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1370762.  Tue Jan 05, 2021 9:46 pm Reply with quote

Bunny is a poodle - Old English sheepdog cross, coming up to two years old. She lives in Tacoma, Washington, with owners Alexis and John in a wonderful house that stands on stilts above the beach. She loves playing ball and tug-of-war, running around on the beach, going for walks in the park, and romping with her doggie friends.

Bunny can also talk. She uses a system of pushbuttons, each programmed to play a recorded word. At the moment she has a vocabulary of about 70 words, with more being added regularly as Alexis tries to figure out what Bunny feels the need to talk about the most.

To everyone's surprise, she's slightly obsessed with understanding time concepts. She spent months sorting out the meanings of morning-afternoon-night, now-soon-later, yesterday-today-tomorrow. More recently she's begun exploring past tense verbs.

At the moment (like any two-year-old) she's also obsessed with the word "poop". She's gone off that topic a bit lately, after Alexis added the names of her three best doggie friends to her vocabulary. Now she can't stop talking about them.

Bunny has already demonstrated that she's not just associating single buttons with specific objects and responses, but that she has an understanding of genuine language. Her vocabulary is limited, but she's good at stretching the meanings of words to suit her own world view and things she wants to express. For her, "upstairs" can refer to any location higher than her head, and "ouch" is a comment on anything unpleasant. "Friend" can describe anything pleasing and welcome; "stranger" is anything in a place where it doesn't belong -- including, in one case, a burr in her paw.

Washoe was the first chimpanzee to learn sign language. It was hailed as a breakthrough, and proof that she was using real language, when she put two words together and created the novel phrase "water bird" to name a duck. Bunny has done this three times so far:
"Water bird" = seagull (different bird, but same coinage as Washoe!)
"Settle sound" = shut up, be quiet
"Play poop" = fart

Here's Bunny's website, with links to other locations. Her Facebook page isn't listed there, but can be found by searching for what_about_bunny.

And three YouTube videos (each one a compilation of brief TikTok clips):

1370846.  Wed Jan 06, 2021 10:53 am Reply with quote

That's fabulous!

1371109.  Fri Jan 08, 2021 5:05 pm Reply with quote

I've seen footage of this dog on one of my variety style tv shows.


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