Back in 1946, a British fox terrier named Ben won international acclaim for his ability to say…

bentalks-croppedBack in 1946, a British fox terrier named Ben won international acclaim for his ability to say the phrase, “I want one”, evidently expressing desire for a cup of tea, a biscuit and other doggy treats. His voice was described as “dark brown” and “a rich baritone”, low-pitched and authoritative. Ben used different tones of voice in making his requests, “from the wheedling note to the gruff, demanding one”.

Two eminent veterinary surgeons, Professor W.C. Miller and Dr. W. Wooldridge, went to examine the talking dog. To them he duly made his usual remark, “I want one… oh-h-h… I want one”. Professor Miller observed: “In all my experience I have never heard a dog so nearly simulate the human voice.” Dr Wooldridge added: “The most amazing thing is that Ben does actually use his mouth and, to some extent, his tongue, to formulate and control the words. He cuts his words clearly, and appears to use his tongue to change from one word to another.” while the experts discussed his case in Mrs Brissenden’s front room, Ben romped around them with a ball.

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