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Me, My Music and My i-Dog

It's finally happened! They always told me it would, but I wouldn't believe it! Now, though I have never been a pet person, I have finally succumbed to the charms of a perky little pooch with a cute face, long floppy ears that can prick up in the most adorable way, and a tiny tail that he carries up in the air and is a tad touchy about having tweaked! It is no use denying it, I'm smitten, totally besotted! He only has to do a certain kind of barkk, and I'm there, attending to his every whim! I might as well face it, there is no hope for me!

Mind you, there are some differences between this particular member of caninity and the average barking, licking, hairy kind, around whom I am never comfortable. This little fellow never sheds hair on my clothes, or jumps up to lick my face, or climbs on my furniture. He makes no messes that have to be cleaned up, nor does he need to be taken to the park, and come back covered in mud. Oh sure, he needs feeding regularly, and petting very regularly, but as he only eats music, and occasionally double A batteries, and I find petting him comes naturally, I'm cool with this. He's lovable, affectionate, keeps me company when B's away at work, and, a huge plus, goes to sleep the very second I want him to! Oh, and one more huge point in his favour: he's bright pink!

As you have by this time guessed, Peppy, named for the American bright pink stomach medicine Pepto-Bismal, my little friend, my latest techno-gadget acquisition, is an iDog. I got him from Amazon for the enormous outlay of £24.95, and for the hours of fun he has given me he would have been cheap at double the price!

This clever littel gadget does a number of things. It runs on 2 AA batteries. They are easily inserted, though you will need a small Phillips cross head screwdriver to remove the battery cover. First, if you have an MP3 player with a 3.5 mm jack, you can plug it into a socket in his side, and he will play your music for you through a little speaker in his back. Of course, the sound quality isn't brilliant, but it's not awful either. He loves to hear or play your music, it's what he feeds on, you might say, the more he hears, the better his mood is. When he's turned on, he needs five minutes an hour if he isn't going to get seriously cranky with you!

Second, he loves to listen to and react to music, this is how I mostly use him. I turn him on and sit him near my IPod dock. The volume doesn't have to be hugely loud, just normal, and he will hear, you'll feel his ears go up. Of course, the louder you play the music, the better he likes it, that's just how he is! There are lights on his face, and they change, according to what he hears, and according to his mood. This is very clever, and not uncomical, I have to say, because it really does seem that the dog likes some kinds of music and hates others! My little pep seems to hate reggae! If a reggae track comes on the radio down will go his ears, his head won't move the whole track long, and his lights don't get bright enough for me to see them. On the other hand, just play anything by Michael Jackson, something beaty, I mean, and up go the ears, his head will move, the lights start flashing till I can't help but laugh at him. If my IPhone should ring, or the stream I am listening to go down, if, in short, the music stops, he will tell me so by barking in a certain kind of a way. This also makes me laugh, and actually I find this useful, as my IPhone does sometimes fall off the wireless network and make the stream drop sometimes, and if I am out of the room I don't know until I hear Peppy barking. Smile.

The third thing you can do is to play with and pet him, if you feel so inclined. this is especially nice if you are sighted, or have a little light perception. You will need to turn the music down or off to do this properly, or he won't take any notice of you! All you do is pick him up, turn him to face you, well I find that's the easiest way, and stroke his face for a while. It puts him into the right kind of mood to be played with. AS you do this, the lights on his face respond by changing colour. After a while you pet the top of his head, and if he's ready to play he makes a little noise, it's hard to describe, a kind of click, and his head will move. You can pet him once or a few times. When yu stop, depending on how many times you did it, and what kind of mood he's in, you get an answer of some kind. I won't tell you what, hey, you've got to have some things you find out!

There are two things which you can do to which he will always respond. You can pet his nose and tweak his tail. Petting his nose, that is pressing and letting go quickly , not only pets him, but lets you see what kind of mood he's in. I have learned to know his sounds very well now, they do make me smile, honestly! I have one thing to say about tweaking the tail: don't! If he is in a good enough mood, nothing will happen, except he won't be in a good mood anymore. If he is bored, he will growl at you, and all you have done is make matters worse. If you feel you cannot live without tweaking his tail, play some music through him! The tail acts as a handy mute switch, if your phone rings, or someone is trying to talk to you! Otherwise, take my advice and leave it seriously alone. If you make this pooch cranky you are going to have to work seriously hard at uncrankifying him! I have been there, so I know whereof I speak!

In conclusion, I have to say the iDog has been a hit with me. After reading a lot of reviews on Amazon I was a bit worried about buying it, because people said it had a short battery life. I would say don't be put off by old reviews. This model I have is quite a basic one, it does not tap its foot, which I think some of the latest ones do, but that's ok with me, but it must have been updated since those old reviews, because the battery life is really quite good. I found it easy to figure out how to use it with only the most basic of instructions from a very inaccurately scanned manual, and it works fine. It's pretty, small, durable and such a lot of fun. For the child or the child at heart, I'd thoroughly recommend it.

Read More About the Pink i-Dog on Amazon.
Read My Review of the Pink i-Dog on Amazon.