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A Conversation with Christina Hunger & Alexis Devine | How Stella Learned to Talk
May 6 @ 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Join speech-language pathologist Christina Hunger, owner of beloved internet sensation Stella and the first person to teach a dog to “talk,” and Alexis Devine, who used the Hunger method to teach her dog and TikTok star Bunny how to “speak,” for a wide-ranging conversation to mark the release of Hunger’s wildly anticipated debut How Stella Learned to Talk.
Hunger and Devine will discuss the incredible, revolutionary true story of how Hunger taught her dog Stella to talk, with tips & tricks anyone can use to communicate with their pets.
This free event will be streamed live via Crowdcast. Once you register, you will receive a link to access the virtual event.
You may buy a copy of How Stella Learned to Talk with a signed bookplate as an add-on with your free event registration.
ABOUT THE BOOK
When speech-language pathologist Christina Hunger first came home with her puppy, Stella, it didn’t take long for her to start drawing connections between her job and her new pet. During the day, she worked with toddlers with significant delays in language development and used Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) devices to help them communicate. At night, she wondered: If dogs can understand words we say to them, shouldn’t they be able to say words to us? Can dogs use AAC to communicate with humans?
Christina decided to put her theory to the test with Stella and started using a paw-sized button programmed with her voice to say the word “outside” when clicked, whenever she took Stella out of the house. A few years later, Stella now has a bank of more than thirty word buttons, and uses them daily either individually or together to create near-complete sentences.
How Stella Learned to Talk is part memoir and part how-to guide. It chronicles the journey Christina and Stella have taken together, from the day they met, to the day Stella “spoke” her first word, and the other breakthroughs they’ve had since. It also reveals the techniques Christina used to teach Stella, broken down into simple stages and actionable steps any dog owner can use to start communicating with their pets.
Christina Hunger is a speech-language pathologist and the first person to teach a dog to “talk” using augmentative communication. She is the founder of Hunger for Words, a movement dedicated to giving everyone who understands language the tools to communicate. Hunger has a graduate degree in Speech-Language Pathology from Northern Illinois University. She has professional expertise in using Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) to teach children with speech and language disorders to talk using communication devices. In May, Christina will launch the Hunger for Words Talking Pet Starter Set (developed in partnership with leading educational toy company Learning Resources) includes four customizable buttons and a step-by-step teaching guide written by Christina Hunger. She lives with her husband, Jake, and of course, her dog, Stella.
Alexis Devine is an artist and small-business owner from Tacoma, Washington. Inspired by Christina Hunger’s work, she started her own journey using Augmented & Alternative Communication (AAC) with her new puppy, Bunny, and documenting their progress on social media. Now, they have almost 6 million fans following their journey. For Alexis, it’s as much about the science behind her work as the impact it has on their lives – her relationship with Bunny has grown so much deeper through the added level of communication. On TikTok and Instagram, she invites her audience to not just follow Bunny’s progress with the buttons, but to explore how it has enriched their life as they go on beautiful hikes in the mountains, explore the beaches by their house, and visit their neighbors. She hopes to use her platform to build positivity and raise awareness. Charitable causes she has advocated for include Communication First, a disability-led nonprofit advocating those who have difficulty speaking, and the National Pediatric Cancer Foundation, the leading nonprofit working to cure childhood cancer.