As you read over the headlines each morning, do you ever think about what occupies your dog’s mind during the day? Well, they have their own ways of finding out what goes on in the world. And, dogs love to get the daily news too! Of course, a dog’s newspaper is not so much read by a dog (they have poor eyesight), as it is sniffed out and investigated. And my dogs always let me know when they are ready to get their day’s news! After watching me read my various e-papers for about an hour, they are totally bored. So, they jump on my lap, paw at me, and knock my iPad onto the floor. Sigh. Time to finish my coffee and head outside!
Just like me, Charlotte and Georgia always start with the local news. Each morning we all tumble out of bed and bounce downstairs. Next, the girls run all over the living room and kitchen and sniff out every corner just in case they missed a fallen crumb from the day before. Then as I start brewing coffee, they plunge through their doggie door and scour the yard for new scents, suspicious critters, or other new events that need to be investigated.
Checking out the backyard.
A dog’s newspaper would not be complete without community and wider world news.
We usually head out to the local park at least once a day, and this is where Charlotte and Georgia gather community news to see if anything has changed from the day before. And sure enough, they find all kinds of new things to stick their noses into. And sometimes they find various things to taste and eat if I am not quick enough on the draw. Be sure to read my post about what it is like to go on a walk from a dog’s perspective to get some humorous yet helpful insights.
No matter how many times we go to the same place every week, they are always fascinated with the most minute details of every leaf, tree, and blade of grass in their community park. A 20-minute walk turns into a circuitous rambling throughout the park lasting up to a good hour. We can’t head back home until they are satisfied that they have obtained all of the day’s news.
Now to be totally fair, I have been guilty along with a lot of other people, of spending way too much time checking the news several times a day. This has been especially true during these last four years, and in particular, 2020. It feels a lot like that horrific attraction one has to a huge car accident on the freeway in which you just can’t help but look. But the girls usually let me know when it is time to quit reading by knocking the phone out of my hands!
Dogs hear and smell much better than they see or taste
I think it is important to point out that dogs really don’t see that well. What we can see clearly is often a blur to them. For starters, their visual acuity is 20/75 compared to the ideal human vision of 20/20 (don’t let your dog drive your car). Additionally, they can only see yellow and blue; other colors like green and red look like shades of gray to them. See the Smithsonian Magazine post dated July 10, 2013, Dogs Have Terrible Eyesight: See for Yourself, by Colin Schultz.
So this explains why they bark at neighbors when they see them walking a block away from us. I do find it interesting, however, that many dog toys are made in bright red colors. Perhaps it is more for our benefit, so we can find and retrieve their favorite ball or frisbee after they have lost interest (who is training whom to fetch?).
I also read, that dogs have much fewer taste buds than humans (they do, after all, eat dog food). Dogs have only 1,700 taste buds compared to our 9,000. (See the AKC post on March 17, 2017, Can Dogs Taste? by Katie Finlay.)
Their sense of smell, however, is a million times better than ours. This brings me back to my earlier point that Charlotte and Georgia need to stick their noses into everything! Be sure to see my post about why dogs like to sniff butts to learn more about how dogs learn about other dogs.
Wider world news in a dog’s newspaper is harder to come by
Since their eyesight is poor and they can’t drive, Charlotte and Georgia depend upon me to take them to more exotic places like the regional park or the beach. And prior to social distancing requirements due to Covid-19, we would often go to doggie daycare, a friend’s house, or a dog park. These were the really exciting places that would give them sweet doggie dreams for many nights!
These places are often the best parts of a dog’s newspaper. So much to take in! And, to get the full details of each newsworthy item, they may need to roll in it (dead fish); smell very carefully (dog poop or someone’s butt); or stare/glare for a long time at other passing dogs. The first time I took them to the beach, Charlotte tried to eat the foam of the incoming surf. But she quickly decided that salty water didn’t taste as good as it looked!
I have also noticed that my dogs love to be in high places like picnic tables, on top of cliffs, and on chairs. I think it makes them feel important and they get a much better view of the ocean, trails, and parks. See my post about Why Dogs Love High Places for more about this
I love exposing them to wider world news as part of a dog’s newspaper experience! We all have a great time and they are exhausted when they get home. That means we will all sleep well and Charlotte and Georgia will stop pawing at me when I am reading the news! (Well, maybe…)
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