I admit it, I've been watching the show - Greatest American Dog. I don't really like reality shows, all the bickering and backstabbing among the peeps isn't really my thing. But since I'm a dog and dog lover, over the weeks I also admit that I've found the show interesting. Yep, just interesting. An interesting study in perhaps how the average dog lover trains, plays and works with their dog, and how they handle stressful situations with their pups.
Now I know that reality shows don't always show the reality of what has happened behind the scenes. Producers and directors edit to make the show entertaining. But I like to think the show has provided a view of the overall relationships that the humans and dogs have on the show (well, I hope so anyway).
I haven't liked the 'activities' or 'challenges' that the producers and directors have required the dogs and humans to do to win. During the elephant 'loyalty' challenge, Mum and I sat with our jaws dropped when the pups were put to the 'stay' test, as a 9000 lb. elephant charged at them. I couldn't help wonder if Mum would ever put me in a position like that, especially unprepared. To my relief, Mum came right out and told me - 'I would never make you do that. I promise'!
Television in general is a form of entertain and education. I assume that's what the noisy box is for. I do know that my sis, Gracie, enjoys it - at least movies about dogs. Me? Not a big fan. I'd rather be out playing, hiking and training with my Mum. But she likes to watch the box on occasion, so I accommodate and spend some evenings vegging on the couch with her as she watches, laughs, learns and even cries, sometimes.
We can't help but wonder, though...what message is the Greatest American Dog bringing to the general pup population? Mum and I know, and have learned a lot, about positive training methods; using them from the very beginning; building on our learning, gradually increasing difficulty and challenge, as we go. Yes, she's made mistakes, just like any human. She's learned from them and helped me learn, as well.
When the producers of Greatest American Dog were looking for participants last Spring, many suggested that I try out. But Mum was emphatic in her 'NO'! For one thing, she can be kind of shy and would not be happy subjecting herself to the potential criticism of millions of pup lovers. Another thing is she speaks her mind (and some folks don't like that, sometimes). But the most important thing is she had no idea (as we believe all the participants in the show don't always know) what I would be subjected to. And there was no way she was going to put me in situations, blindly, that wouldn't be good or right for me.
I'm sure these may be some of the same reasons why other humans and dogs didn't try out for the show. Some really talented ones at that. So, will we ever really know who the Greatest American Dog really is?
Tonight is the finale of Greatest American Dog, 8:00 PM ET/PT on CBS. Some human will have gone through great triumphs, very frightening situations, homesickness, adversity, and joyful and regrettable decisions with their pup over many weeks to win $250,000 and be crowned the the Greatest American Dog. We wonder, will the winner think it was it worth it?
My Mum says that I, and my sis, Gracie, are the Greatest American Dogs, hands and paws down, no questions asked.
And I didn't even have to sit and stay while an elephant charged at me!