I recently received an email from DirecTV about a new channel they are offering: Channel 354 - DogTV. At first I figured it is a channel about dogs, how to care, train, and live with them. But after reading further into the email I realize it is a channel for dogs. Wow, dogs sure have come a long way.
The purpose of the channel is to “stimulate, entertain, and habituate your dog.” I had to check it out with my two dogs in the room. DirecTV's channel for babies that they offer is a hit for my 15 month old. The awful music, the creepy costumed bunnies randomly popping up with some bad claymation mixed in seem to consistently put a smile on her little face. So maybe DirecTV has another hit with a new market segment, dogs. One of my dogs, Taggart, is easily engaged by what is on the television, and the other one, Logan, could care less about what is happening on the rectangle on the wall everyone stares at. The programming I saw consisted of dogs happily running around while chasing balls and playing tug of war with equally happy people. Taggart immediately responded by putting his front legs up on the TV cabinet and whimpering in excitement. Logan just stared at the wall thinking of food. I’m not sure if I’d trust to leave Taggart alone with the TV in case his excitement reached Claw-at-the-Screen level. I also don’t know if he was enjoying it or if it was just making him anxious.
I’ll have to check back to see what other programming they will be showing. Possibly another “Walking Dead” spin-off… “Barking Dead”? Or maybe a prequel about the dire wolves in “Game of Thrones”. One could only hope. In any case, this channel proves the level of love and commitment we’ve reached regarding our dogs. One could argue that the rate of improvement for the well-being of dogs over the past 50 to 100 years is greater than that of humans. And all that with very little effort on their part. Actually, no effort. They really are smart. Dogs were once considered “outside only” and they fed off our scraps and were garnered little attention and care….now they are considered part of our family. And in some cases cared for and loved more than our other two-legged family members.
I’m glad we’ve welcomed these creatures into our homes. They enrich our lives and we make their short time on the planet more comfortable. I encourage you to take it a step past comfort (TV watching) to make sure they are getting the exercise they need. We’ve taken them in and made their lives easier, but we can’t forget that they do need to be active. We shouldn’t take that away from them. Get out there and be Dog Gone Active.