How Stella Learned to Talk: The Groundbreaking Story of the World’s First Talking Dog
How Stella Learned to Talk is such a cool story! The author, Christina Hunger, is a speech therapist who works with children. This book isn’t just about dogs; it starts with a story about Oliver, one of the children Christina works with. Oliver had a communication device with ten pre-programmed sentences. Christina decided to give him buttons with single words that Oliver could combine himself. It worked! Later, when she adopted a new puppy, she noticed that the puppy, Stella, was using non-verbal communication strategies just like some of Christina’s nonverbal child patients. Christina got the idea to use the word buttons with her dog just like she used with some of the children she works with.
My favorite story, the one that practically makes my head explode thinking about it, is about what Stella did when her ‘beach’ button stopped working. Stella pushed buttons for ‘help,’ ‘water,’ and ‘outside.’ One day, when Christina ran out of Stella’s regular dog food, Stella refused to eat other food and pushed buttons for ‘eat’ and ‘no.’ This book includes tips for assisting your dog’s communication. You have to be both patient and persistent! It’s really cool and a little scary to think what our pets might want to say if we give them a chance.
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