November 02, 2005

pet podcast

what's your dog's favorite song? he doesn't listen to music all that much? well, that may change, according to a dj on dogcatradio.com, portrayed in today's new york times:
Jumpy Enough to Chew a Chair? Try DogCatRadio

"Remember, be kind to your mailman," said Jane Harris, a disc jockey. Then she softened her voice until it was a little insinuating: "He only wants to deliver the mail."

It is a message that many of her listeners need to hear. Ms. Harris is a D.J. on DogCatRadio.com, a new Internet radio station for pets. Now dogs, cats, hamsters and parrots can keep the anxiety, the loneliness, the restlessness at bay while their owners are out. It is radio just for them, live 17 hours a day, 4 a.m. to 9 p.m. Pacific time, and podcast for the rest of the 24 hours.

Those who listen to DogCatRadio will find that there is generally an animal motif to the playlist, like "Hound Dog": "You ain't nothin' but a hound dogcryin' all the time."

This Elvis song is a frequent request from listeners (presumably the owners), as are the Baha Men, singing: "Who let the dogs out (woof, woof, woof, woof)."

And Dionne Warwick is also popular, especially her soothing song "That's What Friends Are For": "Keep smiling, keep shining,/Knowing you can always count on me."

Since many pets are apparently bilingual, DogCatRadio also has a "Spanish Hour," 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. Pacific time daily, with Hispanic commentary and music, like Luis Miguel's "No Sé Tú": DogCatRadio.com was started last June by Adrian Martinez, who is also president of Marusa records, an independent record label in Los Angeles. He runs the station out of a customized RV parked in his office lot in the Eagle Rock section of Los Angeles. [...]

The first week that DogCatRadio was broadcast, the local CBS television station showed a feature about it. As a result, so many people tuned in, 130,000 in one day, that the server crashed, Mr. Martinez said. "We had to get a bigger server to accommodate more listeners." Now, he said, "We average close to 8,000 hits a week. We have a meter that tracks it."

"People are just e-mailing us," calling from all over the world, Mr. Martinez said. "I love what you are doing, but please don't forget our equine friends," an e-mail message from Australia said. [...]

Meanwhile, the broadcast has received some notice. Dr. Larry Family, who has a talk show program, the Pet Vet, on WROW-AM in Albany, recommends DogCatRadio to his patients' owners. "It's of interest to those people whose pets have certain phobias or anxiety issues," he said in a telephone interview from the outskirts of Schenectady, where he has his practice.

"I have recommended it to those whose dogs are having certain problems behaviorwise in the home environment," he said.

"It might be helpful with dogs with separation anxiety issues," Dr. Family went on. "Dogs, especially, are interested in watching TV with their owners and listening to music."

Mr. Martinez said that at the moment, the station has no advertising and is making no money. But, he said, "I'm not in it for the money." He added, "Eventually, I'm sure, people will advertise."

That is not such a leap, since it is estimated that American pet owners will spend $35.9 billion this year on everything from electric toothbrushes for dogs to bird pedicures to self-flushing litter boxes for cats, according to the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association. [...]

personally, "to keep the anxiety, the loneliness, the restlessness at bay" i recommend playing this - and brandy prefers kongs.

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