The Dog and Bone

The rhyming slang for the telephone has taken on a new guise.

According to ‘The Guardian’ a device has been invented which allows a dog to call its owner. Its current form is a soft ball which when moved sends a signal to your laptop and starts off a video link. The idea is to give ‘choice’ and ‘agency’ to the dog, which will aid its ‘wellbeing’.

As if we are not under the paw enough as it is!

Research has been, to say the least, interesting, and probably suffered for being carried out on a black labrador. Nice though they are, labradors are not the Einsteins of the canine world, so perhaps a collie might have not activated the thing when rooting round in its bed, or while rubbing its backside on it. The optimistic researcher says, however, that while from a human perspective it might be seen as accidental it is possible that from a canine perspective it was determined. The dog has not yet given the answer.

Just think……

You are out shopping and your mobile rings. You have a video of the dog with its paw on a pack of its favourite biscuits….no excuses for forgetting…..with a background view of the damage it did opening the cupboard door to get at said biscuits.

Or, for the machiavellian dog who feels it has been left to its own devices too long, a carefully staged sceene with one of its friends lying doggo, appearing to be at its last gasp, while the dog manipulating the device stands over it in the manner of a Great White Hunter. That’s guaranteed to get you home breaking the speed limit only to find both at the door wagging their tails.

Or you are the British Prime Minister in a face to face meeting with Monsewer Macron. At a vital moment your dog rings, holding up a placard reading ‘stuff the French poodle!’ That should stiffen the sinews and summon up the blood! You will be hanging the burghers of Calais before you can say Jack Robinson.

This is only the start….there is talk of technological inovation which will allow dogs to contact each other….

But is this not otiose?

Dogs seem to communicate with each other without any hi tech aids.

They have noses.

A bitch on heat will attract suitors from all the country round……a rotting carcass offers rolling opportunities to an infinite number of doggies…..meat cooking will bring an eager audience with noses lifted in the best tradiions of the Bisto kids..

They have ears.

They may not choose to use them, as when ignoring commands, yea pleas even, to do something contrary to their current interests, but they can hear another dog howling far off in the night and join in from a sense of solidarity, thus depriving a whole human community of its sleep, and if you want a re enactment of the charge of the Light Brigade just try opening a packet of crisps when you think they are snoozing at the other end of the garden.

They have eyes.

Like Autolycus they are snappers up of unconsidered trifles….i.e. things you left on the table while doing something else. They see intruders and rush to repel them, encouraging each other with that other capacity…….

The voice.

From a bark to a whine, from a snort to a growl, they can make their views clearly known to their cohorts.

So, time wasted on inter dog communication then, but they would, I feel, be all in favour of furthering means to assert their domination of humans.

The first step is to encourage the dog to take ownership of its ‘phone…….so can we have a hi tech solution to making it waterproof as its proud owner asserts possession by peeing on it.

And just to finish…or to finish you off

Hugo sings Hallelujah

26 thoughts on “The Dog and Bone”

  1. I love this: “They have ears.

    They may not choose to use them, as when ignoring commands, yea pleas even, to do something contrary to their current interests, but they can hear another dog howling far off in the night and join in from a sense of solidarity, thus depriving a whole human community of its sleep, and if you want a re enactment of the charge of the Light Brigade just try opening a packet of crisps when you think they are snoozing at the other end of the garden.”

  2. I liked Hugo’s performance. (It was also clear that alcohol was available at that party.) You deftly outlined the dystopian possibilities stemming from dog communications but have you seen the progress being made with robot dogs? I think it’s Boston Scientific and Ghost Robotics who lead the pack so to speak. They now have robot dogs for security applications and for military uses the robot dogs have assault rifles mounted on their backs. Truth! (See: https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/42717/robot-dogs-can-now-have-6-5mm-assault-rifles-mounted-on-their-backs) I only hope the flesh and blood canines never learn of their cyber-brothers. A dog version of the Terminator would not be a good thing.

    1. Yes, I have seen the Boston dog robots….and quite scary they are! A demonstration of them dancing did nothing to abate my distrust of them, or, rather, their handlers
      Did you see how Hugo had had enough? A quick annoyed bark and that was that…where was Hugo’s dram, he would like to know…
      There is a series on BBC Slounds called ‘It’s a Fair Cop’. If you can find it there is an episode called The Wrath of
      Zeus which you might enjoy.

  3. Cute, Helen. You are right about dog communication. In our neighborhood, every dog that goes by, stops at the street night in our front yard to sniff. I imagine it’s to get the latest news from the other dogs. I’ve seen many an owner try to avoid stopping, but the leash gets taut and they are dragged over! It’s the funniest sight!

  4. The dog we had when I were nobbut knee-high to a traffic warden used to use telephathy to contact me. Usually in the middle of the night, when she wanted to nip outside for a pee. I’d wake to find her sitting just quietly looking at me and as soon as I moved I was led to the outside door. I never found out how long the process took but I surmise it must have been almost immediate; she would not have persisted with anything that took more than a few moments for the door to be opened.

  5. You almost sent me info an asthma attack laughing at the British PM on the phone. There’s a TV show that’s popular here, called Shark Tank. Some pitched a phone app like what you wrote about but it was one way only: caller to dog. The receiving vehicle top of a dog treat dispenser. No one went with it. Have a good weekend.

  6. I have a theory, “scientists” who invent things to “improve” communications with dogs don’t actually HAVE a dog – so they don’t realise that dogs already communicate perfectly – suppertime, walk time, ear-rub time, tummy-tickle time and of course “there’s a cat/hedgehog/snake in the garden!”

    1. She apparently has a black lab, whose response seems to be that of any dog of my acquaintance…’what’s this thing in my bed, I’ll scratch my backside on it’.
      But yes, if you have a dog, you are quickly taught the commands as you outline above!

    1. Some years ago a neighbour had his radio on and the programme broadcast the singing dogs performing Jingle Bells. Our then pack – a German Shepherd, a Costa Rica King Charles Corgi, Arthur, Black Tot and The Poodle took off at speed, invaded his property and returned with the radio which was then banged frmly on the floor. Luckily he had a sense of humour…and we replaced the radio.

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