In the Yard

Rhonda Hayes is a garden writer, photographer and blogger. She also volunteers as a Hennepin County Master Gardener. Rhonda chronicles her gardening adventures and advice at her award-winning blog, The Garden Buzz. She is a frequent contributor to Northern Gardener magazine and the Star Tribune Home + Garden section. At Your Voices, she writes about life around the city lakes, occasionally veering off the garden path with essays on the silly and serious issues of the day.

Watch the Westminster Dog Show? Does Your Dog?

Posted by: Rhonda Hayes Updated: February 9, 2013 - 7:05 AM

I've got the Westminster Dog Show marked on my calendar. But not for the reason you think. Yeah, I watch it some years, others not. It's fun to see all the different breeds, but often the winner seems like a dog far divorced from reality resembling more dust mop than canine companion.

I've noted the date for another reason. My dog's a big fan and I'd hate to see him miss it.

Does your dog watch TV?

From my informal facebook analysis, mine's not alone in his viewing habits. And on a side note, he's not alone in his name, just how many women my age have a dog named Henry? Turns out quite a lot.

It's pretty black and white whether your dog enjoys television in living color or whatever spectrum they see. You don't get the "Oh, I only watch Homeland" types, they either love it or don't get it. 

I've had quite a few dogs in my lifetime however my Henry-dog is the first to embrace TV. Actually it's more like he pounces on the table and tries to enter the flickering box, set off by the first note of songs he associates with his favorite commercials. Funniest of all is his love of sports, and no lie, the Vikings. He is actually the only sports fan in the house.

And oh, the whining that commences with that mournful sounding Sara Maclachlan dog charity commercial. 

All those studies about toddlers and TV, where's the one for dogs? 

You see Henry has a certain, let's just call it "joie de vivre". He has lots of energy that no amount of walking, ball playing, etc., can extinguish. I feel bad when I leave the house without him, making sure he has a toy or food treat to keep him busy. I leave a used paper towel on the counter, a decoy of sorts, that let's him feel he has accomplished some counter surfing, without sacrificing a bunch of bananas or ciabatta loaf he's been known to enjoy.

I never came down on one side or the other about TV for my kids, I go with moderation in all things. So when I leave the TV on for him why do I feel this tiny twinge of mommy guilt for using the electronic babysitter? I just know he had no qulams about us leaving the house during the Olympics. He was glued to every event and slobbering all over the screen. 

So here's my question. Are dogs that watch television smarter than dogs that don't? Henry is a labradoodle crossed with a goldendoodle, that's oodles of doodle. It's my first time with any poodleyness, and I attribute it to that. Yet if he's so smart shouldn't he realize he can't jump into the screen as he attempts every night during the sports segment?

Let me know, which camp does your dog fall into, TV-watcher or not?

 

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