Walking The Dog

Twinkle_1 Last night, around 8:30 p.m., the kids were upstairs, and it was just me and my baby by the computer.

We looked at each other - or to be honest, I looked at her - dimmed the lights, and found that radio station we listen to when we can steal the time.

The one with the barking.

Nothing says I love you like Dogcatradio.com, "the radio station all pets enjoy."

And, oh baby, they were playing Barry White.

Not sure about all pets, but my woolly and fragrant 10-year-old Bouvier des Flandres, Twinkle, surely seemed to dig it, from the mix of Stevie Wonder and Kool and the Gang to founder Adrian Martinez's soothing tones, broadcast 17 hours a day from a van parked outside a Los Angeles recording studio.

"I'm in a mood to shake my paws, I don't know about you," Martinez, 34, announced after "Ladies Night" faded and the yipping resumed. "Pet dictators, they think they own the floor here. Big 'hello' to all our furry listeners out there keeping us company. You guys rock."

The station touts its upbeat programming to keep your pet company while you're away at work. Music to keep Nala from gnawing the sofa legs.

But it's something to share when you're together, too. I could tell Barry White's basso profundo was moving Twinkle. She stretched, shifted to her other side, and left me with the butler's revenge.

Come to think of it, this might not be her brand of music.

It's not Franco's either. He's the hellhound owned by blogger Carl Abernathy of West. Lafayette, Indiana.

If the station broadcasted the sounds of wolves eating bunnies, followed by a few studly howls, Franco might be down with it. He’d probably even tolerate Big Mama Thornton singing "Hound Dog."

But for now, we’ll leave DogCatRadio to the lap dogs. Franco would rather sleep and dream about rabbits.

The New York Times profiled the station this week, and when its reporter tuned in, co-host Jane Harris was doing her whispery best to settle an age-old conflict between man and dog:

Remember, be kind to your mailman. He only wants to deliver the mail.

The station averages about 8,000 hits a week, with programming in English and Spanish -- apparently, dogo Argentinos and Chihuahuas listen. The songs selection can be a little heavy on the disco/funk/soul, and the background barking can get a little repetitive, but it's all music to a dog's ears. Not sure about cats.

But the Times piece quotes Martinez, an indie record company president, as saying he started the station in June because "my cat, Snickers, asked me to do it."

One day, Snickers was pacing the floor restlessly and meowing. "I said, 'What do you want?' " Mr. Martinez recalled in a telephone interview from Los Angeles. "I turned up the music, and she was fine." He discovered that Snickers likes 80's rock, particularly the Eddie Money version of the song "Take Me Home Tonight:" "I feel a hunger /It's a hunger that tries to keep a man awake at night."

Posted 11/03/2005 11:28:59 AM

Uhhhh.....*sigh* Only in California! Twinkle enjoys this, you say?

Daniel Rubin
Posted 11/03/2005 11:39:07 AM

Well, it's hard to read her. If you say anything in a high squeaky voice, she's game. I ask, "You want to go rafting in Cambodia?" and she's at the door.

Posted 11/03/2005 12:03:28 PM

Personally, and my Flickr favorites will attest to it, I'm waiting for PuppyKittenRadio.

Daniel Rubin
Posted 11/03/2005 12:09:52 PM


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