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Can't pull dog away from TV

POSTED: April 30, 2013 2:01 p.m.
 

Does anyone else have a dog that watches television?

I may not have believed this if I hadn’t witnessed it firsthand.

Most of you know we have a Labrador, Jazz, and a Morkie (half Yorkie and half Maltese) named Indigo.

Jazz is not the television watcher, it’s Indie. We discovered it when a commercial for some sort of dog food came on.

Paul is a commercial hater, quickly changing the channel. But before he could this time, Indie began barking like crazy at the dog in the commercial. When I put her on the floor, she ran to the screen and tried to attack, barking wildly the entire time.

Of course, we thought this was hilarious and changed the channel to Animal Planet.

It soon lost its humor when she went crazy at not only dogs and cats, but also zebras and tigers.

I find it interesting that she knows what any animal is beside a dog. She has never seen a cat or a zebra, so how could she know what that is?

She can appear asleep, but as soon as an animal is shown, Indie is up and barking hysterically.

She even barked during “Planet of the Apes.”

I did a little research, discovering there have been numerous studies on pets watching TV.

In our case, I suppose you could say it causes Indie anxiety when she sees these other animals “invading” her space.

The interesting thing about that theory, however, is that Indie loves other dogs. Any time we see another dog at the pet store or at the park, she is always eager to sniff and play.

And it should be noted (to any dog whisperer who may be reading) that while she is barking at the TV, her tail is wagging constantly.

I thought back to how I have raised my precious little companion and some of the practices I use. I wondered if it was strange that I leave the TV on for her when I leave, or if that was a mistake given this new discovery.

More research. I was relieved to learn 60 percent of dog owners leave their TV or radio on while away, hoping their pet will feel comforted.

Indie hates when I leave her. She knows as soon as I reach for my purse, and she runs to the door and begs me to take her.

When I can, I do. Riding on my lap in the car is one of the highlights of her day.

When I cannot take her with me, I tell her why. She understands my words, sadly turning away to the laundry room and into a basket of soft blankets.

I usually leave the TV on news or cooking shows, that way she hears what would be on if I were home.

I wonder if I need to install some sort of camera to see if she gets upset when animals come on.

My friends poke fun, saying I’m obsessing over Indie just like a mother might over her toddler.

I know I have many readers who are pet lovers. Probably more than a few of you spoil your dogs and worry about them as I do.

So what do you think? Are you letting your pets watch too much TV? Do your dogs react to other animals?

Let me hear from any dog whisperers out there.

Adlen Robinson is author of “Home Matters: The Guide to Organizing Your Life and Home.” E-mail her at contact@adlenrobinson.

 

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