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Bunny The Talking Dog Is A Viral Sensation With A Growing Vocabulary

Amy Pilkington 6 Nov 2020

Can I admit to something? The more I see these stories about dogs learning to use buttons to communicate words and sentences to their humans, the more I want to try it with my pair of troublemakers.

I have zero illusions that they will ever be wordsmiths on par with Bunny, a sheepadoodle who knows about 70 words and can make short sentences, but if they can at least indicate the difference between "I need to pee," and "I'm scratching the door so you'll pay attention to me instead of work," I'd be happy.

Who knows, though? Bunny started small and simple only a year ago, and now look at her!

Sure, some of the nuances of human emotion still baffle her, but considering that she started with a single button that said "outside," it's pretty amazing what she can communicate now.

She's 15 months old, but already has more than 70 unique buttons each clustered into collections of related words.

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Bunny's human, Alexis Devine, was fascinated by the idea of dog communication before she even had a dog herself.

She'd been following the work of Christina Hunger, a speech-language pathologist who has been experimenting with teaching her own dog to talk and documenting it online through Hunger For Words.

After adopting Bunny, Alexis dove right into trying it herself and is now part of a communal research study called How.TheyCanTalk.org.

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Sometimes Bunny's attempts at conversation are quite funny, but other times they are poignant.

For example, though she hasn't yet learned the word "sad," Bunny does know "ouch," and when Alexis was having a hard day, Bunny tried to check up on her.

And then decided that cuddles were clearly in order. D'aww!

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It's pretty amazing to watch as Bunny figures out how to phrase a question, such as reacting to a strange sound she's heard.

I'm definitely going to be watching Bunny's progress from here on out. Besides being fascinating, it's also the exact kind of wholesomeness the world needs more of right now.

If you'd like to follow along with her, you can do so on Instagram @what_about_bunny or on TikTok, also @what_about_bunny.

h/t: The News Tribune

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