While it isn't impossible for humans and animals to communicate, most people agree that this usually takes place on a telepathic or emotional level, or perhaps through body language. Speech and linguistics are generally accepted to be abilities held only by our species.
However, Hollywood star Barbara Streisand has revealed in an interview with the Independent that as well being an accomplished actress and singer, she also has a very different and unique skill up her sleeve: dog whispering.
According to the Oscar-winning performer, her pet coton "speaks English", and is able to communicate when she wants water or a big bowl of dog food.
Ms Streisand also describes her pet pooch as "the most beautiful thing you've ever seen" and "the daughter I never had".
While we're yet to be convinced of the dog's linguistic skills, it certainly isn't unusual for owners to form a strong enough bond with their pet to understand what they are thinking... sometimes.