My Week 40: Wearable Pet Tech and Wedding Vows That Should Be Made But Aren’t

Wednesday: Wearable technology for pets

On Wednesday morning, I was watching Canada AM. I never get the chance to do this normally, and believe me, it wasn’t by choice, but I’m on a mini-holiday, and of course, thanks to Ken and Titus getting up, running around, then jumping back onto the bed—yes, both of them—I woke up WAY earlier than I had intended to. I tried to get back to sleep, but then Titus suddenly disappeared, and I heard the distinct sound of him knocking things over and eating. And since it was coming from the office, and Ken showed absolutely no interest in what was happening, that left it up to me to find out what the monster dog was up to. Sure enough, he had found K’s leftover Hungry Man container from the night before and was dragging it, and its contents, around the office floor. To make matters worse, as I was trying to get the container away from Titus, I stepped in cold, mushy corn, and just about lost my sh*t, because it was kind of like stepping in cat puke, which I have also had the misfortune of doing on more than one occasion. So there was no chance in hell that I was getting back to sleep any time soon. After I washed the corn off my foot, I decided to go downstairs and watch TV, but there’s nothing decent on at that time of the morning, except for uber-cheery morning show hosts who run through the usual assortment of even more ecstatic guests, like the guy who shows you how to “grill” portobello mushrooms (to the rest of us, this means barbeque), the woman who excitedly talks about the latest fall fashions (because obviously it’s the beginning of July, so who WOULDN’T want to talk about the impending onslaught of cold weather?), and other random but equally happy people who obviously have no night life if they’re up this early and not pissed about it, like I was. Anyway, to make a long story short, I was grumpily watching Canada AM, and the host started interviewing this guy who was hawking “Wearable Tech For Your Dog”. She was as flummoxed as me, and we both said, kind of simultaneously, “What exactly is that?!” Except she said it in a really happy, interested way, and I may or may not have included one or more F words in my query. It turns out that wearable tech for your dog is the kind of thing you might find in the Hammacher Schlemmer catalogue, in among the heated outdoor cathouses and giant celebrity robots—in other words, something that a person with more money than brains would buy. For example, for the low cost of $119.00, you can buy the equivalent of a Fitbit for your canine pal, so that you can track the number of steps it takes in a day. I don’t need to spend ANY money to know that Titus puts in a lot of steps running between the door, the supper dish, and every garbage can in the house looking for food, and I have no interest in knowing the exact number—in fact, it would probably scare me how much energy he puts into doing that. In addition, for $149.00 plus an additional monthly fee to access the app that you need to use it, you can buy a health monitor that attaches to your dog’s collar and measures heartrate, respiration, blood pressure, and so on. Why the hell would you want to do this? Well, the techie guy explained that if your dog got sick, you would already have important information to help the vet make a diagnosis. Call me a little mercenary if you want, but doesn’t the vet get PAID to do all that? Do you really think the vet is going to be like, “Thanks so much for the extra, helpful information—I’m going to reduce your bill by 20%?” Just like I expect the cashier to bag my groceries if I have to buy the plastic bag, I expect the vet to work for his fee. Plus, I already worry enough about Titus (two nights ago, I was convinced for about ten seconds that he was actually dead until he finally opened one eye, looked at me dismissively, and went back to sleep), so I would probably spend way more time than I should obsessing about the monitor, which ironically, for 150 bucks could have clarified the whole “Titus is dead!” incident a lot more quickly than me poking him and screaming “Titus!!” at him for several terrible moments. Finally, for $199, you can get a GPS tracker for your dog. This, explained the techie, is the ideal way to locate your dog if it goes missing. I have something similar for Titus—it’s called “his name”. If I can’t see him anywhere, I say it loudly, and he miraculously reappears. Personally, I think it would be better to have a GPS tracker for your cat, judging by the number of missing cats on various local buy and sell sites. It makes absolutely no sense to me that people let their cats outside in the first place—why would you let an animal that exhibits absolutely no loyalty to you wander around the neighbourhood, then act shocked when it doesn’t come home? So a Cat GPS would at least give you some peace of mind, like “Where’s Tinker?! Oh wait…the GPS shows she’s down the street, sucking up to Mrs. Smith for a bowl of milk—AGAIN.” The only piece of wearable tech I would ever want to see on a dog is something that could translate its thoughts, although if most dogs are anything like mine, it would pretty much just always say “This is the best day EVER!!”, every day. Either that, or “Sorry for eating the garbage.”

Friday: Wedding vows you didn’t make but should have

Sometimes I make notes on my Iphone about things during the week that interest me or amuse me so that I have something to write about on the weekend. Yesterday, I was looking at my phone and it said, “Wedding vows you should have made but didn’t: I won’t puke on your hand”. For the life of me, I couldn’t remember the context for that. I mean, it makes total sense, and I remember it coming up in conversation, but still, I had no idea what it was about and neither did Ken, since neither of us have EVER puked on each other, either deliberately or by accident. Still, with our 25th wedding anniversary coming up this week, I thought it might be appropriate to consider OTHER vows that in retrospect, we could have made to each other, instead of the boring, traditional sh*t.

Ken: I promise to love and honour you. I also promise not to make fun of you every time you see a hawk on a hydro line and yell out, “Look, Ken—an owl!”, even though I’ve told you a hundred times that owls are nocturnal and don’t roost on power lines. I promise to always straighten up throw pillows, rugs, and to always smooth out the comforter after you’ve “just made the bed” when I then sit on it to put on my socks. I promise not to move ornaments out of place. I promise to eat quinoa, or whatever you tell me to, because it’s “good for me”. Finally, I promise to appreciate your slightly obsessive nature, because I know it just means you care about EVERYTHING, even if it’s sometimes nitpicky and annoying.

Me: I promise to love and honour you, too. I also promise not to make too much fun of your weird taste in music, even though no one in their right mind puts Stomping Tom Connors and Nine Inch Nails on the same mixed CD. I promise to make sure you dress appropriately, that you don’t wear pink and red together, and that I will look up words on your T-shirts on to make sure they don’t have alternative, dirty meanings. I promise to take your decorating ideas into consideration, and when I dismiss them, I promise to do it nicely. I promise to always hold the ladder so you don’t fall off, even when you’re only up a few steps, or at least to keep asking you if you’re OK. Finally, I promise to always appreciate your wonderful sense of whimsy and your immense creativity, even when it distracts you from cleaning up the closet in your office.

Happy Anniversary, honey:-)

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