When Dogs TikTalk

Bunny, a talking dog, captures the hearts of social media users on one of the world’s most popular apps.

Aaron Abdo, Staff Writer

Imagine going to the vet and starting off your sentence with “My dog told me-” ?

Bunny, a 16-month-old sheepadoodle from Tacoma, Washington, is part of a research experiment conducted by scientists to discover how much of the English language a dog is capable of learning.

“WHAT! Oh my god…she can talk? How is that even possible?” said Brianna Cesse, a senior.

Scientists have provided Bunny with a Word Board, a device with a series of interlocking buttons that each have voice recordings. Bunny can use the buttons to converse with her owner, Alexis Devine, by asking questions and giving answers.

For instance, Devine can ask Bunny to sit by pressing the button that would tell Bunny the command. Bunny will then hear the button’s audio and perform the command that she heard.

“I found it interesting that a dog was THAT intelligent to understand what each button says and when to press it,” said Adriana Flores, this year’s Senior Class President.

Eventually, Bunny will associate words with actions, such as “walk,” or objects, such as “food.” With the buttons, she can ask for anything at any time with clear communication. However, there are moments when Bunny gets confused and starts pressing a lot of buttons to express her frustration.

Bunny’s popularity began when many videos of her using the Word Board made it onto users’ “For You Page” (a general explore page) on TikTok, one of the most popular apps in the world, with about 50 million active users daily. Now, Bunny’s videos are blowing up, and so is her fanbase.

A rendering of Bunny, the talking dog. (Illustrated by Aaron Abdo)

Since Bunny’s debut on the app, many people have purchased their own Word Boards to use in their households, all in the name of science! More dogs like Bunny will learn in the same way and can help with the research results.

“I don’t necessarily fear Bunny, but the fact that Bunny seems to understand key words and phrases definitely brings light to new revelations in the animal science world,” said Melissa Brache, a senior.

Bunny’s owner, Alexis Devine, has expressed in articles and interviews that she is still shocked that she receives millions of views on each video. However, the world is more shocked at the fact that Bunny has communicated some very interesting things.

The videos below show Bunny’s range of communication skills.

https://vm.tiktok.com/ZMJVEBAg9/

In this video, Bunny expresses the pain that she’s in to her owner. It is clear that Bunny understands the concept of pain and confusion when she doesn’t know what’s hurting her. This interaction is interesting and rare. Animals cannot always tell us exactly what’s wrong, but Bunny’s buttons has given her the power to do exactly that.

https://vm.tiktok.com/ZMJVEUtCQ/

Here is an example of one of Bunny’s tantrums. Sometimes, she can get overwhelmed because she is still learning. She might not be able to express and articulate what she wants to say. Her minor setbacks are still an important part of her learning journey.

https://vm.tiktok.com/ZMJVERjxY/

Finally, this is a very heartwarming TikTok where Bunny shows love for her owner and even demands a “Love You” back.

If you are interested in seeing more of this furry friend, feel free to visit Bunny’s TikTok account and Instagram: @What_About_Bunny