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April 4, 2016

How Do Pets Complain?

Our pets are accomplished communicators. Although they lack words, they are quite adept at letting us know exactly what they want to say. And quite often, at least around my house, it seems the most common form of communication is a gripe. Whether they need to go outside, or dinner
Our pets are accomplished communicators. Although they lack words, they are quite adept at letting us know exactly what they want to say. And quite often, at least around my house, it seems the most common form of communication is a gripe. Rhodesian Ridgeback, blog, chicago, puppy

Whether they need to go outside, or dinner is ten seconds late, or they want me to move over on the couch, Eko and Penny are well-practiced at lodging their complaints

Although their claims of injustice are often the same, Eko and Penny have distinct styles for filing grievances.

Rhodesian Ridgeback, blog, chicago, puppy

Eko is the sad, silent sobber. He won’t fight bathtime, but he’ll certainly make me feel terrible about it with those eyes and mournful face!

Rhodesian Ridgeback, blog, chicago, puppy

Penny, as always, is direct. She nudges, whines and even howls to make absolutely certain her feelings are known 

I feel like I’m constantly being interrogated in a good cop/bad cop scene.

Rhodesian Ridgeback, blog, chicago, puppy

“It’s okay, Will. You don’t have to give us the treats. I’m sure you need the treats more than us. I’ll just cry on the inside for a few hours, it will be fine…”

Rhodesian Ridgeback, blog, chicago, puppy


Safe to say, resistance is futile – the pups always get the extra treats. I can only resist their one-two punch of quiet-mourning and howling-complaints for so long.

So what about you guys? Are your pets yowlers, howlers, whiners, or silent protestors?

Comments for How Do Pets Complain?

  1. Sammie is more like Eko – quiet and patient. Emma is more like Penny – LOUD! Sometimes, I don’t know WHAT she’s whining about.

  2. Easy can melt an ice berg with his look… he mostly wins, I even pondered to reschedule my surgery-appointment, just because he was so sad as I left the house without him…. I sometimes think I’m crazy…

  3. Kismet says:

    I:m a SQUAAAAAWKer.

  4. Our cat is the BIGGEST and most ANNOYING whiner in the world!! He is the one who gets Dakota going….once he gets Dakota going then it is endless whining AND barking!!!! (and they both stare and circle us too lol)

  5. Your guys seem to have taken a strategy directly from the WWF playbook of tag teaming the adult. 😉

  6. Ellen Quilty says:

    Although Nikki can be patient at times she is mostly like Penny-very vocal.No suffering in silence for that girl.The funniest one is weekend mornings when she launches into her operatic aria if we are sleeping too late.The vocal range would give any diva a run for her money.

  7. Abbie says:

    Silent protestors are in the majority here…although we have one whiner/howler. Also, one of the silent ones will squeak if it’s a major protest, usually this is around getting her nails clipped (even if the clipper aren’t touching her). Admiral has the silent protest down, and he will get this martyred look on his face when you are doing something he doesn’t like. He’s also a silent beggar…but he needs to get some tips from the other silent beggar, because he could use some improvement. 😛

  8. Jan & Rusty says:

    Rusty has a variety of ways to complain. The unblinking stare. The pitiful whine. The perfect sit position, quietly staring up at the treat jar. The circle the piano bench then stare, repeat, the look that finally says ARE YOU GOING TO TAKE ME OUT OR DO YOU WANT ME TO DO IT HERE? The stomping front feet, demanding attention NOW! And, of course, the in my face his nose to my nose HELLO! ARE YOU LISTENING TO ME??!! He’s not spoiled. I’m just well trained.

  9. Elyse says:

    Those two are such characters.

    Lately Duncan has started a new technique — he climbs on top of me and groans when he wants to go outside. It is particularly terrific when I’m working from home and on a conference call … His timing is excellent. He groans immediately after a client has given me more work, and then I have to explain, really, it’s fine. I’ll do the work. I’m not sure they believe me though.

  10. Audrey says:

    Loved the 2nd picture of Penny with that look, perfectly captured with your lens. That is the look my senior yellow Lab gives me when she wants something, it’s saying “I’m starving, perishing here, why am I feeling this way?” That ‘panicky’ glint in her eyes says it all, doesn’t it?

  11. Luckily neither Jack or Maggie are very vocal. Maggie has NEVER made a sound she’s she got her 4+ years ago and Jack only barks occasionally. But they are adept at pacing. When dinner is due they pace – into my office and out and to the dinner bowl and back to my office and back to the living room and back to the dinner bowl…you get the idea.

  12. Emmadog says:

    We have the “looks” down, and Bailie sometimes will squeak.

  13. Victoria says:

    Muffin is a moan-yowler (no other way to say it)- she usually just does that when she wants a belly rub or chin rub. She barks when its time to potty. Rigby has a short quick bark that says hey mom did you forget i needed a treat – sometimes he catches you off guard with it. And yeah resistance is futile!

  14. Ogee says:

    They are just reminding you of who is really in charge…lest you forget. 🙂

  15. Hahaha. Harper Lee was a total complainer today on our walk. She let me know in no uncertain terms that the route I was taking was not the route she wanted to take. And I have the sore shoulder to prove it. Then she copped a major ‘tude when we stopped to take some photos. A man passing by said, “She’s not feeling it.” Even strangers can spot the canine complaint. 😉

  16. I use the dead-eye-stare for all occasions. It confuses Mom, although my messages seem perfectly clear to me.

    Love and licks,

  17. Jo Rhodes says:

    Sammy can do the Pathetic whine you have ever heard in your entire life. There’s also the Ewoof bark that means Hey, I’m talking to you!
    Dean just looks at me like he wonders how I got this far since I’m not that bright!
    Mind you, I feed and shelter these people for FREE.

  18. I have a female rednose Pit bull.
    She insists that dinner time is 5pm.
    I never get home til 7pm so I’m not sure where she gets her ideas.
    Needless to say, on weekends she’ll leave wherever she is and sit right next to me at 5pm on the dot. If I ignore her, she’ll start climbing on me. Then licking. Then pacing. Then she’ll lay down exhausted from all her attempts and exhale with a loud breath.

    A few minutes will pass then she’ll start all over again.

    When I can’t take any more I’ll get up, then she’ll growl while pacing as if to say, “What took you so long!!! “

    She’s such a drama queen.

  19. Those photos are priceless especially that last one of Penny lol

  20. hahaha mine complain a lot too.

  21. Kali stares like Eko and then makes this gurgling sound in her throat. If she doesn’t get what she wants she’ll eventually give up and move to a lying position with a deep sigh of disdain.

  22. harrispen says:

    Millie leaves most of the complaining to Walter in our house. Walter has a whine that is so soft you need really good hearing to recognize it. If you look at him you can see that he is whining because his cheeks puff out a little and you can watch him take a breath. Walter is also an amazing time keeper and lets us know when not only the dogs meals are supposed to be but gets worried if we don’t eat when he thinks we should too. Sometimes Walter’s protests just make me laugh. He will give up eventually if you ignore him.

    In the past we have had German Shepherd Dogs that we much more vocal about their protests.

    I’ve always enjoyed the repartee with all our dogs.


  23. Eve says:

    Yes we have a very VOCAL hound at this house when she thinks something is not arriving on time! Treats, when her boy is suppose to be walking her and not playing on his laptop to TIME TO EAT! It’s funny how they are.

  24. cassycass says:

    I don’t have dogs. I have birds so they show their protests by nipping (a light bite), screaming at the top of their lungs, running away or more like flapping/flying away lol, or I get the silent treatment where they turn around and give me their back lol then I’m really in trouble lol… Not sure which I prefer but I can definitely relate to this post!!

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