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Non-Verbal Communication

Non-Verbal Communication

Leigh Alexander's picture

Relating to the concept Anne explored in her post, I have seen dogs intereact with and understand humans in the way that Donna Haraway described, and my interactoions with my dog seem to have fashioned a more two-wayed communication than your confusing interaction with the cows.  Back home I have a 120 pound Golden Retriever named Max.  So many poeple harp on him for being a big, doofy dog but in truth, he is quite sentient. I'm sure a lot of people with dogs have noticed this, but Max always knows when someone is upset, and when they are, he walks ovet to them and plops on top of their lap as if he were a tiny lapdog instead of being a creature that weighs more than I do. He'll just sit there panting on your leg, and being adorable despite his massive size.  Conversely, Max also knows when he's done something wrong. Whenever we get home and he runs immediately to hide beneath the kitchen table we know that he's done something that he's not proud of.  You can see it, too, in his body language, as he squishes himself underneath our little table, making himself as small as possible, and puts his head beneath his paws. In this way, we communicate nonverbally, but have gained an understanding of each other, and each other's feelings. 


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Different from Green’s and Leigh’s with animals, my non-verbal communication is actually with a human. A baby! Quite often I encounter babies in their mommy’s chest or in a stroller when in the elevator or waiting in line. They are the cutest thing in the world! Instantaneously and spontaneously, my maternal love arises. I can not control myself not to tickle them: pop my eyes as horrifying as possible, or make funny facial expression, or just simply smile at them. And those cuties stare at me curiously with their lively black eyes and smile back at me.