Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Vroom!

Laev is a very speedy dog -- physically, I mean, she's very fast. When she rounds a blind and sets out across the field to reach the last blind and helper, she's really booking.

It shouldn't be a huge surprise, then, to hear that my friend's 11-month infant (who had to attend Schutzhund training one night with us because her father couldn't sit her) was trying out some of her words for the new audience and, pointing at Laev working, declared, "Vroom vroom!" While Laev may lack the combustion engine required for proper vroom noises, she certainly zipped across the horizon as fast as any car the baby saw.

Indeed, baby Emma further defined Laev as "car," even though she knows the name of her own dog. Laev is simply, to her, "car."

It is a nice example, though, of how we assign meanings to words (cues) which may carry different meanings for others. To baby Emma, a car is anything that moves fast! while we think of it as a vehicle. How, then, could I be upset when I say to sit front and my dog knows that he is to sit facing the wall where we used to practice that? ;-) Okay, that one was hypothetical, but you get the idea. Experience and detail count.

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