Amazon EchoFrom the series: Life on Dog Hill

We’ve acquired a new piece of technology in our home, the Amazon Echo. It was Hubby’s idea to add another electronic device to our collection of computers, iPhones, iPads, iPods, and Kindles. His reasoning was that the Echo, Alexa, could play more than a million songs from Amazon’s Prime music list. Everyone needs access to a million songs, right? What we never imagined, however, was that Alexa (technical diva that she is) would help us better understand our 15-month-old West Highland Terrier, Bonnie Belle.

It was noticeable immediately. Our highly-active, still-like-a-puppy-Westie was chillin’ within a few seconds of the crooning voice of French singer-composer Charles Trenet performing La Mer. Perhaps in her doggie dreams, Bonnie Belle was on the Mediterranean at the stern of a yacht (of course it’s a yacht) with the wind whistling through her lovely white coat.

For fun we started calling her Bonbon, with our best French accent. It was a big joke until we realized she refused to respond to anything else. Bonnie Belle is now officially Bonbon.

Clearly, our West Highland Terrier, whose bloodline originated from Scotland and whose birth was in the state of Virginia, self-identifies as French. Being a former diversity practitioner, I understand and appreciate the importance of honoring how others show up, even when it’s different than what one might expect. And that goes for my dogs, too.

Interestingly, a little Wikipedia research revealed that early in the Westie’s history, James VI of Scotland, who reigned between 1567 and 1625, gifted a dozen Westies to the Kingdom of France. Needless to say, Bonbon must have come from the French line.

Yesterday Hubby took Bonbon to the groomers and carefully explained the delicacy of her situation.

“She now goes by Bonbon,” he said. “She’ll ignore you unless you call her name properly. The more French you can sound, the more respect she will give you.”

They looked skeptical but tried the name for practice. Bonbon’s ears perked up immediately.

“Oh, and if you want her to sit nicely while you groom her, I recommend you play French music in the background.” 

Amazon Echo

Click on the lovely Bonbon to see a video of how content she is to the sounds of French music. In this clip you hear Chantel Chamberland’s version of Bonbon’s favorite song.

That didn’t happen.

As a result, Bonbon had to be muzzled to receive a proper grooming. She was not happy when Hubby picked her up at the end of the day.

This morning Bonbon is feeling better. We began the day with Alexa playing Chantel Chamberland’s version of Bonbon’s favorite song, La Mer. See how happy our little Bonbon is in this video (much to the indignation of our min-pin)!

With more than a million songs for Alexa to choose from, we’re listening to La Mer over, and over, and over.

Well, at least the Westie is happy!

Pin It on Pinterest