Callie’s dog communication: A Snort with a Messsage

Understanding dog communication is like solving a puzzle.   Our "best friends" often create what I call  "scratch-your-head moments."  They do something a little unusual, and, more often than not, they are trying to tell us something.  The trick is to figure out what this particular dog communication might mean. Callie often uses a "snort" or "grunt" sound to communicate.  She's not trying to form words, but it's as if she's figured out that we humans communicate with our voices.  Maybe she's really trying to communicate a message, but, if nothing else, she uses her "snorts" as a way of saying, "Hey, I'm trying to tell you something." Yesterday, I was sitting at Lake Arrowhead, doing some work on my laptop computer, when Callie sent a dog communication message.  She stood on all four legs, about six feet away from me and making good eye contact, and she let out a huge "grunt." It would have been easy to simply ignore Callie's "grunt" and say something like, "Hi, Callie, nice 'grunt,' now let me get back to my work."  But I've learned, through years of paying attention and writing "My Doggie Says... Messages from Jamie," that puzzling doggie behaviors like this almost always contain some kind of dog communication -- a message for the decoding. In trying to interpret Calllie's messages, one of my first suspicions always has to be, "How about giving me a nice scratch on on my tummy or my neck?"  But Callie was standing too far away, so that didn't make any sense. My next guess was, "I need to go out and pee," so I got up and walked toward the door, but Callie didn't follow.  So, another wrong guess. So now I'm racking my brain to figure out what Callie could be trying to tell me.  Was she asking to be fed?  No, she had eaten breakfast about an hour earlier. What about Callie's water dish?  Callie drinks a lot of water in the dry, five-thousand-foot elevation, of Lake Arrowhead.  Sure enough, the water dish was empty.  I topped it up; Callie took some big slurps; and she curled up on the floor by the fireplace. Dog communication mission accomplished!