Back in 1946, a British fox terrier named Ben won international acclaim for his ability to say the phrase, "I want one." I found a brief account of Ben and his fame in Unexplained Phenomena: A Rough Guide Special
A smooth-haired fox-terrier called Ben, belonging to Mr and Mrs Brissenden of Royston, Hertfordshire, was the subject of two articles in the Daily Mirror in August 1946. A Mirror reporter had visited Ben the previous day, and several times he had heard the little terrier say, clearly and distinctly, "I want one", evidently expressing desire for a cup of tea, a biscuit and other doggy treats. His voice was described as "dark brown" and "a rich baritone", low-pitched and authoritative. The reporter found it quite uncanny the way Ben used different tones of voice in making his requests, "from the wheedling note to the gruff, demanding one".
Contacted by the Mirror, two eminent veterinary surgeons, Professor W.C. Miller and Dr. W. Wooldridge, went to Royston to examine the talking dog. To them he duly made his usual remark, "I want one... oh-h-h... I want one". Professor Miller observed: "In all my experience I have never heard a dog so nearly simulate the human voice." Dr Wooldridge added: "The most amazing thing is that Ben does actually use his mouth and, to some extent, his tongue, to formulate and control the words. He cuts his words clearly, and appears to use his tongue to change from one word to another." while the experts discussed his case in Mrs Brissenden's front room, Ben romped around them with a ball.
Ben became so famous that he was featured in an ad campaign for Comptometer adding-calculating machines that ran in American magazines such as Newsweek
- May 4, 1947
My parents had a welsh terrier that said the word "Out" whenever it wanted to go out. Although the way he said it was "Oooouuuuttttt!". Unfortunately we never thought to film him saying it.
In 1937, the Journal of Heredity
(vol 28, no. 3). published an article about an unusual kitten that looked very much like a dog. The kitten was called "Nonesuch."
this little animal — now about two months old — is about the queerest looking creature one could hope to set eyes upon. Its face is that of a black, white, and yellow spotted dog. Its ears are quite long and sharp-pointed. It has the short whiskers of a puppy. The hind legs are amusingly bowed. It has a stub tail. What makes the nonesuch even more unusual appearing is the short smooth dog hair all over its cat-like body.
From the very moment of its birth, which was about twelve hours after the rest of the litter, the nonesuch was surprisingly independent in its actions. It was born with its eyes open, and was able to crawl a little — two characteristics quite unknown to new-born kittens.
The nonesuch acts both like a cat and a dog. While it makes a noise like a cat, it sniffs its food like a dog. Nothing delights the nonesuch more than gnawing a bone in a very dog-like manner.
However, although Nonesuch looked like a dog, she was definitely a cat, which she proved by giving birth to a litter of kittens a year later.
I wonder why the trailer neglects to tell us that the dog houses the reincarnated soul of the little kid's father, who croaked in a car accident. Read the synopsis
of the rest of the film to learn of its heart-warming tale of death, malevolence, vivisection, and heartbreak. A feel-good pic!
I understand Michael Bay has already optioned this book for his next film, due to its over-the-top action.
View the whole book here.
Researchers at Auburn University have created a device that allows people to remotely control a dog. It's like a backpack that the dog wears that produces tones and vibrations that direct the dog. Push a few buttons on your remote control, and the dog does what you want — with an accuracy rate of 98%! However, it's not quite as gee-whiz as it may initially sound, because a dog needs to be trained to respond to this thing. In other words, it ain't something for your average lazy pet owner. It's intended for rescue dogs and the like. [eurekalert
A lot of people told her that howling would get her nowhere in life, but now she's a howling instructor. So that shows them!
Greg Hudome is hoping to raise $600,000 on kickstarter to start production on his "Dog Saucer"
invention. So far he's managed to raise $100, so he's got a ways to go.
Over in China, researchers decided to test the theory that dogs can predict earthquakes. So they housed four dogs at the Nanchang quake center and waited for them to show signs of "abnormal" activity, such as barking a lot.
They soon discovered that dogs (and apparently these dogs in particular) often bark a lot. According to local residents "every night at 11pm they start barking over and over." After fielding multiple complaints from angry neighbors, the researchers "offered to muzzle the dogs, but accepted later that this might impede their skills as quake-prognosticators." Finally, the experiment was shut down.
So maybe dogs can predict earthquakes, or maybe they can't. But until we learn to speak dog language better, it doesn't look like our canine friends will be much use to us as official quake predictors. [London Times