To squee or not to squee

27 Feb

Last March I adopted a puppy and named him Porter.

Recently, we were playing and I realized just how ridiculous the things are that I say to him. For example, this morning when I woke and saw my dog, I changed my speaking tone and said, “Ooohh, look at hiiiiimmm! Hims a widdle boy here! Hims a boy here with me and I love hiiimmmms face!” Then, I kissed his little nose and hugged his sweet head. I don’t know why I say those things, but I am acutely aware that applying this to any other situation would make me absolutely nuts. This is him by the way:


My cuddly, sweet fwiend and his cutest puppy face!


This, I learned, is called pet-directed speech and there is research that investigates features which differentiate the two speech registers, neutral and intimate, within different constellations of speakers and addressees (such as infant-, pet-, foreigner- and lover- directed speech). Usually we change the way we speak without even thinking about it, but it’s only acceptable in certain situations and is a very funny concept.

This is how Porter responds when I speak with a silly voice:



He either loves it or it’s driving him insane–I can’t decide. I have a friend who used to make a high-pitched sound and iterate something that sounded like “SQQUUEEEGGIIEE!” whenever she saw her dog. Most girls I know do the sounds and/or say nonsense things when it’s a small or baby animal. I imagine that if there was a show that consisted only of baby animals playing with each other, that millions of ladies would be in their homes just making sounds. I would get nothing done. I would watch and clap and jump like a damn idiot, despite being a sarcastic, grown ass woman. I try to hide this side of myself, but if you were to hand me a puppy and a cookie (I like cookies), I would absolutely lose it.

Men are a different story. If they choose to talk to animals with voices, it tends to be a dumb or dorky sounding voice that is meant to be the voice of the animal and it is often accompanied by sound effects. Men really are just large kids, after all. Out of context, how funny would it be to see guys doing that kind of crap?  You know, like in the workplace? Or while watching football? I’d pay to see that shit.

So, I’m curious, do you talk to animals in a silly voice? What do you say? Does the animal have a goofy nickname? Porter’s nickname is “honey bear” and when he is wet he is  “little baby seal.” I did not choose these names, they just came out of my mouth one day.

10 Responses to “To squee or not to squee”

  1. Pigeon Heart at 1:52 pm #

    Ha!! I love that image of the front face of all the houses/ apt’s lifted and a peek inside at all the women poking around making silly sounds to their furry babies. Yes I totally do this. I have lots of names for my little baby beast. Great post. Way to bring the knowledge!


  2. RFL at 2:22 pm #

    Haha! I would pay to see men doing this too. My lab’s nickname (Frankie) is Frank n beans and my daughter just calls him E while she bounces on his head and he waits patiently for the cookies to fall from her hands. Great post!


    • La La at 2:39 pm #

      Aw Frankie! I love the way dogs can be so patient with children while they pull on them etc. It’s very sweet.


  3. Kristin at 3:54 pm #

    I don’t have any pets but I can relate because I have a 3 year boy old I call “sweetie booboos”. When he is naughty I call him “stinky booboos”. I didn’t plan these names either, they just came out and I can’t stop using them!


    • La La at 6:39 pm #

      Haha, stinky booboos. I hope I get to meet him someday.


  4. D at 4:40 pm #

    From a man’s perspective, when we have a particular liking for a lady, and she is not afraid to use her animal voice in front of us, often times we tend to find this voice genuinely most endearing and rather cute.

    When we hear it from other women, just like with any aspect of life, we usually tend not to notice it all that much.

    But… Then there are those rare exceptions. The woman who’s animal voice can not be ignored. You all know what I am talking about. The woman who’s animal voice sound’s like the combination of a hamster mating call, and nails being dragged along a black board.


  5. sweetmother at 4:06 pm #

    i nominated you for the ‘awesome blog content’ award thingy today. deets are on my blogs ‘blog awards’ page if you like. the award itself is yours if you want it – if not, no harm, no foul. just a link, really, to say i like your content. – mother


  6. Christopher De Voss at 8:37 pm #

    My dog is retarded.


    • La La at 8:42 pm #

      You’re dog is a little bit retarded and that’s okay.


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