Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Why do dogs hate computers?

My boss dog, Cara Mia, won’t stop barking at me. She hates it when I get on the computer. It starts with a soft grring. Then comes the paw stomping. Finally, the sharp, full-throated “woooof!”

Is she feeling neglected? Perhaps she just wants my undivided attention? 

Here’s the thing. She doesn’t seem to care what I do—as long it’s not on the computer.

Reading a book? Engrossed in TV? Having an animated phone conversation? Meh.

It’s just the computer.

And she’s not the only dog of my acquaintance to feel this way. My beloved, but departed dog, Houdini—who would otherwise sit on the other end of the couch, back turned to me—would suddenly feel the need to interfere if I spent more than a few minutes on the computer. Physically interfere. I once lost an “s” key due to a swipe of the paw. My parents’ dog, Sterling, likes to actually block the keyboard with his body—usually his head. I’ve heard similar tales from friends.
So, I wondered: what is it with dogs and computers? Are they disturbed by the strange, slightly blue glow? Agitated by the almost-imperceptible-but-vaguely-sinister humming? Or are they like little, furry old people—confused and slightly irritated by this newfangled technology?

Perhaps. But I think that there may be deeper issues involved. I recently came across a recent British study that claims that people now rely on their computers far more than their dogs, and that in fact, computers have replaced dogs as man’s best friend.

Think about it—our laptops/iPhones/iPads go everywhere, while our dogs are stuck at home. We buy our gadgets fancy “clothes,” take them to dinner and to bed—what are our dogs supposed to think?

So I guess I owe Cara Mia an apology. Or a computer of her own….

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