Need a dog sitter?

jack for blog.jpg

Do you use your TV as a dog sitter?  Are you looking for a better solution using your Amazon Echo?

In our house, we have a cute little cocker spaniel who is really spoiled.  When we leave the house for more than a few minutes, my wife insists on leaving the TV on in the family room for him.

I don’t know whether it is to keep him entertained, provide some comfort to avoid separation anxiety, or simply to drown him out if he should start barking at the gardener or an unknown noise outside, but it has become an automatic part of our “leaving the house” checklist.

Is Dog TV real?

It may not be as silly as it seems - several years ago DirecTV, our satellite service, started offering the DOG TV channel.  They claim it is “friendly programing scientifically developed to provide the right company for dogs when left alone”.  Yeah, right!  After the free trial we didn’t buy it and never thought twice about it - until today.

Flying by my screen I saw something that said “Audible for Dogs”.  From the corner of my eye I caught a glimpse and knew I had to learn more.  A quick trip to Google and I was on a new webpage from Audible that was promoting audio books for dogs [“Cesar Millan’s Guide to Audiobooks for Dogs”]

The “Guide to Audiobooks for Dogs” is free

It’s a free FREE audio book from Cesar Millan, the “dog whisperer”.  In a nutshell, he has conducted research that shows that reading aloud to a dog, while you are away, can help with separation anxiety and keep your dog calm.

If you asking “what the heck does this have to do with home automation”, let me explain: Audible is an online store/service that sells audio books - books that have been converted to audio format either by the author or professional narrators.  

Since audible is owned by Amazon, in addition to listening to audio books on your iPod, smartphone, tablet, or computer you can also use your Amazon Echo.  Working together, Audible and Amazon allow you to access your entire collection of Audible audio books and have them read to you.

This works for humans too!

Not only does it work for actual audio books, but Amazon went further and added the capability for Amazon Echo to convert written books to spoken form with their own “text to speech” processing.  So you can have any book, not just audio books, read aloud to you.

I’m seriously going to look into this - not only is it more convenient to use Amazon Echo to keep the dog entertained, it is more flexible because with Amazon Echo and Amazon Dot devices in several rooms, it can be used in many places where we don’t have a TV.

You can listen to audio books on several Amazon Alexa devices; in this case I recommend the Amazon Echo - the built-in speaker sounds great and is large enough to be heard everywhere in the room.

Lower your electric bill by turning off the TV

It is also eco-friendly - playing an audio book on the Amazon Echo will use a lot less electricity than leaving the cable/satellite box, stereo receiver, and big screen TV on for multiple hours when no one (except the dog) is at home.

What do you think about using Amazon Echo as a dog sitter? Let me know what you think.