What I'm referring to is attributing to animals human personalities and talking to them as if they understand our conversation and contribute to it even.
We have a dog, a cat and some goldfish in the pond; so I hasten to add that I do not talk to the goldfish. They are too dumb and would hardly understand anyway.
But I do talk to my dog and cat - but only when I want them to do something. For example I'd open the back door and say "Out" to the dog and he'd go out to do his business. Or say "Walkies" and he knows it is time for his exercise. I don't talk to the cat that often because he ignores me anyway. This kind of talking to animals is OK, of course. It is our way as humans to impart information or commands to animals.
But there are people who go much further and actually engage in conversation with their pets as if the animal is another human and understands and/or replies back.
Do you ever engage in a conversation with your pet?
Let's imagine this conversation between an old lady living alone and her pet dog.
Old Lady: You know Fido, it's been very cold today. That's why I didn't take you for a walk.
Fido: (Getting up from his bed) She called my name. I think it's time for a walk. (Waggles his tail).
OL: No Fido ... we're not going out. I said it's too cold outside.
Fido: (Barks and runs round in circles in anticipation). Hooray ... we're going out ... we're going out. She said so!
OL: Sit down you silly dog. You're lovely really, but sometimes you act silly.
Fido: (Sits and waggles his tail happily). Perhaps she's going to feed me. Is it dinner time yet? What time is it? I wish I could tell the time. I know I'm hungry.
OL: What a good boy you are, Fido. Who's a good boy? You are. Yes, you are! You're my lovely little darling, aren't you? Yes you are ... you are!
Fido: Come on hurry up you daft bat. Give me something to eat!
OL: Perhaps we'll go out for a walk tomorrow. We'll go to the park and you'll meet that pretty lady dog! You like her don't you? Yes you do ... you do!
Fido: I'm getting fed up with this. Are you going to feed me or not?
OL: You're such a good companion Fido I could just kiss you right now. Yes I could ...
Fido: After I've licked my privates perhaps ... since you can't be bothered to feed me.
OL: Oh don't do that Fido. It's so uncouth. Here ... have a biscuit.
Fido: It seems to work every time. Whenever I start cleaning myself she gives me a biscuit. She's a glutton for cleanliness.
OL: OK ... that's enough biscuits for now. Go to bed and I'll make myself a cup of tea.
Fido: I want to go out now ... I'm dying for a pee.
OL: Oh stop jumping again ... I told you we can't go walkies today. It's too cold. Maybe tomorrow.
Fido: Open the door you old fool. I'm bursting here.
OL: I said stop jumping, Fido. Go to bed!
Fido: Open the back door and let me out in the garden you demented dumb ass. Or I'll do it all over your leg!
OL: Since you're being such a bad boy I'd better throw you out for a minute or so to cool off!
Fido: At last ... I could hold it no longer. Pity humans are too stupid and dim-witted to be trained to understand us pets.