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  • Micheal Shallop

Woo-woo...

This story is about my good girls, and boy, and learned behavior, as opposed to genetic disposition or "instinct". And, hopefully, this story also explains why I love my good girl Gracie so much and why she's the "chop" for Good Girl Jewelry. But first, some history.


Meet Einstein:

Einstein was my Siberian Husky, born in 2001, whom I had for just over 15 years. This picture was taken in 2012 and he passed-away in 2016.


What's remarkable about Huskies is their ability to "talk" instead of bark. They, for lack of a better term, "woo-woo" instead of barking. Whenever Einstein got excited, or wanted something, he would woo-woo at me. If I stepped on his tail, that was also a woo-woo, except not a happy one. And I got to look at his back as he cussed me out in Husky.


In late 2012, I got Bella, my German/Belgian Shepard mix. This is the first time that Bella met Einstein:


Now, German, and even Belgian, Shepards *do* bark. A lot. To the point of distraction and, sometimes, frustration so overwhelming that they make their owners speak in tongues...


Bella, as a pupper, learned how to "woo-woo" from Einstein. Something that definitely was not inherent in her breed. The first time I came home and both dogs woo'd at me, I about fell over! Bella's woo-woo was much deeper in pitch, gravelly almost, and the more excited she was, the longer she would sustain the woo. She could hold a note longer than Ella Fitzgerald.


Einstein, as I wrote, passed-away in 2016. About three months later, I happened onto Gracie, a yellow Labrador who, for obvious reasons, I immediately fell in-love with and acquired:



Gracie never knew, or met, Einstein having been born after his death. She quickly became inseparable from Bella and, one day, when I came home from work, they both greeted me at the top of the stairs. Bella woo-woo'd at me and then Gracie, who had been watching Bella, looked at me, half-closed her eyes, and proceeded to give me the cutest woo-woo I've ever seen!


This is learned behavior! (Pygmalion moment!) Bella, learned it from Einstein for whom it was natural and passed it on Gracie. Now, Gracie woo-woo's whenever she's happy, or wants to generally make her feelings known to me.


Anyone who knows the Labrador breed will tell you that Labs are barkers. Gracie will still bark when she gets over-excited, but her main form of communication, now, is the woo-woo.


Bella passed away, from cancer, in early 2020 leaving Gracie behind to be pack with me. Until Bella's death, for the first three years of Gracie's life, the two were, like I said, inseparable.



This photo was taken in 2019, my last Jeep trip to Arkansas before moving back to Mexico in the same year.


One March morning in 2020, when I let them in from their morning potty break, Bella turned around and gave me the longest woo-woo I'd heard in a while. She'd been moving slower lately, and was acting out of sorts. We'd been going back-and-forth to the vet but still didn't have a handle on what was wrong with her. But this particular morning, Bella gave me the longest, strongest, woo-woo I'd seen in months; the cry seemed to just go on forever! And I got the impression from her that she was happy, and she was excited to have breakfast, and that she loved me, and she loved Gracie, and even the entire world! And she passed away less than four hours later.


Gracie woo-woos at me every day. For one reason or another, being a happy girl, a good girl, she woo-woos because that's how she's learned to express her happiness.


Every time she does, I see (hear) my Bella and my Einstein in song. I celebrate that I can still, years after Einstein's passing, smile with remembrance of my dogs who meant everything to me and yet were generations apart.





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