Please 'Paws' for Some Doggy Dialogues

A Local Focus on Pets and Their People

Nancy Black and Sugar

"An animal's eyes," philosopher and theologian Martin Buber once observed, "have the power to speak a great language." A trenchant insight and certainly one germane to our darling dogs, those wonderful waggle-butts who possess some of the most eloquent eyes of the animal kingdom. But who is to translate fluent dog eyes into standard English? Fortunately, there are a couple of experts in town conversant in pooch patois. We asked them to tell us what our furry friends are saying.

Nancy Black, a realtor with Berkshire Hathaway Home Services, understands dogs. She has to. With more than 30 years' experience in the business, she has seen much more dog-centered home buying in the past few years.

“Clients will make decisions on how easily an older dog can access the steps to the backyard,” she says. “Or millennials are not having kids. Instead, they want enough yard for their dogs. Having had dogs most of my life has given me a perspective and awareness of the importance that a pet can make in a buyer or seller's life! They are an integral part of the family, and I give that high priority.”

To help her understand the pooches’ point-of-view, Nancy has her own dog, Sugar, a 2-year-old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. With Nancy translating, we asked Sugar a few questions.

Sugar is a pretty name, but does Nancy have a nickname for you?

She calls me Miss Lickey-Loo because I like to lick her face. It’s my way of showing affection.

What are the three favorite commands that you like to give to Nancy, Sugar?

The first one I like is “wash my face!” It’s our evening ritual, and I really love it. My person has also been trained to know what “rub my tummy” means. It puts me to sleep with all four paws in the air. Finally, there’s “sit down with me while I eat.” I don’t like to eat unless my person sits beside me. I might be a bit high-maintenance, but I give out so much love and affection!

What is your favorite activity with Nancy, Sugar?  

Oh, that’s easy: cuddle time! We Cavaliers are called “comfort dogs” because we’re quiet and gentle and calming. I’m the perfect furry friend for my person when she comes home from a hectic day in real estate!

Tim and Lisa Albonetti and Bella and Nash

Tim Albonetti is the founder and president of Pharmacy Care of Tennessee, and he and his wife, Lisa, have opened a family pharmacy in Nolensville. When their beloved dog of 14 years succumbed to cancer, Tim and Lisa found it challenging to agree on a new furry friend—so they got two. Meet Bella and Nash, the former a "Bichpoo," (Toy Poodle meets Bichon Frise), and the latter just rocking the whole Bichon Frise thing. Both were happy to speak about their loving forever home, but Bella did most of the talking since she’s a bit older.

How old are you, Bella?

I’m 19 months, and Nash is 17 months. We both joined the Albonetti family when we were 8 weeks old. 

Do Tim and Lisa have any nicknames for you?

They call me “mean girl,” but that’s only because I like to play fight. I yap at my people when they stop! I guess I’m a bit of a diva.

What do you and Nash like to say to your people?

Nash likes to say, “Let me outside so I can run and play.” But we both say, “Give me kisses, and give me more peanut butter, please!”

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