Do our pets miss us now that quarantine is over? Bunny the talking dog says "Yes!"

If pets could talk...
How can a dog
Bunny uses a soundboard to communicate
Bunny can create simple sentences
A project to see if animals can communicate with us
Using AAC devices with animals
Bunny is internet famous
Bunny has improved her communication skills over time
How do
Do they miss us??
Bunny has noticed the family cat is gone
Even though they had a difficult relationship, Bunny misses the cat
Bunny misses her dad
Is Bunny really talking?
An expert weighs in...
....most likely our pets DO miss us!
If pets could talk...

If you are a pet owner, undoubtedly on more than one occasion, you've thought, "I wish [insert pet's name here] could talk to me!" I know I have! To have access to my dog's thought process would surely be enlightening and hilarious.

Photo: Instagram@whataboutbunny

How can a dog "talk" to us?

Pet owner Alexis Devine does not need to wonder what her sheepadoodle Bunny is pondering. Bunny has found internet fame as the "talking" dog. Is the dog a mutant? Is she a genius? How can a dog possibly talk?

Photo: Instagram@whataboutbunny

Bunny uses a soundboard to communicate

While Bunny is undoubtedly a clever sheepadoodle, Devine's furry friend has simply been trained to communicate using a soundboard.

Photo: Instagram@whataboutbunny

Bunny can create simple sentences

Bunny has access to large buttons that emit different words. By combining several different words, this adorable pooch can express herself through simple sentences.

Photo: Instagram@whataboutbunny

A project to see if animals can communicate with us

Bunny's owner Alexis Levine enrolled her adorable dog in a project called 'TheyCanTalk' in which 2,600 dogs and 300 cats are participating. The project's goal is to see if animals can communicate with humans with augmentative and alternative communication devices.

Photo: Instagram@whataboutbunny

 

Using AAC devices with animals

AAC devices were originally designed for use by people with communication issues. However, the devices have been adapted for this project with our favourite furry friends.

Photo: Instagram@whataboutbunny

Bunny is internet famous

Alexis runs an Instagram page and a TikTok account (with 7.1 million followers!) where she shares Bunny's training and developments using the soundboard.

Photo: Instagram@whataboutbunny

Bunny has improved her communication skills over time

In the videos, Bunny expresses herself with sentences such as "Bunny sad," "where mom," or "bye play friend," which means "go play with a friend."

Photo: Instagram@whataboutbunny

How do "quarantine" dogs feel about owners going back to work?

While a talking dog is entertaining, it can also offer us some helpful insight into the workings of the canine mind. For example, many people adopted "quarantine puppies" during the height of confinement, and those dogs spent the beginning of their lives in constant contact with their owners due to confinement.

Photo: Instagram@whataboutbunny

Do they miss us??

How are those dogs feeling now that many owners have returned to work? Are they sad? Are they traumatized and feeling abandoned? Or are they happy to have a break from their humans? Salon Magazine recently wrote about a similar question: "Do dogs miss us when we are gone?" and examined some of Bunny's "conversations" for answers.

Photo: Instagram@whataboutbunny

Bunny has noticed the family cat is gone

According to Salon, lately, Bunny "has been concerning herself with the absence of people and animals in her life." Bunny's owner Alexis Devine has shared videos on social media about Bunny asking questions about Uni, her owner's cat, who has been missing for four months.

Photo: Instagram@whataboutbunny

Even though they had a difficult relationship, Bunny misses the cat

Devine spoke to Salon about how Bunny has noticed that Uni has disappeared from her life. "It was maybe like two months before he went missing that she had finally used the buttons, 'Uni family together,' which was a huge accomplishment because they had had such a tenuous and challenging relationship."

Photo: Instagram@whataboutbunny

"Cat bye"

Devine also told the magazine that it seems that Bunny now understands that her feline companion will not be returning anytime soon, if ever.
"And then, last week, it was just heartbreaking, she pressed 'cat bye,' and I just about burst into tears. My little heart couldn't handle it."

Photo: Instagram@whataboutbunny

Bunny misses her dad

As per our question about our pups missing us and struggling now that many of us have returned to working outside of the home, it seems that Bunny can also offer some insight into that area. Bunny's owner told Salon that when her partner returned to work in person, Bunny wouldn't stop asking where he was.

Photo: Instagram@whataboutbunny

 

"Where dad??"

Devine told Salon, "The first week that he was back at school in the classroom, Bunny was very much asking about Johnny, pressing 'Where dad?,' 'Where dad bye?' for a lot of the day, for several days in a row."

Photo: Instagram@whataboutbunny

 

Is Bunny really talking?

According to Salon, the science when it comes to Bunny's communication abilities isn't fully there yet -"it is unclear (scientifically speaking) whether Bunny has been trained to use specific buttons on her AAC device, soundboard made up of buttons with a different word vocally recorded on each, or if her communications are actually spontaneous."

Photo: Instagram@whataboutbunny

An expert weighs in...

However, the media outlet spoke with Federico Rossano, director of the Comparative Cognition Lab at UC San Diego, about whether Bunny could truly be communicating that she is missing her owner and cat Uni.

Photo: Instagram@whataboutbunny

....most likely our pets DO miss us!

Rossano told Salon that he believes there is a high possibility that Bunny is, in fact, missing them. Rossano said, "Dogs tend to form close bonds with the animals they live with (humans and non-human) that would be comparable to the forming of a pack....So Bunny's behavior in those videos makes perfect sense."

Photo: Instagram@whataboutbunny

Más para ti