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JIMMY, THE BLOGGING DOG, WATCHES TV

It’s me, Jimmy, The Blogging Dog. In the interest of human science, I have been watching TV. Believe me, this wasn’t my idea, but one of the scientists who’s job it is to study me. They call me the Canine Einstein because I can understand the human language called English. No other dog (at least that anyone knows about) has been able to do this. It started when I was a puppy and tapped out a message to my owner on his computer. One thing led to another and before I knew it I was living in a laboratory communicating up a storm with human scientists, and they even designed a special paw-friendly computer keyboard for me as I outgrew the regular ones.

You see, I’m a rather large mutt, and computer keyboards are built for fingers, of which dogs are in short supply. That’s the only way I can express myself to humans. I cannot verbally reply with anything but barking, a language no human has ever understood. As a matter of fact, until I came along, humans understood very little about dogs, which is odd considering the extensive history of interaction and cohabitation between our two species. What began many thousands of years ago as a hunting partnership has evolved into a companionship thing.

Truth is, dogs entered into this relationship only to avoid extermination at human hands like the fate suffered by dire wolves, saber toothed cats and giant long faced bears, to name but a few of the alpha predators that humans decided had to go. Our superior senses of smell, sight and hearing, as well as our claws and fangs, enabled humans to completely eliminate potential rivals. Ask the Neanderthals, if you can find any. Oh, that’s right, you can’t. Humans killed them all. Given this human trait, we dogs usually do as we’re asked, and when the scientists asked me to watch TV for a couple of weeks, well, I complied.

I was relieved to find out that all the TV watching didn’t mean they were tired of hooking me up with prime bitches, and these last couple of weeks I’ve been living what many might consider a dream life for a dog or a human; mating, eating and watching TV. What they were trying to find out I don’t know, but they hooked me up with a paw-friendly TV remote and asked me to watch television, and then record my impressions. I’m not really a huge fan of television, but science is science so I went along with them.

I may be a dog genius, but that’s only compared to other dogs. The fact is that I’m only about as smart as a fairly dopey human being. Think Larry King or your average Vice President here, so I figured maybe a lot of TV shows would be way over my head. Turns out that wasn’t the case at all. Most TV shows seem to be made by human morons for the benefit of other human morons. I still can’t figure out the story with reality shows. I never saw any humans behave that way in real life.

The crime shows make me laugh because no one ever knows who did it. Hell, a dog would solve that crime in a flash. We’d smell who done it and that would be that. DNA, Shmee-N-A, a dogs nose doesn’t lie. Neither do dogs, by the way, since dogs can tell in a second who’s lying. Humans don’t have those senses, so they get to lie to each other. Here’s a memo: you’re not fooling your dog. With the so-called news shows on Cable TV, it’s obvious to a dog that these people are either lying or don’t know what they’re talking about, sometimes both at once.

And that’s without even smelling them, which is another dead give away to dogs. See, that’s the thing about TV, to a dog it’s like radio, or silent movies, since our sense of smell is every bit as essential a sense as our eyes and ears. It’s like seeing an opera blindfolded. You can hear it alright, but there’s so much going on onstage that adds immeasurably to the experience. Without scent, TV is a bit hard to follow.

There were some shows I liked, like The Jerry Springer Show and Judge Judy, but most of them left me looking forward to a nap. Judge Judy can also tell in a second who’s lying, very impressive for a human. The scientists thought I’d want to watch The Discovery Channel or National Geographic, but like I said, I’m The Canine Einstein, not the real one, and only about as smart as John Tesh, maybe, with zero interest in quantum physics or the neural pathways inside my brain. That’s their department. I just figure I’m a freak of nature and leave it at that.

I’m still getting more than my share of nookie, and I let the scientists have at me every so often. I try to explain to some of them what it is like to be a dog, and to others I have accurately described conditions and events from the distant past handed down to me by what I call Species Memory, an accumulation of the experiences of a thousand ancestors, some of them quite vivid. You couple that with our powerful inborn instincts and you’ve got one damned compulsive creature.

Unlike humans, dogs are never at a loss for how to act in any given situation. Somewhere, someone in our lineage went through something similar, and the precedent is set. LIke forever, another drawback to being a dog. We’re not huge fans of change and improvisation, which might explain why we’re the ones on leashes, and the humans are the ones holding them. No sense lamenting the fate of Dogdom every day. At least we’re still around, and this one is siring more whelps than I can count. Which is more than you can say for Saber Toothed Tigers. So, what’s the harm in watching a little TV?

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