Silence is golden

Silence is golden

Aafreen Mahmood

Words don’t always speak for themselves

Ever since I watched “Dr. Doolittle”, I have wished that I could talk to dogs. But unfortunately, whenever I asked Milo to talk to me, he just stared back at me like I was insane—and I don’t blame him. Over the years, however, I learned that we don’t need to talk to one another in order to communicate.

I know when he’s angry, sad, or annoyed. When he’s hungry, he’ll scratch his bowl. He’ll keep on scratching it until I pour some food in. If I don’t, then he’ll not only personally come to me, but he’ll also bark at me while looking back at his bowl to tell me it’s empty. He’ll repeat his bowl-scratching and barking, too, when there’s no more water in his water bowl.


Milo has different barks, such as “help” bark. Sometimes I don’t leave the backyard door wide enough for him to fit through, so he “help” barks in a high pitch as if he’s stranded on an island by himself.

Then there’s the “hey you, play with me” bark. After finishing some homework and settling down to watch TV, Milo comes running into the living room—toy in mouth—staring at me. I ignore him for a while, then he drops his toy after squeaking it a couple of times and barks angrily at me. This one is of a lower pitch yet still high. It’s his way of telling me to get off my lazy bum and give him some attention already.

But it’s not always a bark that tells me what Milo wants or feels. Sometimes he sits on the couch, looks at me and heaves a deep sigh. It’s quite sad to see that, because I know he’s not feeling happy.

Milo is just like any other person. When he wants something, he’ll look cute and sincere to pity him until you give him what he wants. If I stop petting him, he’ll use either his paw or nose to nudge my hand up over his head—a sure sign that he wants to be pet some more.

Milo doesn’t need to talk to me in order to convey his feelings. It may be rough at times, like when he barks continuously for no reason, but we get on just fine. It just shows that we don’t need words to communicate. Sometimes nothing needs to be said, and everything is alright.