I recently saw the most perfect product for sale possible – a lifelike robotic canine. It comes with soft fur, a pliable body, and even a “heartbeat.” It moves its head and gives the cutest life-like “responses” to petting and words. Then I looked at our terrier Libby. Don’t worry, I’m not thinking of trading in our beloved fur baby for artificial intelligence, but how nice if Libby had these three built-in features…
A ‘no barking’ switch – Libby sometimes yaps so loud, suddenly, and shrilly, we’ve considered keeping a defibrillator on hand. Some of her barks have been categorized “Code Blue Coronary.” We all gasp, clutching our chests. It’s even worse in the car. Because Libby’s scared, this little Yorkie/Papillion sounds like she’s warming up to sing an opera – a loud, shrill opera that hurts the ears.
Then I picture Perfect Robot Dog. She has a cute little bark and best of all, volume control. I keep looking for that switch on Libby, to no avail. Best part is you can turn off the Perfect Robot Dog’s barking and just have wonderful silence. Sigh.
No Chewing Randy’s socks — We’ve never figured out why Libby loves munching on Randy’s Fruit of the Loom black crew lengths. We even have to keep them in a special bag in his nightstand. Still, where there’s a will there’s a way. I’ve even heard Libby knocking over Randy’s canvas hamper just to get a sock hit. It’s uncanny.
Then there’s Perfect Robot Dog, who is programmed to not only stay away from socks but does no damage to clothing at all. I picture Randy able to keep socks on the floor by the bed, with no fear of tiny, sharp canine teeth biting them to pieces. It seems impossibly luxurious.
No disemboweling stuffed animals – The first week we had Libby, we learned she doesn’t just play with toys, she destroys them. And by destroy, I mean literally rips the stuffing out of them. They arrive plump, soft, and pretty. Within a month, they’re flat as pancakes, eyes pulled out, limps barely hanging, and all insides gone. John Dillinger would’ve fainted.
Then there’s Perfect Robot Dog. All plush toys would be safe. We could keep them intact, untouched for years. How nice not to see frantic head shaking as our canine tries to “break the neck” of some poor, unsuspecting Beanie Baby. How nice not to have a “toy budget” set up for the pooch.
Still…the other day, I realized why Perfect Robot Dog, although wonderful, wouldn’t be quite the same.
I had gone to get the mail and was walking back to the house. There at the window was Libby, waiting. As I came closer, her brown eyes lit up. Her tongue hung out in a happy smile. Her little powder puff tail wagged furiously.
Once inside, I picked her up and she licked my cheek. And that’s the trade-off I realized.
Life would be so much easier with Perfect Robot Dog, but it wouldn’t be as sweet. I hugged Libby’s warm, soft body. Instead of a fake heartbeat, I knew she had a real one.
Would you get a robot dog or cat? All comments are welcome and if you like this, please share.
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