Doc the Dachshund: How do I communicate with my humans?


Dear Paws to Talk,

My name is Doc and I am an older male Dachshund. I belong to a wonderful family. Lately, I haven’t been well. My body doesn’t feel the way it used to and my back is especially painful. I can tell that my mommy is wrestling with how to care for me in this state. She looks at me and says she wishes I could talk. How do I let my mommy know how I am doing?

-Doc the Dachshund

Howl Doc,

We’re sorry you haven’t been feeling well. It is no fun being ill. The question you pose is a tough one. If we could speak human or the humans could speak our language, life would be a lot easier. However, we speak two different languages and have to rely on other ways to communicate. You don’t need words to let your humans know what is going on.

If your mommy props you up on a pillow and that helps with your pain then make sure to give her extra kisses. She will understand.  Another way to let your mommy know you are feeling okay is to pick up a squeaky toy and squeak. If you are well enough to squeak then this will put a smile on her face.

On the flip side, if you are in so much pain that you can barely walk then lay down immediately and cry. If your humans don’t catch on then cry louder.

If the pain persists and you can muster a bark that will help get the point across. Another effective communication gesture is to tear the vet section out of the phone book and place it at your mommy’s feet. Of course, if you are in too much pain to get out of bed that will send a message too.

Don’t be disheartened if you reach this point. Quiet moments in life are rare gifts. Use this extra time in bed to reflect on whatever you want.

Given that your humans know you are older and struggling, they will be more attuned to your needs. Be sure to communicate to them how you are doing. Be as clear as you can be. Your actions are just as good as the spoken word.

Feel better Doc.


Bella and DiDi
















© Margot Ahlquist and Paws to Talk, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Margot Ahlquist and Paws to Talk with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

22 thoughts on “Doc the Dachshund: How do I communicate with my humans?

  1. Poor Doc, I am sorry to hear that you are in pain. Humans that are close to you would normally be able to tell that you are uncomfortable or in pain and would do something to help you so there may be more to this than a communication failure. What else is going on in the home?

    • Hi Bassa,

      We think Doc’s mom knows he’s sick and is watching over him carefully. He wrote to us wanting some tips on how to get his point across. Thanks for your concern!

      Bella and DiDi

  2. Very wise tips for Doc. Poor bubba, I think one very important clue that can help Doc’s owners know when he is feeling really blue is not to eat. Often owners think their pets are okay so long as they are eating. It is important to be clear and not give your owners mixed messages. I hope Doc feels better soon.

  3. It;s also the main concern of those owners who take their pets to Miss Dolito in Taiwan.
    Everyone asks the same question: is my pet feeling well?
    What is interesting is that, when their pets tell the owners how they’re doing and what their problems are(ex. toothache), the owners always nod and say, “I also notice that! Just want to make sure.”
    So there surely are ways pets can communicate with human without using the same language. 😀

  4. Hey Doc,

    I hope you feel better soon buddy 🙂 Sending you some big wags 🙂

    Your pal Snoopy 🙂

  5. Oh thank you so much. I am Doc’s mum and he is still hanging in there and eating and drinking and seems okayish now but we are watching him carefully on an minute-by-minute basis.

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