Devices claiming to translate what your dog is thinking into human words have been popping up on the Internet for a good five years now, and some of the more gullible among us have bought them — and even contributed to campaigns to bring them to market.
There’s No More Woof an electronic device — still in the testing stages, of course — that Swedish scientists say will be able to analyze dogs’ brain waves and translate their thoughts into rudimentary English.
There’s the slightly more real but far more rudimentary Bow-Lingual, which claims to be able to translate your dog’s barks into emotions, currently unavailable on Amazon.com
There are apps — real and prank ones — that offer dog-to-human translations, virtually all of which have disclaimers saying that they should be used primarily for entertainment purposes.
And there are legitimate research projects underway around the world, with real scientists and animal behaviorists seeking to determine and give voice to what is going on in the heads of dogs.
But wait a minute. Do we really want to know?
As this bit of satire shows, we might not like the result.
It was produced by Los Angeles-based Rogue Kite Productions, an independent film company created by writer/producer/director Michelle Boley and camera operator/editor Taylor Gill, who pursue projects of their liking when not doing their day jobs.
Their spoof depicts a speech articulating device much like one a group in Sweden claims to actually be working on.
No More Woof aims to “break the language barrier between animals and humans,” the Sweden-based Nordic Society for Invention and Discovery (NSID) says on its Indiegogo page.
NSID says the device records electroencephalogram (EEG) readings from a dog that are then analyzed by a Raspberry Pi microcomputer and translated, through a small speaker, into simple phrases like, “I’m hungry,” or “Who is that person?”
Popular Science declared the project almost certainly bogus — and yet money keeps pouring in from donors.
The No More Woof indiegogo page says more than $22,000 has been contributed to the project.
Not to cast aspersions on the Swedish group’s attempt to move technology ahead, but I think Rogue Kite Productions could put that money to better use.
Posted by John Woestendiek May 31st, 2016 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, apps, articulating, bow-lingual, bowlingual, communicate, communications, devices, dog, dogs, emotions, funny, humans, humor, minds, no more woof, owners, pets, reading, rogue kite productions, speech, thinking, thoughts, translate, translation, video, words
We can’t attest to how genuine this video is — some commenters suspect it was staged — but it’s pretty funny all the same.
The video was uploaded to YouTube earlier this month by someone using the name Joe Ballew. And it looks like it could hit the million-view mark before the month is out.
In it, a male voice, presumably Ballew’s, can be heard showing off his newly repaired fence.
“Yep, just completed fixing this fence. Pretty proud of it I’d have to say,” the man says. “Kinda keeps Stella in the yard.”
Just how “kinda” becomes obvious seconds later — when Stella comes into the frame and easily jumps over what appears to be the new section of fence.
“Dammit,” the man can be heard to say.
What makes some viewers suspicious is that just before Stella appears, the otherwise smooth camera work is interrupted with a jolt, and a slight human grunt can be heard — almost as if the camera operator is throwing something he knows Stella, fence or no fence, is going to go after.
We, too, might question how straightforward Ballew is being, but we are still mighty impressed with Stella’s jumping ability.
Posted by John Woestendiek March 24th, 2016 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, dog, dogs, escapes, fence, fences, fencing, funny, home, jump, jumping, leap, leaping, pets, stella, video, yard
A doggy day care center is the setting for this Amy Schumer skit, poking fun at those dog owners who go a little bit overboard — especially when it comes to describing their own “heroism” in adopting rescue dogs.
The five moms trade stories after dropping their “fur babies” at day care.
One explains her dog “lost his legs when a cop shot him in St. Louis.”
Not to be outdone, another says her dog was a Sudan child dog soldier who was kicked out of the militia because he was gay.
Another comes in with a dead dog, explaining she adopted him after he was put down at the local pound: “And I was like, ‘I’ll take her.’ I’m just doing what any hero would do.”
Another relates the story of rescuing her dog, Mrs. Belvedere, from Hurricane Katrina.
“She was up on the roof with this little boy whose parents had drowned. And I just thought, ‘That little orphan boy can’t take care of a dog.’ So I choppered in and rescued her right off that roof.”
“What happened to the boy?” Schumer asks.
“What boy?” the owner of Mrs. Belvedere responds.
Posted by John Woestendiek May 26th, 2015 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: amy schumer, animals, comedy, comedy central, day care, dogs, funny, fur babies, humor, inside amy schumer, pets, rescues
He isn’t exactly adept at catching airborne snacks in his mouth. Does that mean Fritz the Golden retriever should be made a laughingstock?
Probably not, but welcome to the Internet age, in which dogs (and humans) are more likely to become famous not for doing something right, but for doing something wrong — and the more “epic” the fail the better.
This video was posted on YouTube last week, and since has been reposted on major media websites, and broadcast on TV, like yesterday’s Today Show — all but guaranteeing it will go viral.
We hesitated before even posting it, because in a way we see it as laughing “at” Fritz, who, for all we know, might have a vision problem or other disability.
But we admire his persistence, and the look of determination in his eyes. We admire that far more than we admire the owner, and — assuming Fritz is eating everything thrown at him after it lands on the ground — the unhealthy diet he is providing his dog.
Fritz flubs it when he tries to catch, among other food items, a donut, a slice of pizza, a hot dog (on bun, with mustard), a chimichanga and more.
Not until the very end does he manage to catch an item — what appears to be a french fry.
The YouTube post provides few details, so we can only hope this was videotaped over time, as opposed to all in one day — for the sake of Fritz’s stomach, and his owner’s carpeting.
Posted by John Woestendiek March 25th, 2015 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, catching, dog, dogs, error, fail, food, fritz, funny, golden retriever, humor, internet, miss, missing, pets, snacks, treats, video, videos, youtube
This man was having a pretty good chuckle as he took video of his dog slipping and sliding on the ice at Brooklyn’s McGolrick Park
Mere seconds later, he took a dive himself.
We love it when karma works quickly.
In the dog owner’s defense, he apparently cared about his dog enough to equip him with booties. He chuckled again after he took his own fall.
And he had enough humility to post himself getting his comeuppance (or in this case, comedownance) on YouTube.
Posted by John Woestendiek February 11th, 2015 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, dog, dogs, falling, falls, funny, ice, karma, mcgolrick park, new york, owner, pets, slide, slip, video, walker
Ten million viewers have listened to the astute ramblings of these “sad dogs” since they were posted on YouTube a year and a half ago by someone calling himself Ze Frank.
“Sad Dog Diary” is the sequel to Sad Cat Diary, and while it’s laden with poop and pee references, it offers some hilarious insights into how dogs might see the world — were they as logical and unexcitable as the moderator who provides their voice.
Bulldogs are not at the top of the list when it comes to dignified behavior, which is why I like them.
So I wouldn’t say this compilation features bulldogs behaving badly — just bulldogs behaving like bulldogs.