In 2018 Joelle Andres rescued a scruffy little terrier, Bastian, in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence. From the start Bastian was so smart and communicative in other ways, that Joelle wanted to understand her dog's needs on a deeper level. In October 2019, Joelle read about how Christina Hunger, a speech language pathologist, taught her dog Stella to talk using buttons, called augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) devices. A few months later, Joelle began working with FluentPet and the University of California at San Diego in their public study of pet parents teaching their dogs to use AAC devices. Now over 2 year later, Bastian has access to over 75 different words and uses about 30 of them consistently. He also has over 100 thousand followers on Instagram, where Joelle shares hilarious videos of the adorable pup asking for snacks and boat rides.