I love dogs as much as the next guy, but I know they can't talk.

Can they understand us? Sure! My dog proves every day that she has a good sense of what I'm communicating with her, even in conversational tones. But something I've noticed some dog owners do is treat their dogs like human children, urging them to respond to my questions as if I asked the dog directly.

"Have a good walk, you guys!" I'll say, holding the door for a neighbor leaving our building. "Say thank you," the neighbor says to the dog, pausing and watching him as if he'll miraculously utter the first words ever spoken by a dog.

Don't tell your dog to say something. I guarantee they'll remain speechless.

While we're at it, let's talk about the flip side of that - don't ask my dog non-rhetorical questions! She won't answer, because SHE'S A DOG. Don't ask her what her name is while you're petting her, because then I feel like I'm interrupting your conversation when I answer on her behalf. Don't ask her what she's up to today; she has no idea and also COULD NOT TELL YOU IF SHE DID.

Don't get me wrong; I talk to my dog at length every day. I'll even ask her questions and interpret her eye contact in response. But the difference is that there's not another perfectly eloquent human standing there who I'm actively ignoring to pretend like a dog can answer my questions.

So... stop. And thank you!

Lou, Townsquare Media