trying to figure out Bella's language - ie Bella-ese.  I have to say her vocabularly is limited.  It is also situational in that one word may mean something in one context, but something else totally different in another context.  So it gets tricky!

Here's what we have understood so far....
  • "Ruff, ruff" in a gentle way, when on the floor by the bed means "Lift me up. I sleep on a bed too but my legs are too small to jump up there".  She is having to learn however that in our world, dogs don't sleep on beds!  This is proving to be a tricky lesson for her and we get more and more "ruff, ruff's" every night - and even in the middle of the night!
  • "Woof, ruff"  spoken with a big dog attitude means "get away - don't come in.  I'm busy".  These words are only spoken when we are in the house and the same room as Bella and someone comes in the front door.  If we aren't around or it is us coming in  - she doesn't even stir.
  • "Buff, bruff" means "I want to come up and sit with you so that you can do nothing but stroke my head and give me all the love you have!"
  • "Riff, ruff" means "I want my basket.  As I'm not allowed on the bed, you've left it in the bedroom and now I want to sleep in it downstairs".
So yes, we are all finding our boundaries during this time of learning.  In the meantime, Harold is far away at home winding our friend Cassie around his little finger. Cassie is kindly taking care of him while we are away and no doubt he is busy talking away to her too!  I guess we'll all be bilingual when we get home!

And as this post is all about dogs, I have to conclude with my favorite dog Christmas video. I shared it with you last year - but it's still worth watching!

1 comment:

vilterietje said...

great to learn a doggy langueage! they are so clever! enjoy and love, riet:)