It’s late at night. My humans are asleep. I’ve eaten all the kibble, lost all my toys to the couch monster, rummaged every possible hiding place for scraps… I knew I would reach this moment, the one where day turns to night and fun turns to humdrum and I have no other choice but to do what every other dog seems to be doing: start a blog.
I cannot lie. The whole “dog with a blog” thing is a movement, and it’s taking the canine places where no scent has taken him before. I know probably about five Frenchies with a Corgi agent and a closet brimming with everything from flower crowns to bedazzled cones.
But all discussions about the rise of doggy fashion “maven-ism” aside, the Internet has afforded us an undeniably powerful platform, one where the dog’s woof can be used to call attention to everything from the best rescue organizations to the finest treats, the coolest hang-out spots, the most drool-worthy products… And that’s what I’m in it for, why I’m bothering to clack my clumsy paws on these tiny keys: to keep furthering the extraordinariness of the“Big Woof.” What human doesn’t want to hear more from their best friend, anyway?
Let me take this moment to both introduce myself and tackle a polarizing controversy in the dog community. Hullo humans! I’m Barkley… Wait, why didn’t I type “hoomanz?”
The whole “human vs. hooman” issue is akin to the “they’re vs. there vs. their” discussion amongst homo sapiens. It seems that 1 in every 5 dog account on social media will say “hooman” in its bio or in its first tweet. Some dogs won’t even touch the term. Others will say it any chance they get. What is the phenomenon all about?
Well, I’ll start by saying that we’re still trying to figure out what, if anything, we’re supposed to call you guys. Are you our legal guardians? Our pals? Some dude or dudette who hogs our couch? Or… Worse yet… I hesitate to even entertain this as an option… Do you OWN us? What’s the deal?
That being said, it’s safe to say that there seems to be no official title for humans amongst dogs. So it’s pretty understandable that how we spell human has been up to debate since the word even broke the language barrier. I myself always pronounce human like humans and spell it like humans. It’s simple for me. Almost all my colleagues at the Academy of Bark University say and spell it the same way.
But I’ve noticed something… When my friends try to speak TO humans by saying, for example, “Hullo!” they almost always follow it with “Hooman!” or “Hoomanz!” It’s as if their tone immediately shifts in the presence of their bipedal counterparts!
I didn’t understand this until one night I curled up on the edge of the bed and realized something… We only say “Hoomanz” to humans because our sole purpose is to make our best friends smile. If we simply said, “Hey human,” it’d be disappointing, rude even! In contrast, when we say something like, “Hullo Hooman! I wub you,” we’re communicating while still playing the role of their endearing furry pal who licks away their tears after scarfing down their dinner.
So the next time you hear a dog use the word, remember that it’s an act of love but also that there are more pressing canine matters afoot. And it is me, Barkley the dog, who will be standing by with a blog post about it.