Three years of public school French have enriched my life. I can go to any patisserie in Paris, say, "Je veux" and point-making the biggest croissant in the case mine. I am not able to carry on more than a one-sided conversation, centered around my own selfish (and often food based) demands but that is how most native English speakers treat language in America, so I figure I even out the scale.
No, the real linguist of the family is Viggo. By way of being a dachshund, Viggo will tilt his head when Peter and I speak and stare directly at us with his unblinking round eyes. He lives in a constant stay of awareness (disproving any ludicrous theories that napping is for the lazy.) When we talk he searches our words for meaning. He desperately wants to comprehend, which is obviously why he was built with such a long neck to crane. He listens, quietly, for trigger words. These include: go, out, trip, Sammy/Rocky (best pup mates), treat, and walk. As soon as one of those words is released into his ears he starts to party. It starts with running a victory lap around our place and is followed with him lunging up our legs-as if to say, "did YOU hear what I get to do?"
As a modern pup mom, I am very proud of his ability to process information but I am also riddled with guilt that I am not doing enough for him. Should I be looking for bone scented flash cards? Should I even be speaking English to him-what if he prefers Japanese? These are questions that will just have to remain unanswered for now.
I would share these fears with anyone that is looking for a dachshund to parent as its not easy having gifted child.