A Talking Dog Named Ro By, George A Cawood
I was once known as the guy with the talking dog around my
home town. Back then I was truck driving for a scrap metal
company, and a female puppy was hanging around the loading area.
Oh, she looked to be a mix of golden retriever and lab, and one
day the boss asked me if I wanted to take her home. At first I
hesitated and said" no" but she looked up at me and said"
Roooow," so I changed my mind and decided to take her home with
me. On the way home she said" roooow" a few times so I figured
that was her name and started calling her Ro. When I got home
with her I took her into the house where my dad, who had (COPD,)
was in the middle of his breathing treatment. As he looked at me
I said this is our new dog you have to watch her till I get back
with supper and left him sitting there with a bewildered look on
his face. "Her name is Ro" I said going out the door.
At first I let her stay in the house and, she was good about going outside to do her business, but she started shedding hair real bad so she had to stay outside from then on. Meanwhile, it took my dad a while to warm up to her, but he did and even saved her scraps to eat. It was then I began to train her to talk with food scraps. I would hold the food and ask "what's your name?" she would throw her head back and say" ro" then give her the treat. Sometimes in short parts sometimes longer" Rooooow." We developed a routine of things she could say such as "What is your name?" She would answer with a short." Ro" How do you get across a river? "She would answer with a longer. "Rooow," What do you have with one thing in front of another? She answers with a longer "Roooow, "always throwing her head back when she spoke. Meanwhile my dad thought this was very entertaining and we laughed to no end whenever I would have her talk.
Then one day I got the idea watching, The Little Rascals, on TV to draw a circle around her right eye with a black marker. Amazingly she sat still and let me do it, and it looked very natural too. Later, I taught her to ride in the back of my pickup truck which Ro thoroughly enjoyed even in cold weather. Wherever I went Ro went with me except to work and shopping. When I would stop at the convenience store, I was always showing people how Ro could talk and afterwards people would ask how I got the dog to stay in the pickup and," is that ring around that dog's eye real? "And" Was she born with that ring?" To which I would answer," oh yeah she was born that way." After two weeks or so the marker would wear off and I would draw it around the other eye, the left, and ride around to the store, show people how Ro could talk, and then I would inevitably be asked, "was that dog born like that, with that ring around its eye?" and Wasn't that ring around the other eye? To which I would answer," oh yeah that dog was born like that" and "No, it is the right eye." This was all quite amusing to me and my dad for a long time.
One day I heard a knock at the front door, so I went to see who was there. There were seven people on the front porch three of which were children. By the time I had opened the door the man was introducing himself, his wife, his mom and dad and their three children. He said," we are just here to see the dog." I hesitated for a second and said, "Well I'll have to go find her so come in and I will return shortly, and by the way this is my dad, Clarence." I returned shortly with Ro and had a short conversation about weather and the different people we were both acquainted with and related to. Of course my dad knows every body's family tree in the area and he also knew theirs. Anyhow, I got a hand full of doggy treats and started to show these people how Ro could talk; "What is your name?" She threw her head back and answered, "Ro" "How do you get across the river?" She answered, "Roow" "What do you call it when you line one thing up in front of another?" She answers, "Rooow." Every one wowed and clapped at her performance, and then I noticed the man was standing in front of the vacuum cleaner and got one of those light bulb ideas. "I said OK Ro fetch the vacuum cleaner and start cleaning the house." The man looked around and saw that he was standing in front of the vacuum cleaner and jumped out of the way. At first every one stood in stunned silence then, "OH Boy!" When he realized what had happened we all a big laugh.
Ro has been gone a few years and I have fond memories of she and I together, when she got older she started running off for weeks at a time and never obeying and getting into chicken coop's, and so I gave her to my neighbor Bill, because she seemed to prefer staying at his house, I just guess he had better food than I did. Furthermore, I think she let the star image she had of herself go to her head and she decided to do whatever she pleased, Rest in Peace good dog Ro.