Tuesday, September 9, 2008

I Love My Voice When Oliver Uses it.....

I have always hated hearing my voice on recordings-I sound pretty much like a hick (or just your average Okie). I took a socio linquistics class once where research confirmed that a southern accent is perceived in a negative manner-even by other southerners.

The first time Oliver started using "my" voice, it was freaky and exciting and flattering as hell. Now he provides regular feedback on how I sound when I'm training him, or working with the dogs, or the snakes. I know snakes are deaf, but I'm not and I still speak to them. But according to Oliver, I have different tones and inflections when I do. My "snake voice" is less soothing than the voice I use for Oliver training, and less authoritative than the voice I use for dog training. Apparently when Oliver gets a correction I shift to my dog training voice.

Oliver rarely uses the harsh man's voice when correcting the dogs now-he tells them "quiet" in my voice-and I like that. He's also started differentiaiting dog sounds. He sometimes barks, he growls an awful lot these days, and when Moonie was going through crate training, he whined like a puppy instead of howling like a wolf.

His wolf sound is now less timberwolf and more werewolf of london-ah oooooo. It's still our contact call-our version of "are you there?" Every now and then the bird, myself and the entire dog pack will indulge in a group howl. It's not at all like the scary movies-it's really just the bird saying "I'm hear, where are you?" and the human and dogs replying. Then we usually howl once or twice all together-"we are here, we are family."

Animal communication is sooooooo straightforward compared to humans. Upon meeting and greeting they pass along the things you need to know for a successful interaction. Age, gender, health, state of mind. I'm 47, woman, good health, feeling confident. There is no expectation that you will remember any past interactions all the way through to the current one, factor in things that have happened since you last interacted, and determine what the best attitude to adopt is. "I'm 5, male, upset stomach, feeling lethargic"...."I'm 4, female,hyperactive, feeling dominant", "I'm 4 months, male, shedding, feeling defensive".

In fact, if you base your attitude and actions based soley on the past, you could end up getting bitten quite easily or you could reinforce a bad interaction that is no longer valid.

Yesterday's fiasco with my folks left me physically shaken. Shorteness of breath, shivers and mentally I had trouble getting out of bed today. Old age is taking away whatever it is that keeps them from striking out when they are consumed with negative energy. I walk in, actually feeling positive, and all that negative energy just pounded on me, without a whole lot of warning.

THAT is what I must learn to handle better, because it will continue to happen. I cannot change that...I cannot turn them into animals who will give me status updates when I walk in.

And yes, I do realize that brow beating about the past is more of a habit than any real animosity, but shit, pick someone else's nose for a change....LOL.


Mim said...

My brother had a habit of a loud sniff. He claimed that he never did it. Then he got a parrot, and after a few weeks the bird (his name was Drib) started a strange sniffing noise...and we got to prove to Jon that it was copying him. Pretty cool way to out your habits.

Debra Kay said...

Yes, I found out that I clear my throat quite a bit.

studio lolo said...

My mother's parrot used to tattle on her dog all the time. "Mother, Blackie's being bad!" My sister's African grey is quite the mimic. They're always running for the phone when it's him that's ringing! He'll even answer his own ring and call my sister after..."Paaaaaaam, it's for you!"
And he has the most EVIL laugh. He scares me, really!

soulbrush said...

i would so much love to have an 'ollie' in my life...would just make me 'whole'!