Now I’ve seen everything, but apparently our dog, Maddy, has not.
A channel launched on DirectTV for an audience one doesn’t think of as particularly media savvy – dogs. According to the web site for DOGTV:
“DOGTV is scientifically developed and Pup approved. DOGTV is cable’s first television network for dogs that is created exclusively for canines, and the humans who love them. DOGTV’s 24/7 programing helps stimulate, entertain, relax and habituate dogs with shows that expose them to various movements, sounds, objects, experiences and behavior patterns, all from a dog’s point of view.”
I admit that Maddy has a strange interest in the film version of The Hunger Games. (We suspect it has something to do with the setting in the woods.) But otherwise, she lays under the couch uninterested on the rare occasions we watch TV.
All of this reminded me of an episode of This American Life featured a reporter talking about her father’s dream of starting “the puppy channel,” a concept that never took off on traditional cable television but found a home online.
More recently was the SNL parody Top Dog Chef, which supposedly took place on The Dog Channel. Host “Padma Leash-Me” explained that in a final challenge, the dog cheftestants were asked to create a dish using only the contents from a ripped-open garbage bag as an added difficulty, the producers rang the doorbell at various intervals. “No one who rings a doorbell is there to hurt you,” insisted her co-host, Tom Collie-co. “So don’t freak out every time you hear it.” My favorite dish: Vomit Two Ways garnished with a dead bird. “Yes, you can eat the garnish,” the dog cheftestant proudly notes.
But this made me wonder. Are we trying to make dogs even more like humans by trying to get them into our own habits? Should we really be encouraging our dogs to be sated with imagery on an iPad?