A woman has taken to Reddit to share how her dog has been altering her to a ‘stranger’ lurking in the corner of her house – but she refuses to believe there’s anything there
Image: Getty Images)
There’s no denying technology has changed how we navigate the world around us – but sometimes we wish we stayed ignorant to it to live a simpler life.
A dog owner has been left horrified after her dog started using talking buttons to warn her about a ‘stranger’ lurking in the corner of her living room.
Talking buttons for dogs have increased in popularity in recent years, with owners using them to better communicate with their pets.
Most owners start with a handful of buttons with simple words – such as ‘walk’, ‘food’ and ‘bed’ – and slowly add more complex words – including ‘outside’ and ‘hungry’ – later down the line.
Speaking to Reddit, a woman explained how she became “hooked” on her dog’s talking buttons so much so she introduced her bichon frise, called Gidget, to countless words over the space of a year.
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She said: “I taught my dog to talk – not with her voice but with her paws. I always felt she had a lot to say.
“When I saw videos on TikTok and Instagram of dogs who use programmed buttons to indicate their needs, I thought I might try it with Gidget.
“I bought a pack and recorded my voice on the buttons. I kept it simple at first. I gave her buttons to make requests and to ask for things like ‘outside’, ‘food’, ‘water’, ‘treat’, and ‘play’.
“After she had mastered those, I added more. I gave her options about where she wanted to go and what things she wanted to eat. She soon learned to pair the buttons up like ‘outside park, and ‘food chicken’.”
The woman ended up adding more “philosophical” words and taught her three-year-old dogs to “use concepts rather than nouns and words”.
“I wasn’t sure Gidget would be able to understand them, but she picked them up so quickly I wished I had introduced them sooner. We discussed the weather, dreams, emotions,” she added.
“She was soon able to tell me if she was happy or sad, tell me she’d had a bad dream, and ask for a particular toy for her playtime.
“I became obsessed. Her little brain was able to express so much more than I’d ever suspected. I added more buttons.
“Soon she was able to tell me her mood, ask pertinent questions with the ‘why’ button, make decisions based on what I suggested.”
After a year of using the buttons, Gidget’s communications with her owner took an unsettling turn as she started to warn her about dangers lurking in the house.
She said: “One day, she stopped playing with her favourite toy, looked into a corner, and walked over to her board. Very deliberately, she selected the button for ‘dark’.
“I laughed. It was daytime, and the sunlight was shining into every corner. ‘No dark’, I told her, ‘Light. It’s day time. No dark’.
“I used the buttons to reinforce my message – ‘No. Dark. Light. Day’. Gidget listened, but turned her little head back to the corner.
“After a few minutes she came back to her board. Time and again she would stamp on the button for ‘dark’ and I would look at where she looked and deny it.”
Forgetting all about the incident, the woman continued to add buttons and this time included names of people in their lives.
“I added more buttons, and with those buttons came more unease. She would press ‘Dark. Stranger. No. Cold’,” she added.
“I’d stand where she looked to show her it was okay. She would whine and cry and hit the ‘stranger’ button. It upset me a lot.
“After a while, Gidget stopped using her buttons. She regressed. She stopped asking ‘outside’ and would whine at the door instead.
“She stopped asking ‘food’ and would stand by her bowl and cry. I didn’t know where I had gone wrong.
“I stood in the corner she hated more often, trying to understand why she hated it. It was cold there, colder than anywhere else in our home. The more I stood there, the more she cried.”
Questioning what has “stressed out” her dog, the woman has asked users what she can do to ease her dog’s anxiety – and why she is so freaked out by the corner of the room.
One user said: “Dogs hear things we cannot hear, smell things we cannot smell and see things we cannot see.”
Another user said: “My old house all the animals would do the same thing, growl or hiss and stare at a specific spot in the house every time, once we moved they haven’t done it since. Super weird”
A third user added: “She sees spirts. She was trying to warn you but you didn’t listen to her.”
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