"écorce, écorce"....if you are French you know that translates to "bark, bark.:
If a proposed law in Montreal goes into effect, all dogs in the Canadian city will need to understand commands in both English and French. Sounds like some sort of satirical story from the Onion, right. But the politician supporting this law isn't kidding.
Montreal city councilor Benoit LaDouce, who made the proposal, told CBC Radio, "The various dog commands are incomprehensible to each other." He said a dog began to lick at his face, but didn't understand when asked to "stop" in French. "Our alienation from each other was absolute," LaDouce said. (No word on why if he didn't want his face licked, he didn't just move away).
Maybe LaDouce has a point. Increasingly, in America many families (at least a third of all pet owners) live with dogs and also cats - both. So, I believe that cats ought to go to dog training class to learn how to speak dog. Also, dogs must learn the nuanced difference between "meow" and and a purr.
LaDouce wants all dogs in the city to learn at least 80 to 90 commands in both languages, calling the task "basic stuff."
Hmmm....do most dogs know 80 cues in even one language? In his proposal LaDouce pointed out that trained dogs are able to learn about 160 words, according to Animal Planet.
And what of the dog owners who are not bilingual? As CBC Radio host Pat Kelly points out, having to learn a second language only to impart a few dozen commands to your pet would be an expensive and time-consuming exercise. For example, only about 20 percent of people in the U.S. are able to hold a conversation in a second language, according to the U.S. Census.
"Expensive or opportunity, which way do you want to look at it?" LaDouce said in response. "Now, suddenly, just by having a dog, I'm opening up to different kinds of knowledge."
He said he hopes to get the law passed and put into effect by summer 2013. "I'm working on it day and night," he said.