When my old dog Murray really wanted to tell me something and his barking or pawing didn’t get the job done, he would start making sounds that I swear mimicked human speech. Now, I’m not entirely sure that he was attempting to get through to me as a member of my own species would, but I don’t know how else to explain this quirky behavior.
It’s pretty amazing when we see our pets cross the imaginary line that separates the species by exhibiting human-like behaviors. But if you were to try to explain them to someone who’s never had a dog or cat (or parrot you will soon see) most of them would probably just shrug it off.
So, I never really talked to anyone about my dog’s strange but funny human impersonation.
Reddit user DMLorance created a safe space for pet owners to share their stories that no one believes on the AskReddit subforum.
“Pet owners of Reddit. What quirk does your pet (past or present) do that nobody believes when you tell them?”
Here are 16 of the best responses.
1. It’s time for bed
“Every night at around 10 pm, my childhood dog would tell me it’s time to go to bed. I could be in the living room watching TV and she would sit at the doorway and make little ‘boofs’ until I eventually got up and followed her to bed. This happened every night from my high school years until the day she passed at 15 years old. I miss that old sassy girl.” — Shibsmarie
2. The cat that sleeps like a human
“One of my cats legitimately sleeps in my bed. Head on my pillow, under the blanket, held to my chest like an actual baby. He will spend all night like this and get mad if I stop cuddling him at any point. We sleep with our noses almost touching, and I know when he boops my nose with his that he wants me to cuddle him tighter. It’s bizarre but adorable.” — Dominoodles
3. The picky drinker
“My dog refuses to drink from a bowl. We took him to the vet because he was sick, turns out he was dehydrated. My dog always has water next to his food, but wasn’t drinking it. We changed his bowl to a normal dish, the ones we use to eat soup. Now he drinks from it, if u change it back to a normal dog’s bowl, he will stop drinking water and get sick. Nobody knows why.” — O_Pacaba
4. The handstand bathroom
“My childhood dog had a weak rear right leg, so anytime he wanted to hike his leg on something off to the left he would just do a handstand rather than try to support his weight in the bad leg.
“But wait… there’s more. When he started getting older we brought home a puppy who absolutely idolized his big brother. Within about a month he had worked his way up to also doing handstands when he peed, but for this dog it was EVERY SINGLE TIME. I guess he thought that was just how you were supposed to do it.
“Nothing like having two dogs pissing down their own chest several times per day.” — LovelyShananigator
5. The cat who plays fetch
“I have a cat that plays fetch with his stuffed animals. He also gets annoyed when I don’t throw the stuffed animal far enough, and loves to chase it down the stairs into the basement.” — Upaupa212
6. The dog who spoke cat
“I had a toy poodle mix named Yoda who would meow like a cat if I said ‘Yoda go meow.’ It started as me saying it as a joke to him here and there and one day he actually started doing it. He was a good boy.” — T-Rocks
7. The literate hound
“My dog demands I read to him. Whenever I’m sitting reading something he’ll come over, put his head on pages, and paw at me until I start reading to him.” — rogettheboat
8. Doggie hall monitor
“We have a very unique dog that seems to have internalized a set of rules. He is friendly with our 3 cats however if he observes them doing something that we (the humans) have corrected them for previously he will then take on the responsibility for future occurrences by sitting beside the misbehaving cat and barking at them until they stop.” — ealoft
9. The feline plumber
“I have another cat of which in an old house he found out how to turn on the bathroom sink to get water (it was one of those that you push/pull not twist) and so I’d always walk in to find the sink on. If only he had learned to turn it back off.” — ashleyracheleee
10. Dog security
“My father’s dog designs elaborate alarm systems with his toys. At night before bed he arranges toys that squeak inside of doorways and at the top and bottom of stairs. If you move the toys he politely waits until you aren’t looking and then places the toy back. They don’t just end up in a spot they are placed there. It also seems that the toys are chosen for each location based on ease of squeak and volume. The loudest toys are inside the door of the bedroom.
“One final note on placement. If the door swings inward the toy is placed outside of the door’s arc. If it swings outward it’s right in the middle.” — [Deleted]
11. The canine binge-watcher
“Our dog likes to watch tv. No matter what’s on or who’s watching it, she actively pays attention to what we’re watching.” — crabgal
12. The exercise saboteur
“Whenever I do push-ups, my dog crawls under me and pushes up off the floor against my torso, trying to help me up.” — coturnixxx
13. Teach this cat to flush
“A long time ago we had a cat who potty trained himself. The cat was outside most of the time, so no cat litter box. He peed and pooped in my toddler’s small toilet. It still had to be cleaned tho. But still, I consider it cool.” — Fr3aky_Monded
14. Airborne kitty
“I had a cat named Ninja (nailed it on the name). She loved playing fetch with a twist. She would bring me her toy mouse and set it in my lap. Then she would climb on to the top of the reclining chair next to me and get in attack position.
“I would say ‘Ninja! Are you ready?’ she would crouch and get ready and I would have to throw the mouse across the room, but she would spring and catch it mid-air every time. She would do it for hours.” — Ashwilliamsboomstick
15. “Let there be light!”
“I have a cat that knows how to turn a lamp on and off. It’s one of those twist knob lamps. He grabs it in his teeth and turns it.” — Fournote
16. The jazz parrot
“I had a parrot who would only whistle, but sometimes he would straight up compose songs. Nothing amazing, mostly splicing together bits of tunes he liked, but still songs that did not exist.” — JavierLoustanuau