Last weekend in the "honourable mentions" I included a fascinating article about Bunny, the talking dog.  Bunny is a dog that uses a special apparatus that consists of buttons on the floor that she can press with her paws. Pressing a particular button will produce a particular word. The disconcerting thing is that Bunny has a tendency to push buttons that make coherent sentences or questions that she's never heard before, and that she has done so so many times in contexts that make eminent sense, that it is clear she is trying to communicate. It would appear even that she is asking some pretty "metaphysical" questions, not only about herself, but why she's "here."  We'll get back to this whole subject, because it's the center of today's high octane speculation.

I suppose that talking about a dog pressing buttons might seem a bit "indulgent", but in a world where the leadership class of the West appears to have lost all self-awareness and to have become incapable of coherent speech (q.v. Bai Den Dzhao, any recent public statement), a dog apparently forming sentences and asking "Platonic" questions I think is pretty newsworthy, and worth some high octane speculation time. And besides, most regular readers of this website are well aware of my fascination with animals and the apparent intelligence and emotional life in higher beasts: dogs, cats, horses, dolphins, birds (corvids, parrots, &c), and of course, one of my favorites, octopuses.  I've recounted, for example, the incident with my friend Dr. Scott D. DeHart's African Gray parrot, Murray. During a period when we were sharing an apartment, I would drive his youngest son to school (Scott left early as he was teaching school).  Murray's cage was right next to the front door, and on the way out, I used to always say, "Ok Murray, I'll be right back; you be a good bird," or something similar.

One day, as we were leaving, I turned to Murray as Scott's son was looking on, but before either of us could say anything, Murray said (I kid you not), "I'll be a good bird."

Our jaws were on the floor, and for very good reason.  This was a sentence Murray had never heard before. He simply composed it on the spot for the occasion, and used it in the proper context.  I tried to put the whole unnerving incident out of my mind, until another incident with Murray brought me up short. Being a smoker, I would also step outside to smoke a cigarette. Shortly after this incident, something began to happen: I'd get outside, light my cigarette, and take that first wonderful drag, and... the phone would ring. Angrily, I'd snuff out the cigarette, run back into the apartment as fast as my overweight frame could waddle, and answer the phone, only to have the line go dead. This went on for a couple of days, and then something else: As soon as I'd enter the bathroom to relieve myself, again, as regular as clockwork, the phone would ring. And it would continue to ring until I came tearing out of the bathroom trying not to severely injure myself as I zipped myself up and waddled to the phone... only to find the line dead once again.

I would probably have gone on like this, until the telltale laughter from Murray after one such incident gave his whole sinister game away:

Parrot: 2  Supposedly Intelligent Human Being: 0

Since then I've really had my eyes peeled for similar stories of animal intelligence and, in this case, of an animal playing a game.  There are endless videos on YouTube of such things, of crows solving intricate puzzles (using tools no less); of gorillas speaking sign langauge, of octopuses learning by simply watching other octopuses solving problems, and, yes, of African Gray Parrots forming their own sentences and talking.

And now along comes Bunny the dog, who is asking the sorts of metaphysical questions one does not normally associate with canines (or even, as we've come to learn to our chagrin in the past couple of centuries, some humans... this article courtesy of MANY of you who read last week's honourable mentions):

Bunny "The Talking Dog": Self-Aware Canine Asks About the Meaning of Life

Here is the "problem", and see if you can spot what caught my eye:

Bunny the Dog is famous on social media because of her ability to talk by using buttons, as reported by Insider. But recently, the talking dog blurted out a surprising question about her existence. Salon reports that Bunny looked into the mirror and asked who herself is.

People were astonished as the Sheepadoodle breed asked about the meaning of life through her augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) device.

Through the development of her communication, Bunny seemed to be interested in her sense of self. Since then, the AAC helped her and other dogs exchange words with humans, but this time, she asked a different one from her usual conversation.

Pressing the AAC button consecutively, Bunny constructed a sentence: "Dog what dog is?" Amazed, Bunny's human parent Alexis Devine said that the question pushed her to add more buttons for the words "same", "different", and "animal."


A combination of over 3,000 dogs and cats are enrolled in this project, including Bunny. Most of the results from the observation suggest that cats and dogs, in fragments, can talk.

OK, I suppose that in itself is not really big news to anyone who has owned a cat or a dog, and seen first hand their ability to understand words.  Why should we be surprised that - given appropriate tools - they would use them to communicate to us?   But there's more:

According to Rossano, self-awareness is not the initial target of the study. But considering the development from various subjects, language and self-awareness have added curiosity to research. With that said, Rossano shared that the new concern of the study is whether dogs can recognize a sense of time, such as the past, present, and future.


For example, even though dogs have difficulty identifying themselves in the popular mirror test, a recent study published on Scientific Reports entitled "Dogs (Canis familiaris) recognize their own body as a physical obstacle" suggests that dogs have the capability to identify self-awareness through considering their own bodies as an obstacle.

As one might have guessed, it is this which caught my attention, plus the fact that Bunny at least appears to be asking "the Platonic questions": what am I, why am I here, who am I?"  and perhaps the most important question, "What is an 'I'?" In some past blogs and in some vidchats I've remarked often on the need to break out of this post-Cartesian binary world of the equations we've all absorbed from the wider (and mostly western) culture of "human=intelligent & self-aware, everything else=not intelligent nor self-aware".  I've remarked that St. John of Damascus once used the term "hypostasis" not only to denote individual human persons, but also particular animals (this horse and that horse), and so on. The story of Noah's ark is not simply the story about the survival of humanity, but of animals.

All this brings me to my two off-the-end-of-the-twig high octane speculations of the day: firstly, what if our tests of "self-awareness" in dogs, cats...whatever... are simply the wrong test? What if our obsession with mirrors and so on is more of a comment on the human predisposition toward narcissism rather than self-recognition and awareness? What if it is a pathology as much as it is an indicator of self-awareness? What if animals do not respond to the "mirror test" because they think it's rather silly and uninteresting?

Don't laugh, because in my Shiloh's case, I noticed exactly this behaviour. The big mirror in my master bathroom is visible from my bed.  The first few nights I had her, she would bark at her reflection in the mirror. On one occasion, as she sat on the bed barking at her reflection, something amazing happened: she cocked her head in that wonderful way that dogs do, and then, cocked it in the opposite direction.  And immediately the barking at her reflection stopped, and has not resumed.  It's as if, in that moment, she understood that the dog in the mirror was her.  At that moment, she lost interest, and has not barked at herself since.

This leads my to my second high octane speculation of the day, one with much more profound implications, one sparked by Bunny's metaphysical questions, and by all those videos of octopuses watching each other solve problems, of crows solving intricate multple-step puzzles (and using tools to do it), of African Gray Parrots forming sentences and asking questions, of gorillas using sign language, and add to this all those stories of saints with their bears, or befriending lions, or surrounded by wild birds who seem to flock to them: or of those videos of pigeons attacking 5G towers and removing the wires: something is going on in the animal world, but what? And my speculative answer is, what if something is causing them to "wake up" for whatever reason, to take the next big "cosmic leap" in intelligence? What if, in response to humanity's insanity in trying to develop artificial intelligence, this is nature's way of balancing things out?  What if, indeed, armies are being raised right under our noses, and we're too stupid to see it?

See you on the flip side...


Posted in

Joseph P. Farrell

Joseph P. Farrell has a doctorate in patristics from the University of Oxford, and pursues research in physics, alternative history and science, and "strange stuff". His book The Giza DeathStar, for which the Giza Community is named, was published in the spring of 2002, and was his first venture into "alternative history and science".

No Comments

  1. mesolad on December 6, 2023 at 6:14 am

    I might expand this topic toward what is used to be called “animal communication” : that is to say : telepathy with animals : I have known of at least two persons which are pretty good at that :

    Anna Breitenbach

    Laila del Monte

    and this opens a lot of topics, telepathy being one of them …

  2. Cathbad on December 3, 2023 at 12:59 pm

    Great. Maybe someday we will have more intelligent conversations with dogs than SOME humans…

  3. enki-nike on December 3, 2023 at 8:42 am

    Good. Now we can have our pets registered to vote.

  4. FiatLux on November 29, 2023 at 4:48 am

    This blog post, as well as the comments, contains some of the most interesting speculations I’ve ever read! The possibility that we’re nearing the threshold of the next “cosmic leap” in intelligence — and that it might involve the animal kingdom — is fascinating to contemplate. Maybe it’s part of nature’s “snap back” as the rubber band of human insanity is pulled ever closer to the breaking point.

  5. Winston1984 on November 28, 2023 at 6:09 pm

    This is actually not a new idea….Welsh author Arthur Machen wrote a short story published in 1917 based “precisely” on your speculation entitled “The Terror”….and it’s kind of creepy.

  6. anakephalaiosis on November 28, 2023 at 5:32 am

    [This is extremely advanced shamanism.]

    The Holy Grail skull cup symbolises the Scythian animal army, when the proto-Scythian consciously transforms himself into an animal, which is why Judas, the informer, ran panicky away, at the Last Supper.

    Originally, Yahweh was a delimiter on Elohim, like reason is a delimiter on unrestrained logic, the Occam’s Razor, and, technically, one could say, that the Holy Grail skull cup is a delimiter on zero.

    The use of delimiter introduces an epistemological paradox, which, when directed back onto itself, makes the mind explode, which in turn allows expansion, into all directions simultaneously.

    Breaking the 7th seal, unleashes the animal instinct.


    Hooves of thundering ground,
    in drumbeating sound,
    of heartfelt ride
    was pride,
    breaking Assyrian bound.

    When horse and man are one,
    warfare is already won,
    as voice of land
    will stand,
    when all is said and done.

    Blessed, by his four feet friend,
    captivity came to an end,
    because wisdom
    in freedom,
    broken heart will mend.

    • anakephalaiosis on November 28, 2023 at 6:18 am

      BTW, I use the Occam’s Razor indiscriminately, because I know, that it automatically forces my subconsciousness to bring forth reason, in response, which is how, and why, I am a bard.

      The lightning logic is followed, by a thundering reason, in an echoing response, which is how Elohim is followed, by Yahweh, in response, which balances the scales, in Bronze Age politics.

      As a druid, my higher self is a delimiter on my ego, which means, that the flesh tent is a mere vehicle for the spirit, which is, like the Russian poet said, a “cloud in trousers”.

      The Scythian Holy Grail skull cup is a druidic curse cast, against Assyrian NATO empires, and Catholic EU crusades.

      • anakephalaiosis on November 28, 2023 at 8:21 am

        BTW, mathematically, division by zero, produces breakdown of logic, with unpredictable results, allowing expansion into all directions simultaneously.

        That is why, breaking the 7th seal, unleashes the animal instincts, because social conditioning is based on logic, that, when suffering a collapse, removes all moral delimiters.

        At the Last Supper, Judas ran panicky, when the Great Zero was introduced, as a divisor in a skull cup, which meant the collapse of the Assyrian loyalists’ narrative.

        In Scythio-Christianity, when logic collapses, a new reason begins.

        • anakephalaiosis on November 28, 2023 at 8:49 am

          BTW, in that sense, Judeo-Christianity becomes a counterculture, an attempt, by Roman logic, to get a handle, on the advent of Scythio-Christianity, that was eroding the empire, stirring up provinces, by a new template, that was Adon of Elohim-Yahweh, or Odin of Will & Woe, in a tribal reboot.

  7. Brendan on November 28, 2023 at 2:35 am

    It would not surprise me if cats and / or dogs could succinctly make words with context rather than just parroting. And as far as cats go they are already superior to us, getting them to confirm it through some device would only confirm that thesis already. And cats in charge? How much worse could it get?

    • rohat77 on November 28, 2023 at 5:59 pm

      Yep. My cat Red already stole my favorite chair. Took it over! Cats have a difficult time colluding with one another though… They’re mostly solo operators, so, we have a pretty good chance against them. Plus, we have debit cards to buy Temptations treats! LOL

  8. marcos toledo on November 27, 2023 at 7:07 pm

    Anything be it fauna or flora if it is alive must be conscience it must be aware of its surroundings. it’s a matter of life or death to know your neighbor is a friend or foe. the AI is a modern Golem a soulless pseudo-intelligence monument to the West’s stupidity.

    • rigdzin on November 28, 2023 at 9:55 pm

      I agree marcos toledo.

  9. BlueWren on November 27, 2023 at 5:24 pm

    I’m reminded of the magnificent animal army scene in Avatar fighting against corporate and greedy humans.

  10. Annette on November 27, 2023 at 5:04 pm

    What if it’s always been there, animal self-awareness that is, but that we humans have always been too self-obsessed to notice until recently? Maybe our becoming more self-aware ourselves allows us to be more aware of the consciousness of other beings.

  11. johnycomelately on November 27, 2023 at 4:25 pm

    Boy oh boy, saints and animals are a whole treasure trove of stories.
    My favourite is the hyena who got a Saint to heal its blind pup and bought a sheepskin to thank the Saint.

    Interestingly the Russian child seer Vacheslav said in the last days all of the animal kingdom would turn on humans.

  12. Robert Barricklow on November 27, 2023 at 12:33 pm

    I just didn’t buy it.
    But now, I’ll get to see what maybe behind it.
    To the blog.

    Very interesting possibility.
    Nature responding the threat to “natural” life?
    Which might explain a human’s natural abhorrence to AI.[like myself]

    Then there’s the topological metaphor.
    A possible “bent” tool; that’s engineered to fight AI?
    And does AI know this, from an “ancient” memory?

    Lots of interesting questions; spring from Dr. Farrell’s high-octane speculations.

  13. TheThinker101 on November 27, 2023 at 12:03 pm

    I think you’re right !!!

    What if this is a natural process?
    what if our consciousness brought it forth ?

    where there is life there is soul where there is soul there is mind – isn’t that the Giordano Bruno truth ?

    1.this is happening naturally by way of the earth by some hitherto unknown mechanism.
    2. this is happening by force by way of a technology
    3. this is happening by humanity’s global consciousness connectivity by some unknown mechanism

    this is extraordinary ! i gotta follow this one.

  14. Kevin Ryan on November 27, 2023 at 11:42 am

    Armies? Or maybe replacements. Animals have been witness to humanity’s insanity and lack of situational awareness manifested by our destruction of the environment and web of life on this blue dot in space. Whether you believe in human caused climate change, or prefer HARP and directed energy weather manipulations, there are still the toxins, plastics, ever expanding human population, the annihilation of other species we call farming and fishing in addition to the mass extinctions that are collateral damage caused by our way of life, and the massive destruction of animal habitat. People complain about the destruction of homes and businesses in Gaza but we do that all the time to the homes of animals as standard operating procedure. I doubt animals are going to be an effective army – that seems to be a human pathology, creating armies. But is the Great Spirit grooming our replacements? Let me know when Bunny asks, “Are you people f***ing nuts?” I suspect she’s going to need a couple extra buttons.

    • rigdzin on November 28, 2023 at 9:58 pm


  15. Nidster - on November 27, 2023 at 10:59 am

    of course, we are also reminded of the plot, characters, and themes of George Orwell’s ‘Animal Farm’. A classic novel of animal rebellion and human corruption.

    • Nidster - on December 6, 2023 at 1:01 am

      ‘Animal Farm’ – Although dogs are cute, lovable, and easily trained, they are eclipsed by cats in every category forementioned. Although no one should ignore ‘pigs’, or ‘hogs’.

      Hey folks, think about it…. Why is there NOT a monument of a dog, or pig nearby that ‘strange’ monument near the Great Pyramid? Interesting that the nearby creature is depicted as a crouching ‘cat’ with the ‘face’ of a……..

  16. Mark Sean de Cantual on November 27, 2023 at 10:01 am

    I often wondered whether sentience in animals is only question of quality rather than degree. Indeed if it were t be so legislated, I would be much more comfortable within canine control over the nuclear briefcase than the current incumbent.

  17. Marcusmojo00 on November 27, 2023 at 9:20 am

    Bunny working out she is a dog and not human is interesting, 4.30 in.


  18. Karen on November 27, 2023 at 8:07 am

    Not surprising, Dr. Farrell. Those of us who live with animals have watched them over the years and know some of their capacities, though we are still surprised. Many years ago I had a cat that could travel well. We were visiting my family and staying with a friend. The cat came with us. Kitty was looking rather confused and my friend asked him what was wrong. Kitty responded with mews that exactly said, “I don’t know.” My friend burst out laughing. To which, kitty then answered by turning his back to us and raising his tale in that quite obvious universal sign, especially for an animal with no opposing thumbs.
    Also, had another cat who would perch himself on a chair and sing with the animals when Limbaugh went into his “Born Free” mode.

  19. anakephalaiosis on November 27, 2023 at 7:43 am

    1. Autism only makes sense inside a bubble, and sectarians are socially conditioned, to never see a thing in itself, and, that is why desktop generals wrongfully think, that pushing pencils and paperclips doesn’t make them bloodstained.

    2. Everything is connected, and moral injury follows a man from the battlefield, and penetrates his dreams, which erodes the ego, and pushes the self to the front, so, that a man comes face to face with himself, from where he can’t run from himself.

    3. The concept of the Scythio-Christian paradise is a standstill, where man doesn’t run from himself, which creates a distinct realm, governed by equinoxes and solstices, creating a man within a circle, to whom years rush by, in spatiotemporal navigation.

    4. This is the characteristics of breaking the seventh seal, which is followed, by a distinct astronomical pattern, which the Grail runes attest to, where man becomes himself a compass, balancing diametrical opposites, which weights scales, as Odin’s two brothers, upholding the law.

    5. This depicts the druid, who bears witness, to the truth before the world, and that, the imperial autism of the Roman Catholic Church seeks to eradicate, by Cain murdering Abel, so, that the former doesn’t dwarf, in the shadow of the latter.

    6. Assyrian loyalists stole wine farms, and seven centuries later, they sought to steal the label on the bottle, because, those, who run away and don’t make a stand, can’t break the seventh seal, and, yet, they desire the fruit of such labour, in their blood-drinking ways.

    7. Those angels, with fiery swords, that guard the standstill, are the equinoxes and solstices, which are Odin’s four sons, and that makes Odin himself, into the man in the circle, to whom years rush by, and that the proto-Scythians called “olam”, which is a cyclical worldview.

    8. Man coexists with animals, because man is himself an animal, whose autistic limitations pounders the ego, until breakthrough, when awareness overgrows the flesh form, and such entities are called druids, whose shape-shifting quality makes them walking-talking trees.

    9. Amongst autists, the legend of paradise is perceived as an utopia, and the more autists strive for such a standstill, the more it eludes them, like pushing camels through needle eyes, whereas playing dogs, chasing their own tail, are intelligently more happier.

    That concludes C. S. Lewis’ Space Trilogy.


  20. Bizantura on November 27, 2023 at 5:40 am

    I am onwed by my cat. He came into my life by strolling into my home and never left. I am more of a “dog” person but after 20 years spent with my pooch I have to let him go to doggy heaven and never recuperated from grief to replace him. I have had adopted discarded cats live with me, but they were human shy, half wild and not very kind. I honestly never knew a cat could be so gentle and kind. He certainly has his personality and preferences, also knows my mood very well. He is a great consoler and never lets up when he knows I need consolement the most whilst rejecting it. He seems to know more about my state of being then I am in certain situations and seem to know to give love when I need it most. Something stirs within nature, that is for sure. How that could develop I belief J.R.R. Tolkien wrote about as possibly the other inklings he was part of.

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