Wednesday checking out the Furbo. JORDAN BLAKE/CONTRIBUTED
Photo: JORDAN BLAKE
Photo: JORDAN BLAKE

A dog camera for cats (that gives treats)

One night a few months ago I woke up around 4 a.m., and after minutes of tossing and turning I grabbed my Kindle. I know it’s bad for my sleep routine, but I turned it on anyway and hit the Amazon store app.

I had remembered seeing several ads for a Furbo, an internet-connected video camera that could remotely dispense dog treats via my cellphone.

The gadget has a great “guilt” draw. Many dog parents feel guilty heading off for the day because they won’t be seeing their dogs until they return home. With this dog camera, they can connect with their pets whether at work, the store, the doctor’s office or even out of town.

This handy little gadget can also alert pet parents if their dog starts to bark. It has a 120-degree wide-angle lens and a 4x digital zoom.

It was pricey, so I put it in my “shopping cart” to think about it, turned off my Kindle and went back to sleep. I forgot about it until 24 hours later when it showed up at my front door. So much for 4 a.m. Amazon browsing and trusting I had clicked on the “cart” button and not the “purchase” button.

All I could do was laugh and rationalize that now that I have it, I might as well try it out.

I put the Furbo on the kitchen counter and faced it toward the great room. I downloaded the cellphone app and loaded up the well of the base with dog treats.

I went outside and clicked on my cellphone’s Furbo app. I turned on the camera and within seconds I saw my great room. My husband, Ed, was stationed in the room with Teddy by his side.

With the speaker on, I said, “Teddy, treats!”

Teddy looked around the room. He looked at Ed.

I tapped the treat dispense button on the app and two treats catapulted out of the Furbo.

Teddy’s head jerked at the sound of the Furbo releasing the treats. He quickly saw the treats on the floor about a foot from him but didn’t more toward them.

I again said, “Teddy, treats!”

Teddy didn’t budge. It wasn’t until Ed said, “OK,” that Teddy moved and gobbled up the treats.

We tried the Furbo numerous times throughout the week. Ed, our daughter, Jordan, and I tried to call him into the great room and get the treats the Furbo was dispensing. Teddy wouldn’t come. Period.

Teddy is a smart dog and picks up on commands easily. It was as if the pooch didn’t recognize or trust the voice he was hearing.

We left the Furbo on the counter and, frankly, forgot about it until a few weeks later. Ed, Teddy and I were visiting Lake Michigan. Jordan was planning on joining us at the end of the week. She asked if she could use the Furbo to monitor her cat, Wednesday, while we were gone.

I said sure and asked if she wanted me to try and call Wednesday and dispense some treats. Jordan thought it was a great idea and quickly set up the Furbo and filled it’s well with cat treats.

From the phone’s speaker I called, “Wednesday, treats.” I wasn’t expecting much reaction from the 1-year old black cat and neither was Jordan. After all, the Furbo was created for dogs.

Wednesday flew off her cat perch and ran to the Furbo’s location and gobbled up the treats.

Go figure.

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