NEWS & FEATURES
Have you heard the woofest mews?
Have you heard the woofest mews?
New Year’s Eve is a time of joy and celebration for most people, but with all the thundering noise from firecrackers and fireworks, it is definitely one of the scariest time in the life of pets.
Ford in Europe, thought of a solution to help dogs: a noise-cancelling kennel that will give refuge and solace to pets, especially dogs whose ears are highly sensitive to sounds.
Ford already has a prototype and it looks like a very modern triangular hut with bedding materials and lighting, too. The market's response was one of excitement and impatience as pet owners wish they could already purchase one to protect their pets from the coming New Year's Eve revelry.
The noise-cancelling feature of the kennel uses similar technology to that found in cars and headphones to protect sensitive canine ears. The special "quiet" kennel can be placed in the middle of the room as it has good aesthetic values, which means the dogs can still be close to its family during the celebration but without having to shake uncontrollably out of fear from all the noise.
Here's how it works: once microphones inside the prototype kennel detect the sound of the fireworks, a built-in audio system emits opposing frequencies that in effect cancels out the noise completely – or at least reduces it significantly. High-density cork, ideal for sound proofing was an integral part of the design.
The idea was inspired by the noise-cancelling technology that we have introduced to the Edge SUV, that helps to ensure quieter journeys for drivers and passengers. When microphones pick up high levels of noise from the engine or transmission, this is counteracted using opposing sound waves from the car’s audio system.
The result? No more stress for your pet. A concept for now, but with the potential to mean a much better start to the year, both for your dog – and for you.
Unfortunately, Ford's noise-cancelling kennel is still a prototype. Until it becomes commercially available, pet owners must find a place where pets can feel safe from all the noise that will usher in 2019.
By ALMA J. BUELVA
EVERYDAY, 65-year-old Thomas Francisco, Sr. works in the streets of Metro Manila looking for recyclable materials in the trash to eke out a living.
His gaunt face, thin body and sun-burned skin reveal how hard his life has been. It was already dusk that day we saw “Manong Thomas” near West Avenue in Quezon City pushing his big, bright blue cart with the help of five dogs. He has seven Aspins (Asong Pinoy).
Three dogs were loosely tethered on the left side of the cart led by Brownie, Tsoytsoy (a small dog that looks like a beagle) and Whitey. Two other dogs, Tagpi (black-and-white fur) and Pacman (brown), push the cart from the right side. They are like sled dogs, only they are helping drive not a sleigh, but a cart full of junk.
A sad-looking dog named Blackie stands inside the cart because he is sick, Manong Thomas said. His seventh “little helper” is Wawa, a puppy that is too small to work yet and is a bit malnourished. Manong Thomas lamented that Wawa's growth has been slow.
The old man told MetroPets that he has no place to leave his dogs behind so he takes them with him when he works as “mangangalakal”, which is someone who looks for recyclable materials like plastic, metal, rubber and paper to sell. He was vague when asked where they live. In Novaliches, he said, but wouldn't elaborate.
Except for Blackie and Wawa, the rest of the dogs look okay, if not a bit tired. Asked if he also likes cats, Manong Thomas sweetly smiled: “Meron dyan sa loob, nagtatago” (There are some [cats] inside, hiding).
While we briefly talked to Manong Thomas, his dogs took the time to rest, pee and even play with whatever they could find on the ground. None of them barked, but good-naturedly wagged their tails and waited while the humans talked to each other. They also would gingerly smell passers-by who got close.
The top deck of the cart is decorated with plastic flowers for Mang Thomas' altar of religious icons like that of the Virgin Mary and the Black Nazarene. All around his cart he wrote not only his full name but also the words GOD and DOG. He found this simple play on words amusing.
As it was Christmastime, night was creeping fast and Mang Thomas and his motley crew must be on their way home. He said he will park for the night at a relative's house nearby. Tomorrow, they will start early looking for other people's junk which will give him money to take care of himself and his dogs.
Like a shepherd that watches his flock, the old man gently coaxed his dogs to get going again. Pacman, Brownie, Tsoytsoy, Tagpi and Whitey dutifully took their positions and, like Santa's reindeer, gracefully pulled their cart onwards. -- MetroPets
* Laika and Felicette, pioneer pet astronauts