Jackie Talks


I know that some people have been wondering what I could be doing that keeps me from my blogs so I thought I'd fill you in. I have been working on my Opus “The Natural History of Nancy Sherer.” At least when I wasn't traveling or goofing off.

So for those of you who have come back faithfully all summer hoping to find me here, I decided to post a sample of my latest chapter so you would have an idea of what will be coming soon. This is just a rough draft, but it is shaping up the way I want it.

Jackie Talks

Uncle Bob's dog could talk. Jackie was a female Irish Setter that made everyone who knew her love Irish Setters. After seeing how gentle and smart Jackie was, our dad brought home an Irish Setter, Daisy. Daisy could smile, but she couldn't talk.

Almost every time we went to Uncle Bob's house, we asked him to get Jackie to talk. She wouldn't do it for anyone else no matter how carefully we followed Uncle Bob's instructions. But every time he took her head in his hands and ask her a question, she would respond with a plaintive vocalization that was clearly an answer. As years went by, the words became clearer needed less translating. Quite an accomplishment for an animal whose mouth and throat were really only build for barks and growls.

Jackie came to mind because of a book that I'm reading from the Cambridge University Press called The Seeds of Speech. The author, Jean Aithchison, assesses current knowledge about how our species developed language. She mentions speech-like behavior in other species such as parrots and bonobos. What they understand, how they respond, but no mention of dogs.

I'll end it there because I still have major revisions on the subject, but as you can see, I am busy thinking deep thoughts

Nancy Sherer



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