June 26, 2009

"Onaka ga sukimashita!"

by winecountrydog

We dogs never thought it would catch on.

In 2002, Japanese toy company Takara sold their first Bowlingual Voice™ device fur computer-based dog-to-human language translation.

We doggiggled. Cute idea, but what human would buy it?

Fast forward to last week, when twitter pal @hollygomadly sent us the link to the Youtube below, which shows Japanese dogs sendin' Bowlingual messages to their humans.

"Onaka ga sukimashita!"

Nothin' new 'bout that. Ha howl!

That demo of Bowlingual Voice is one of the funniest things we dogs have ever seen. I'm sure that Meowlingual is just as funny.

The Bowlingual device is called a "translator," but it's really an emotion analyzer. It categorizes dog barks into one of six standardized emotional categories and then provides a phrase to represent that emotion.

Bowlingual and Meowlingual are "for entertainment purposes only." Of course our dog and cat communications cannot be translated easily into words, if at all. Howlever, barks and meows can be intuitively translated by discerning humans.

Now, what's needed in the dog world is a device fur humans to wear that analyzes their thoughts and emotions, and then translates them into something that makes some doggone sense consistently.

Suki desu ka?

Paw-note to dog-ma: Jack, Meezer, and I wish you a happy B.D.

June 12, 2009

Paws for Love at Foppiano Vineyards

by winecountrydog

I hurried through the vineyard to the Paws for Love event at Foppiano winery on June 6th. The event, called "Painting Paws and Petite Sirah," was a fundraiser benefit for animals in Sonoma County, the North Bay, and beyond.

Below you see the Paws for Love "Vineyard Barrel Dash", a unique canine agility course that was created from wine barrels especially for this fun fundraiser.

We sat-stayed and watched clever dogs go 'round the agility course. I didn't doo the course 'cuz of my back pawblem. And Jack Corgi didn't doo it 'cuz he's shy. But we compawletely enjoyed watching and meeting all the dogs on the sidelines.

What a beautiful setting fur a get-together! This is one of California's oldest family-owned wineries, founded in 1896. Foppiano is well known fur its old vine Russian River Valley Estate Petite Sirah.

In the background you see some of Foppiano winery's beautiful old vineyards. In the distance, you see fluffy clouds hangin' over hills to the northeast, beyond Healdsburg.

Doo you notice, below, that wine barrel hoops were hung fur dogs to jump through? Such a pawfect activity fur a wine country event.

Below we see handsome Java Schnoodle, winner of the agility event, with his human, Heather, and her mom, Audrey. Sitting and talking to Java and family is none other than pioneer California winemaker Louis J. Foppiano!

Truly, Lou Foppiano is a living resource of wine industry history. Howlever, my favorite story is about Lou Foppiano the great dog lover: It's said that he always had Chihuahuas around him while he was working, and that the dogs would crawl up his arm and sit on his shoulders. Howl I love that!

Java Schnoodle really appawreciated meetin' Lou Foppiano!

I overheard humans at the event say they enjoyed tastin' the Foppiano wines. (Appawently the Cabernet was especially well received and tasted more than once by the same folks.)

After the agility event, Paws' founder, Ms. Ellyn Boone, did painting with dogs on the winery's front lawn. Well, not directly on the lawn — that'd be silly. The dogs made their paintings on paper, so that their humans could frame their works of art.

Howl can I adequately convey to you what a great time was had by all? I'm not just woofin' this to be nice. I've never been on a more enjoyable, dog-mellow outing. And fur such a great cause!

The Paws for Love Foundation provides resources and funding to shelters, rescue groups, and individuals who impawrove the health, welfare, and adoptability of unwanted and abused animals.

High paw fur Ms. Boone!

Paw-note: Congrats, Java! I hope I see you at the next Paws agility event.