Earlier this week DirecTV announced that they would be adding DOGTV to their satellite service, enabling subscribers to plop down $5.99 a month for “cable’s first television network for dogs that is created exclusively for canines, and the humans who love them.” We breathlessly brought DOGTV to your attention over a year ago, so to say we were a bit excited about this development would be an understatement on the level of “people on the Internet sort of like bacon.” Sure, paying over $70 a year for a TV channel aimed at dogs is an incredibly silly and irresponsible thing to do with hard-earned money that could go to something important like cancer research or reviving a low-rated television show that went off the air over half a decade ago, but it’s the principle of the whole thing, you know? We now live in a world where there is a television channel specifically for dogs.
Or do we?
When the news was announced, I zipped on over to the DOGTV website to see what they had been up to since my original post last February. After a few minutes of clicking around the site, reading the information they provided, and watching some sample videos, I started asking myself the following question over and over: Wait … are they selling this to dog owners, or to stoners?
First of all, let’s look at this paragraph, taken from the site’s What is DOGTV? section:
DOGTV provides television for dogs as a 24/7 digital TV channel with dog – friendly programing scientifically developed to provide the right company for dogs when left alone. Through years of research with some of the world’s top pet experts, special content was created to meet specific attributes of a dog’s sense of vision and hearing and supports their natural behavior patterns. The result: a confident, happy dog, who’s less likely to develop stress, separation anxiety or other related problems.
Okay, this is what I want you to do: Go back and read that paragraph again, but replace “dog” with “stoner” (or “pothead” or any other similar term) and “pet” with “marijuana.” With me so far? Great. Now do the same thing with this paragraph from the site’s Why? section:
DOGTV is the ideal babysitter for “home alone” dogs. Research shows that dogs feel better in the company of television, especially when the right content is on.
DOGTV provides television for dogs with three types of programming offerering [Ed. note – Offerering? Definitely written while high] relaxing and stimulating content as well as positive behavioral reinforcements. Dogs that are left alone tend to become anxious so the calming sounds and music in the relaxing segments on DOGTV were created to keep them peaceful. Many dogs also suffer from a lack of stimulation, which becomes acute when their parents are away. The stimulating segments provide dogs with invigorating images, animation and exciting real world sounds to keep them up and running.
DOGTV’s television programming meets a dog’s typical daily routine and helps prevent mental fatigue, depression and boredom.
Right? “Stoners that are left alone tend to become anxious so the calming sounds and music in the relaxing segments on DOGTV were created to keep them peaceful.” Put this channel on the cable package in every freshman dorm in America immediately.
“But hold on,” you say. “Aren’t words stupid and boring and easily twisted to suit one’s purpose? Is there, like, video or something?”
There is. Under the site’s content section, there are three sample videos labeled “Relaxation,” “Stimulation,” and “Exposure.” I will address them in turn on the following page.
Explanation: Content that is designed to relax the dog, reduce stress levels and keep him calm through soothing music, sounds and visuals.
Review: This video is nothing but puppies sleeping and dogs chilling outside. And a two second shot of a manta ray because SCIENCE, presumably. Stoners would love this. It’s like Planet Earth if 90% of it had been filmed in a dog park. (NOTE TO DISCOVERY CHANNEL: That’s a freebie.)
Explanation: Active camera movements, exciting animations and moving objects and animals with appropriate sounds and frequencies help encourage dogs’ playfulness, even when home alone.
Review: HOLY SH-T THIS VIDEO IS AWESOME. Let’s run down the checklist:
- Dogs playing with footballs? Check.
- Dogs jumping into pools? Check.
- Dogs on surfboards? Check.
- A CGI mouse going around in a circle? Check.
- CARTOON BATS FLYING OUT OF THE DANG MOON? Check.
Put this sucker on a 50-inch flat screen after a couple jazz cigarettes? MIND-MELTING. I want to watch it with Addy from that driving test video more than anything else in the world. I’ll bring the snacks.
Explanation: Using the most advanced veterinary science, special sounds and visuals help comfort and habituate dogs by exposing them to different day-to-day stimuli.
Review: This video contains doggy POV shots and footage of puppies playing with a baby. I’ve got to believe that some baked-out Phish fan could burn an hour or two soaking it all in. EASY.
And so, looking at all the written and visual evidence, I think there is only one possible conclusion: DOGTV, the first television channel “designed specifically for dogs,” is actually being subliminally marketed to stoners. Could dogs like it? Sure. But we both know that the only way anyone is shelling out six bucks a month for something like this is if they are literally as high as a rocketship. Yes, this one goes all the way to the top, people.