Speaking in three voices

Jun 27, 2012 By Carolyn B. Tyler

My trio of Boston Terriers are of three different colors and they speak in three different voices.

The elder stateswoman, Rita, wears the traditional black and white tuxedo. The only male, Samson, has the traditional markings but in beautiful coffee and white coloring -- the only Boston of his color I've ever seen. And he's the smartest of the crew, always ready to impress that on you.

BonnieBlue, who turns one year old today, is blue of the greyhound hue. She too is unique in my familiarity with Boston Terrier color.

I'm told there are red Bostons, but I've never seen one.

Among my three, their bark is hard to distinguish, mainly because they seldom bark because of the two ultrasonic devices I have installed in the back yard.

But when they want to "talk" to me, as they often do, they speak in very distinct ways. Looking me direct in the eyes.

Rita snorts. She makes piggy noises. Not just because of the "push face" typical to Boston Terriers. No, her grunting noise come from the belly and ranges from delight to disgust.

Bonnie is a whiner. I've never had a whining dog before, but BonnieBlue uses it to its full potential -- to beg, to annoy, to express pleasure.

Sam simply sighs. When he looks right in your eyes and sighs, it would be impossible to better articulate "I love you."

But he also uses his sigh to indicate everything from impatience to pain.

Snort, whine, or sigh, each can make their wishes known.

They have been easy to train. Bonnie is still learning from the older two. They have English-language vocabulary recognition dominated by "No" and "Cheese."

But although I haven't had trouble training them I do enjoy the dog-training shows on television. Perhaps because I haven't had to deal with those problems.

The funniest I've seen was the woman who took her dog to the professional trainer, complaining that it frequently attacked her, but only her.

It didn't take the trainer long to determine that the dog wasn't mean, just a quick-learner.

He asked, "What do you do when your dog attacks you?"

The lady quickly answered, "I throw meat."

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