Thursday, November 26, 2015

Her master's voice

Sparkle makes the leap to the new media.

Her master's voice


I've been having fun with my new Philly Tablet  the last few weeks and was demonstrating it at the kitchen table the other evening to my oldest daughter, who is thinking of buying one.

While I was playing the most recent Puppy Steps video to show her what the Arnova Android tablet could do,  Sparkle was sacked out in the living room.  When the video reached the part where I threw the stick to Sparkle as she splashed in the pond, my voice came through crystal-clear: "Sparkle! tchk, tchk... "

Sparkle immediately jumped up from her slumber, thumping her tail, thinking we were headed out on a spur-of-the-moment adventure. I, of course, gave her an "as you were" signal. The tablet audio must be pretty good; it sure got Sparkle's attention from a bit of a distance. I haven't used a lot of the features yet, such as the camera or the word-processing program, but I'm pretty excited about  the tablet's convenience and ease of use.  It may be just the thing for following this fast-moving puppy as well as catching up on my newspaper reading.

Sparkle's response to the tablet reminds me, too, of dogs I've had who have watched TV.  During the Westminster Kennel Club show, one of our dogs once raced up to the TV set and actually sniffed at the rear end of the dog that was being trotted out for judging. We burst out in amazed laughter. After that, I've had absolutely no doubt that dogs can watch (and understand) television. 

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About this blog
George Carter, The Inquirer's weekend national/foreign editor, has always counted dogs among his closest companions. According to family lore, he learned to walk by clinging to the side of a saintly patient mutt named Spanker. In turn, one of his earliest hazy memories is of tossing treats to the family dogs gathered expectantly on the porch of their Maryland farmhouse. It was only natural then, that when George saw a newspaper ad looking for families to raise puppies for the Seeing Eye of Morristown, N.J., he bit at the chance. From the start, it has been a family project, with teenage daughter Betsy as the official puppy-raiser. First there was Porter, a big-hearted yellow Lab born on Memorial Day 2004. A few years later, the Carters raised Velma, a gorgeous Lab/golden cross. Just a couple weeks ago, Velma's 7-week-old daughter Sparkle arrived as the latest family charge. George, Betsy and mom Cathy are thrilled that Sparkle is from Velma's very first litter. You can reach George Carter at 215-854-2411 or by clicking here. Reach George at

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