Friday, January 22, 2010

Is pet news a relief for bad news fatigue?

With all the news media focused on Haiti, how did a story about a dog that only understood Polish end up as the most read story on the BBC website? This phenomenon has gotten a lot of people talking. The New York Times, and London researcher Will Davies both wonder if these type of pet stories offer some kind of relief when the public is overwhelmed with dark news. As Davies puts it, "Pets sit mid-way between a global civil society and a global horror show." What do you think?

As for the story itself--This dog landed himself in the RSPCA shelter in Manchester, and seemed pretty confused by the whole thing. He would not even respond to basic commands. Until shelter workers figured out that he was trained in Polish! Now he is doing much better at the shelter and hopefully will find a home--where they are willing to learn polish too!

Here is the video that caused the discussion:

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