Dear Paws to Talk,

My name is Doc and I am an older male Dachshund. I belong to a wonderful family. Lately, I haven’t been well. My body doesn’t feel the way it used to and my back is especially painful. I can tell that my mommy is wrestling with how to care for me in this state. She looks at me and says she wishes I could talk. How do I let my mommy know how I am doing?

-Doc the Dachshund

Howl Doc,

We’re sorry you haven’t been feeling well. It is no fun being ill. The question you pose is a tough one. If we could speak human or the humans could speak our language, life would be a lot easier. However, we speak two different languages and have to rely on other ways to communicate. You don’t need words to let your humans know what is going on.

If your mommy props you up on a pillow and that helps with your pain then make sure to give her extra kisses. She will understand.  Another way to let your mommy know you are feeling okay is to pick up a squeaky toy and squeak. If you are well enough to squeak then this will put a smile on her face.

On the flip side, if you are in so much pain that you can barely walk then lay down immediately and cry. If your humans don’t catch on then cry louder.

If the pain persists and you can muster a bark that will help get the point across. Another effective communication gesture is to tear the vet section out of the phone book and place it at your mommy’s feet. Of course, if you are in too much pain to get out of bed that will send a message too.

Don’t be disheartened if you reach this point. Quiet moments in life are rare gifts. Use this extra time in bed to reflect on whatever you want.

Given that your humans know you are older and struggling, they will be more attuned to your needs. Be sure to communicate to them how you are doing. Be as clear as you can be. Your actions are just as good as the spoken word.

Feel better Doc.


Bella and DiDi
















© Margot Ahlquist and Paws to Talk, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Margot Ahlquist and Paws to Talk with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.