What About Bunny: The Power of Canine Communication with Alexis DevineMar 30, 2022
They're some of our favorite 4-legged friends, but how much can dogs really understand humans? In today’s episode, Sharon speaks with Alexis Devine, human to Bunny, the sheepadoodle whose viral videos showing off her FluentPet communication skills delight viewers all over the world. Outside of memorizing over 100 English language words, Bunny often uses her word buttons to create conversation, putting thoughts together in surprising, delightful, and incredibly intelligent ways. Sharon asks Alexis about her process of working with Bunny (and her new puppy, Otter) to account for different language processing speeds, to create an effective communication vocabulary, and to make new discoveries together.
Links to Full Episode:
About the Guest:
Alexis Devine is an artist and entrepreneur hailing from Seattle, Washington. Her sheepadoodle Bunny, known as "What About Bunny" on social media became an internet sensation in the fall of 2020 when videos of her communicating with assistive technology from FluentPet went viral. Bunny now has over one hundred buttons individually programmed with various words that she uses to communicate how she feels, what she wants, to express when she is in pain and even to chat about her dreams. She is part of an ongoing canine cognition research study at the Comparative Cognition Lab at UCSD. They have recently added a standard Poodle to the family named Otter who Alexis is training with the same system. Alexis' goal is to further our understanding of the power of connection and importance of two-way communication, meeting her dogs where they are and understanding them on their terms first to facilitate trust and promote an environment that supports them as the incredible creatures they are.