Lassie, come quick. It's a new season of Bones......


Do we try and shove onto pets our own 21th Century problems and psychosis? A successful Cable Operator friend rang me a few years ago. "I just had two guys in here trying to sell me a dog channel.What do you think?" "You mean endless adventures of Rin Tin Tin, Crufts Dog show marathons and movies like Old Yeller, Beethoven, or Best in Breed?" I queried. " No, " my Polish friend replied "Not a channel about dogs.....for dogs. You turn it on for them when you leave the house. Apparently has colours and images they like." My.... how we laughed at, without question, the dumbest idea we had heard in years..... Those two guys are now multi-millionaires with the channel a huge hit in various Metropolis....and I'm still just a penny-less fool with a sense of humour. You got it. Guilt ridden couples who go out for a night on the town who used to leave on any old channel for the doggie, now select this channel and add it as to the pay line-up on their monthly bill!!! I love my dogs but I promise you they are that aware or bothered by what's actually on TV so long as it doesn't meow. The idea they would care what I left on for them is as fanciful as a warm greeting from a Border Control official.

...and another thing

Another equally smart friend invested many millions in a fresh dog food business. The money raised was used to ‘seed’ supermarkets with huge glass fronted fridges in which the customer (and dog) could see clear plastic vacuum sealed packets full of Fido’s favourites such as carrots, chicken potatoes in a cream sauce or beefy chunks with gravy and squash; much like a meal you and I would eat. And that’s the point. We just superimpose what looks good to us into automatically thinking our canine friends would also like it. You can hear the thought process…

“Bin the  Kanga Chunks and dried biscuits. He’d much prefer this food….why I would even eat it”.

The food of course is a massive hit!

...and another thing

One of my dogs occasionally winks at me and so long as no one else is watching I wink back, as I suspects it’s some doggy code. However maybe this facial tick is a sign that my beloved hound is in need of psychiatric counselling? No problem as along with doggie TV scheduling and fancy TV dinners we have also inflicted shrinks on our pooches.

The first sign I ever noticed was three years ago outside a practice announcing a dog psychiatrist in Carmel, near Pebble Beach in California

‘Dog Psychiatrist. Appointments required for individual therapy’.

I remember thinking that at last here was an American who clearly understood irony was not just a colour between ‘silvery‘ and ‘goldery‘.

As I  walked up to the door expecting a picture of Alfred E Neuman from Mad  magazine with a notepad in his hand and Snoopy on the couch and inside some cool coffee bar, instead there was a snappy white room and a receptionist in a white coat.

I was so stumped all I could say was,

“How much?”

The young man looked up

“Depends how serious the condition. We would give the dog an initial consultation and then the doctor (and I assume patient) would discuss the best course. Will you be bringing a basket?”

I gave him a puzzled look.

“We don’t have a couch you know,” he smiled condescendingly. “We are treating dogs. They  respond better in their own familiar environment. Treatment can be quite traumatic!”

Now come on! Really? There are psychiatrists for dogs now? What do they ask them?

“Now tell me Rover, were you breast-fed?”


“You probably did not know your father.”


“And you were taken away from your birth mother at an early age?”


“Any relationships?”


“Aye yes compulsive bottom sniffing. What about sex?”


“Did your Master neuter you?”

Howl, howl howl howl.

“……So feelings of abandonment….no father figure at birth ….neutered by your owner….leading to a feeling of inadequacy? I can see this is going to take some to work through this trauma.”

The next thing you know is a mud path won’t mean jumping in a puddle but it will be a facial along with a manny-peddy! Anyone for finding a dog politician………..?

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