Monday, August 07, 2006

Does Your Dog Watch TV?

I know a few people who say their dogs watch television. They claim Animal Planet provides hours of entertainment for their dogs, and they'll even leave it on when they're not home. Not Baxter. I don't know if he finds it too perplexing or too boring, but he shows almost no interest in television at all.

Baxter showed a brief interest in television when he was a puppy, and seemed to have a particular fondness for anything that involved balls and sticks (baseball, golf, tennis...) . He had this habit of running behind the TV, seemingly in search of what was on the screen. But the gloss soon wore off. Oh, there's the occasional wolf howling or a bird singing that will perk his ears. And he does still react to doorbells on TV, at which point he starts barking and running for the door. (These are the times we question his intelligence. Then again, a bell on TV probably makes about as much sense to a dog as a bell on the wall.) Not that we want to encourage him to waste his days watching the boob tube instead of sleeping and looking out the window, but occasionally we'll try to point things out to him and he'll glance at the screen and then sigh and go back to whatever he was doing.

So I was quite surprised to see Baxter's reaction today to a video I was playing on my computer. A friend sent me a "Chickflix" video she had made (it's a Burger King site where you can assemble your own video using clips of live chickens and boxes of french fries...pretty surreal). Anyway, as I played it, I looked over and saw Baxter looking intently at the computer screen. The chickens started clucking and moving and, true to his more youthful folly, he immediately ran behind my desk looking for the chickens. He seemed disappointed.

Perhaps it's not that Baxter is disinterested in television... Perhaps we're just not watching enough nature programs that feature fat-chested ground nesting birds...

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