Mysterious Properties of a Dog’s Bark

We have a golden lab called Benjy. We live on a beach in Auckland. Benjy gets to spend most of the day outside, but if he wants to come inside, he gives a sharp bark, which we hear from everywhere, and we let him in to the house.

Benjy lives in a vegan household, so he adores fruit, bananas, mangoes, and papaya. But his favorite of all is avocadoes. He can’t get enough.

Turns out there is an avocado tree that hast just fruited on our next-door neighbor’s property.

Yesterday the sharp bark was coming from next door. Was Benjy accidentally locked in somewhere? No, he was sitting under the avocado tree, and he was issuing an order: “drop, fruit!” I thought it was funny until I saw an avocado drop at his feet, one he promptly scarfed down.

Is it possible that Benjy’s bark has some property that causes the branch of the avocado tree to vibrate? Can he really make an avocado drop just by using his voice?

About jeffreymasson

My new book BEASTS is out this March from Bloomsbury http://www.bloomsbury.com/us/beasts-9781608196159/ or the eBook http://www.bloomsbury.com/us/beasts-9781608199914/
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12 Responses to Mysterious Properties of a Dog’s Bark

  1. whippingitup says:

    Such an interesting thought! My puppy does the same thing when she wants to come inside… And when she wants me to retrieve a toy she can’t reach… And when I have left something delicious on the kitchen counter… And when she wants me to play with her… It’s a high pitched, sharp, demanding sound that won’t be ignored. Looking forward to hearing if more avos succumb…

  2. Lovely story, Jeffrey – always food for thought on your website.

  3. Ciò vorrebbe dire che un comportamento del genere non sarebbe una bizzarria di Benji, ma un residuo comportamentale di un epoca in cui l’animale selvatico si procurava il cibo in questo modo? E come sarebbe possibile ciò in un animale originariamente carnivoro? Oppure i lupi non sono esclusivamente carnivori?

  4. Demelza says:

    How could the avocado’s refuse?! :o)

  5. Joanne Deane says:

    Yes!
    As human animals we know so little about the power of Other spcies communication vibrations.
    I love this story. So anything is possible. Thank you for such an inspiring story.

  6. Katy says:

    It gets the tree’s oxytocin flowing.

  7. Marga says:

    What a lovely anecdote! And I’d love to know how Benjy felt about the tree that dropped its fruit after he barked. Does he give you clues, like wags or play bows when he comes up to solicit avocados? Or is he commanding the tree?

    Zulie, my first Belgian Sheepdog, loved to find new tennis balls that had gone out of the courts and got lost in the English ivy and bring them to me to throw for her. She found one a day, since the courts were where Berkeley held their beginning classes. For the rest of her life, wherever we went that had English ivy but no tennis courts, her eyes sparkled and she searched diligently for tennis balls as if she had it set in her mind that tennis balls came from a plant with a certain kind of leaf.

    I wonder if Benjy will become a similar canine botanist if he comes upon other avocado trees? I bet he won’t bark up the wrong tree.
    Marga .

  8. My dogs (cocker spaniels) also have many different barks to tell me things. They have a very specific way of reminding me that I have not given them their brazil nuts every morning after breakfast. I am, however, sad to say that they do not have the ‘Uri Geller – spoon bending’ ability of Benjy to bark avos out of trees. What a great story.

  9. Marjorie says:

    How nice of the avacado tree to comply. I’m a big avacado fan and I used to feed some to my dogs, but I have since been informed that they are toxic for dogs and on the no feed list. This surprised me, but I did stop feeding them.

  10. betsy says:

    but of course. I have conversed with my animals at length over the years. They can communicate with nature as can we when we decide to.

  11. Rakhee says:

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Benjy and that avocado tree actually communicated. All sentient beings communicate in their own way.

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