November 22nd, 2016
We are a bit of an anomaly in this technological era. Our family does not subscribe to cable or satellite services. No one has a cellphone and only one of our computers is hooked up to the internet. WiFi is non-existent in our household that still relies on using a modem to connect to the worldwide web. Not quite technologically backward, we manage to survive in our high-tech world. It’s a conscious choice that we have made. Bailey does not seem to give much notice to the various screens scattered around the house – 3 laptops, 2 personal computers and 2 televisions. Once in a while, Bailey surprises us with her sudden interest in the television.
Our televisions are used to watch DVDs of movies or those shows packaged as complete seasons borrowed from the local library. Without 24/7 television offerings, our nights in front of the big screen are special. We enjoy a variety of snacks and drinks to celebrate these occasions. Everyone has their preferred seating spot including our sweetness. Bailey happily stretches out at our feet in close proximity to being rubbed and more importantly, near the tantalizing yummies. Once the food goodies disappear, Bailey falls into a deep sleep oblivious to that night’s show. Imagine our shock when Bailey bolted upright with a loud Woof while we were watching an episode of “Once Upon A Time”. The scene involved Pongo, a Dalmatian, frantically barking to draw attention that his owner was gone. Bailey was obviously disturbed by Pongo’s distress and sat blocking the television to get a closer look. More woofs followed until Pongo exited the scene and our gal could resume her siesta.
It was not the only time. Another dog movie called “Max” which told a story about a German Sheppard retired from bomb sniffing duty in the Middle East woke up Bailey and caused her to start barking in front of the television screen. Max was reacting in a protective manner – growling and barking to fend off the bad guys. It appeared that our sweetness identified on some level with this dog in the big box. Okay, she reacts to the sounds of other dogs especially ones in distress. Along came “The Martian” and Bailey came to life once again but, not a dog in sight. In an emotionally charged scene where the main character played by Matt Damian finds his food source destroyed, Bailey acted agitated, woofed numerous times and remained fixated on staring at the television screen. We were told by other Newfoundland dog owners that this breed has a strong empathy with humans. Bailey loves her sleep and arousing her can be quite a challenge. Springing up from a deep sleep to verbally respond to the distress of another dog or human seems to suggest that our girl shows a high degree of emotional intelligence. It makes you wonder if Bailey sees our television as the doorway into another world in need of her protection.