Thursday, September 17, 2009

Speaking in tongue

Dempsey and I just came back from a great field trip to the pharmacy. We met a nice man from Honduras who had never seen a service dog before, and who was astounded at everything Dempsey was doing -- picking up keys and credit cards, pulling my glove off and handing it to me, sitting quietly in the prescription pickup waiting area.

How do I know this? I was eavesdropping on his conversation in Spanish while Dempsey was practicing his drop-stay. I felt like joining in, but I was afraid my Spanish was not quite up to par.

Person with a physical disability?

Service dog?

Service dog in training?


Male? Female?

¡Ay ay ay!

But when I heard the Honduran man say of Mr. D, "She is such a pretty dog," my machismo kicked in, and I let loose my Spanish:

"Thank you! You all are very kind, but the dog is a young man. He calls himself Dempsey. He has seven months. He will practice with me until he has two or three years. Then he will go away. He will work and to help a person that sits in the chair with wheels and it is difficult to use the feet and the hands. He picks up the things. He opens and closes the light and the door. He takes the sock and gives him to me. He helps a person to be more independent."

Ick. I sounded more like a robotic online translation than a suave Latino. Dempsey, as usual, saved the day with his gift of speaking in tongue: He started giving everyone kisses. He knows puppy love requires no translation.

1 comment:

  1. Paul & know this blog is a book in the making! Thank you for sharing!