or, I should say, understand Greek. Probably. Greek dogs and Cypriot dogs from the Greek-Cypriot side must understand Greek. They do, after all, get spoken to in Greek.
I met two new dogs yesterday. They are beagles. One is sixteen and considers himself above understanding anything except those commands which are to his benefit. This is terribly sensible of him. Why do anything you do not want to do in old age?
The other is about sixteen months old. She is anxious to please - and knows which side her bones are to be found on. She also likes to escape for the occasional mad dash down the road. It is a little disconcerting for the humans she lives with. The humans in question have only had her for a little under six weeks but they were puzzled by her behaviour because, although she appeared to have settled in well with them, she was not the usually obedient dog they had been led to believe she would be.
"Where did she come from?"
"Friends of our son. They had to move unexpectedly. They could not keep her."
I was left not much the wiser but well licked by the dog.
It was a little later in the conversation that I became aware of the fact that these people were Greek. Ah. I have about six words of Greek but they are sometimes useful. One of them is the Greek word for "come". I picked that up from my sister's Greek mother-in-law. She used to say it to my nephews when they were small.
I try it on the dog - who immediately trots over to me from about two metres away. I reward her with a pat and she settles down by my feet. I hate to disappoint her. All I can say after this are things like "Good morning.", "How are you?" and "Thankyou." They are all quite useful in their place (although my pronunciation is appalling) but they are not much help when having a conversation with a dog. What is more she must learn English. Nobody here speaks Greek.
Well, perhaps the dog does.