Stella the dog lives with a speech-language pathologist and has been using a soundboard to “say” several dozen words, raising hopes that someday the show “Dog With A Blog” may come to life. Plus: Quilty the cat likes to spend his nights freeing the other cats at the animal shelter.

A speech pathologist taught her dog Stella to ‘speak’ (CNN)

Sly Escape Artist Shelter Cat ‘Quilty’ Who Will Not Be Contained Keeps Freeing His Cat Comrades (TIME)

Backing Cool Weird Awesome on Patreon is animal-friendly. So to speak. 

They just released a movie trailer for the reboot of the Scooby Doo franchise, introducing the younger generation to the world’s most legendary talking cartoon dog.

It’s very timely, because there is apparently an actual talking dog in real life – sort of.

Stella the dog lives with Christina Hunger, a speech-language pathologist. She’s used to using alternative ways to communicate such as soundboards, where people can select pictures or words from a screen or a set of buttons and the device says them out loud.

As Hunger explains, she’s been working with Stella since she was a puppy to work a custom soundboard with a couple dozen words on it.

And she’s convinced Stella is not only using the soundboard to express herself, she’s doing it in a pretty complex way, sometimes using multiple words in a row.

Now I’m a podcast host, not an expert on animal language development.

I’d like to see some research on what Stella’s actually doing when she pushes the buttons on her soundboard.

But we already know humans aren’t the only creatures that have language, or pieces of it. Gorillas can learn American Sign Language, bats can argue with each other, and parrots can swear.

But if research says Stella really is talking, this could be pretty useful for pets and their humans alike. And in time, maybe we could bring that show Dog With A Blog to life!

Stella the dog seems to be a talker, but Quilty the cat lets his actions speak for him.

He’s been living at an animal shelter in Houston, and while there he’s taken to freeing the other cats from their cages at night.

The staff tries to keep him under wraps but as they say “Quilty will not be contained.”

So if you decide to take him home, don’t let him anywhere near the deadbolts.