“I have always felt a close kinship with dogs. As a young child, my inner ear canals were blocked due to environmental allergies. This condition went undected for quite some time causing me to miss hearing beginning language sounds. The result was that I wouldn’t try to talk with people.
The speech therapist advised my parents to obtain a dog that would sit and listen to me babble all day. The dog would have undying interest in my attempts to talk (in return for non-stop petting). The allergist, of course, recommended against the dog. Allergies were what caused the ear blockage in the first place.
Fortunately, my parents listened to the speech therapist. They brought home a mixed Beagle/Terrier, named Princess that sat patiently each and every day, listening to me make beginning speech sounds as I petted my special friend.
So that is how a dog taught me to talk. I have enjoyed a special bond with dogs ever since.”…..Michael