84 Good Dog!

James talks about his beloved dog back home and how he found him.


Todd: James, I saw on your desk you have a nice picture of a dog.

James: Yes.

Todd: OK. Tell us about your dog.

James: My dog's name is Piper. He was a mutt, a homeless dog that we picked up off the street about four and a half years ago.

Todd: Oh, wow! So what kind of dog is he now?

James: He's a yellow lab, golden retriever mix. He's very very sweet, very very fun to play with, really really nice.

Todd: Oh, that's great. Can he do any tricks?

James: No.

Todd: No.

James: We can do one trick where we point our finger at him and go Bang Bang Bang Bang and he falls over dead, but that is the only trick he can do and he only does that maybe half the time.

Todd: OK. Does he bark a lot?

James: Usually no. Usually he's pretty good.

Todd: Pretty quiet.

James: Mm,hm!

Todd: OK. Is it a male dog or a female dog?

James: Yeah. It's a male dog.

Todd: So, no puppies.

James: No, puppies.

Todd: OK. Would you like to have another dog, another puppy?

James: It would be fun in the future but not for awhile.

Learn Vocabulary from the lesson


My dog was a mutt that we picked up off the street years ago.

A 'mutt' is a dog that has parents that are two different types of dogs.  It is a combination instead of a purebred dog. Notice the following:

  1. This dog is actually a mutt.
  2. We have a bunch of little mutt puppies.


He's very sweet and fun to play with.

'Sweet' used like this is another way to say nice. Notice the following:

  1. Sometimes she is sweet, but sometimes she can be terrible.
  2. He is a sweet boy but not very interesting.

do tricks

Can he do any tricks?

A 'trick' is an action that you teach your dog to do. This can be shaking hands or rolling over.  Notice the following:

  1. He works in a circus teaching animals to do tricks.
  2. I spent a lot of time teaching my dog to do tricks.

half the time

He does only one trick and he does it only maybe half the time.

If you do something 'half the time' you only do it fifty percent of the time, the other fifty percent of the time you don't do it. Notice the following:

  1. Half the time you come to work late.
  2. She spends half the time in the library.

falls over dead (or play dead)

We point a finger at him and go "bang, bang" and he plays dead.

When something 'falls over dead' it falls to one side because it is dead and can't stand up.  When an animal 'plays dead' it acts like it is dead and doesn't move. Notice the following:

  1. Some animals play dead to escape predators.
  2. If you eat that you will fall over dead.


Answer the following questions about the interview.

Keep Listening

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Vocabulary Challenge

Complete the sentences with the words below.
mutt • sweet • do tricks
half the time • played dead
  1. It was really of you to buy me flowers.
  2. My bird can and talk.
  3. The snake before it attacked.
  4. He's just an old dog but I love him.
  5. I spend in the office and half traveling.