Dog talk, for my family, is a generational legacy. Those moments when my mother floods my memory most commonly are when I call out or chat affectionately with my dogs. There’s a particular sing-song tonality – “Did you do your bounden duty?” I ask as they come in after a bedtime pee. My mother’s phrase. I speak it without thinking, and there is Mom, coming out of my mouth.
Now that I have a daughter with more than one dog, I hear Anna summon her canine charges with a familiar call – “Doggies!” There it is, that musical melodic minor third, coming from my daughter’s mouth, just as I sing it virtually every day. I hear it pop up with variations in all four of my children.
It makes me wonder if my Grandma used the same dog talk voice, and her mother before her. Perhaps it is a distinctive, tying thread that extends through the ages, multigenerational, a musical oral tradition, passed down and down. I like to think so.
My 60th year in 60,000 words
Day 138: 169 words, TOTAL = 22,543; 37,457 remaining
Robin Clifford Wood is a writer and writing teacher. She lives in central Maine with her husband and dogs, loves to be outdoors, and enjoys ever-expanding horizons through her grown children and their multi-species families.