Scratch This One Off Your Christmas Gift List

Courtesy of Mrs. Curmudgeon, who’s starting to recognize the kind of subject her highly idiosyncratic yet lovable husband can’t resist, The Curmudgeon was recently introduced to a product that should be on absolutely no one’s gift list this Christmas:

Just when you think there’s nothing new under the sun someone introduces a $129.99 dog collar

A fitbit-style collar for dogs. In addition to being a tracking device – itself a worthy feature, although for a monthly subscription fee of $9.95, perhaps a bit on the outrageously pricey side – the “Link AKC,” according to the folks who manufacture it,

… helps you manage your dog’s wellness so you can have peace of mind knowing you are doing what’s best for your dog.

Because you know the subject of your pooch’s wellness has been keeping you up nights.

So what do you get for your $129.99 device (more than twice the price of some fitbits)? The collar and an app for your smartphone – oh, The Curmudgeon didn’t mention that? If you don’t already have one, you need to go out and spend hundreds of dollars to buy a smartphone that, despite your best intentions, will absolutely take over your life.

Sorry, The Curmudgeon digresses. Smartphones are still a sore subject with him.

Anyhow, this app offers, among other things, the following features:

Precise activity tracker – 3-axis accelerometer to accurately identify moderate vs intense movement throughout your dog’s day

Two observations here: first – 3-axis accelerometer? How utterly cool is that?

Um, what utterly IS 3-axis accelerometer?

Meet Sable, The Curmudgeon’s step-dog. She taught him about the 19 hours sleeping and one hour licking and she is way, waaay cuter than your dog but has never, ever heard a command she was willing to obey

Second: do you really need a gizmo to tell you that Fido sleeps approximately 19 hours a day and spends another hour licking himself/herself?

Artificial Intelligence – Patent-pending algorithm that learns what constitutes intense activity for your dog so you can make sure your dog gets enough active minutes each day.

An algorithm! You can’t get better than an algorithm, can you? Google INVENTED algorithms, you know! Of course, when you discover that getting your precious Fifi “enough active minutes each day” involves YOU getting more active minutes each day, too, you might want to suggest that this product’s creators stick their algorithms where the sun don’t shine.

Personalized & Insightful – Provides activity level recommendations based on your dog’s age, breed or mixed breed, behavior, and size

Again, a nice idea in theory, but surely you realize that any resulting attempt to increase Rover’s “activity level” will mean increasing your activity level as well.

Is that something you REALLY want?

Besides, don’t dogs run when they want to run? And stop when they’ve had quite enough, thank you? It’s not like there are dogs out there jogging along and saying to themselves, “I made two miles yesterday and need to go three today if I want to work my way up to five. Feel the burn, baby!”

Temperature Alerts – Be alerted when your dog is in an environment that may be too hot or too cold for them

Even The Curmudgeon, who knows precious little about dogs, understands that when a dog is too cold it will shiver and when it’s too hot it will stick out its tongue and pant and search for water and then just refuse to move. Let’s see them thar nerds develop an algorithmic response to “Say whatever you want, offer me a treat, try to play go fetch, knock yourself out, but I ain’t movin’, buster.”

Forget the Link AKC. If you must get your dog something for Christmas – assuming your dog celebrates Christmas or is even aware that it’s Christmas and isn’t one of those fussy pets that prefers Chanukah or Kwanzaa or even Festivus – get it a nice rawhide bone. Or a squeaky toy to chase.

Or a nice, new, soft, well-padded bed. Now THAT your dog surely will appreciate.



Author: foureyedcurmudgeon

The Four-Eyed Curmudgeon is a middle-aged male who is everything right-wing America despises: he is a big-city, ivy league-educated, liberal Jew. He currently resides in a suburb of Philadelphia. He chooses anonymity for the time being because this is his first experience blogging and he wants to get comfortable with it, and see if he likes it, before he exposes himself (figuratively speaking, of course) to the world.

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