I'm a dog whisperer. Literally, not figuratively. I literally converse with my dogs. I'm by no means a Hamlet, waxing in florid soliloquy to my little mute skull buddy, but I do often have extended conversations with my pack of four-paws.
When you spend a decade with any sort of life form, whether it's a person or a pet, you build up a complicated rapport with them. You learn their moods and their habits and you develop an intuitive feel for how they react to things. It's that same shorthand that can make married folk impossible to follow:
"You remember that--" "With the--?" "Yeah, best show ever." "Yup."
To clarify, I am in fact aware that dogs don't actually speak. They can hear you and respond physically to what you say, whether you're telling them to do stuff or just how awesome they are. But for some reason (perhaps stubbonness, or their lack of functional cheeks), they never respond with the proper King's English.
To make up for their epic terseness, you have to fill in the blanks a bit. I'm not saying you should respond directly for them in the first person, using cute, fakey dog voices.
"Yes father, I would enjoy a tasty comestible."
That's just weird. However, it's perfectly acceptable to slip their responses into second-person confirmations or casual third-person narratives:
"Yes, you would in fact enjoy a tasty comestible," or "He would most certainly enjoy a tasty comestible."
Maybe it's my author's blood, but I tend to prefer the narrative angle.
I honestly don't view my whisperings as a way of bonding with my dogs, or even really communicating with them. They get more out of my tone than my actual words anyway. It's more of a way to translate their canine oddness into humanisms I can understand.
For example, who really knows why my Shih Tzu mix sometimes wanders around after dinner with his big stuffed lamby, grumbling and whining and completely unable to find the right place to settle in.
"He can't find his reading glasses."
Who knows why typing briskly and sighing at my laptop when I'm frustrated will send my long-haired Chihuahua twitching and cowering into another room?
"He's about to be murdered. He'd better run."
It's fun and inevitable for us to anthropomorphize our pets into human-ish caricatures. But I can't help wondering if they do the same with us. Do dogs caninomorphize humans into equally strange and incomprehensible hairless bipedal dogs? How can they not?