In the US, PTV has launched a TV channel, especially for dogs. It’s “round the clock”, so that “our beloved best friends … should never feel alone again…[and] will entertain, relax and stimulate stay-at-home dogs”.
I’ve never seen telly stimulate my dog. If it hears a bark on the telly, it jumps up and runs towards the door, looking for the mystery barker. It does not remain staring at the telly. Help! I’m already praying that this ghastly idea doesn’t arrive in the UK, helping us to feel less guilty about leaving our dogs mouldering at home. There’s only one answer to this problem. Don’t get a dog if you’re out at work all day. Tough tits if you’re desperate for a dog. You can’t have one if you have to leave it alone for hours on end.
I couldn’t have a dog of my own, however much I wanted one, while I was working full-time and living in flats. I had to wait until my mid-40s when I had a part-time job and a garden. Dogs like company, exercise, things to do and fairly constant care. They’re like babies. My dog has a wounded foot. It needs to be uncovered, but not licked. It’s next to me now, so that I can supervise it non-stop. Good job I’m here, because I couldn’t ring work and say “Sorry, the dog’s ill'”.
No amount of footage of DogTV’s “manta ray swimming” or “boat gliding” would “instil calm” in my dog now, or in a dog stuck in a flat. Barry Karacostas takes other people’s dogs jogging. He thinks dogs should be out for several hours a day. “People don’t realise that,” he says. “They see a Weimaraner, and they think ‘I like that dog, I’ll have one’, then they stick it in a flat in Kensington and wonder why it chews on their Louboutins.”
Pen a large dog, or any dog, into a small flat all day, and when you do let it out it will probably be busting with energy and more likely to knock over the odd toddler, have a fight, a bite and a rampage. This rubbish TV idea is just another way of allowing us to do or have whatever we like when we like and how we like. Lock up dogs, stick them in handbags, make them fight, send them to kennels, pretend they’re toys, have no feelings and are only here to please us.
It’s time this all stopped. There are far too many dogs in this country. The fewer people who have them the better. An estimated 500 dogs are put down a week, probably more. I tried to find out, but no one dares say the real number, the public would be too upset. Vets, rescuers and dog wardens who have to deal with all this death are tearing their hair out. It would take 10 years of no breeding at all to get our dogs down to a manageable level. And now here comes another clottish idea encouraging more thoughtless, selfish twits to have a dog. Ban DogTV, I say. Would you stick your “beloved best friend” in front of a telly and buzz off? No. So don’t do it to a dog.