11/24/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

Doggie Cam

Let's admit it, our dogs are our children with less backtalk. Our own personal canines are always glad to see us, we don't have to worry about their friends or more importantly who they marry, unless of course we're breeders, then we care a lot.

That being said watching your dog on the web while you're at work seems like a no brainer for entertainment. After all if parents installed nanny cam to make sure the babysitter wasn't ignoring or worse, beating up on the kids, then why wouldn't any caring pet owner want to make sure Fido or Fifi is safe and sound at the doggie day care center.

This brings me to a recent encounter with dog owner Alfonso Quirzo. He reluctantly leaves Bruno, a 9-month-old Brussels Griffon at The Paw Stop each day before work in lower Manhattan. Believe me, this is no dive; there is air-conditioning, a doggie play set, even a television in the communal room. And there are two of those, one for little bitty dogs and another for the big ones.

What makes this place special, though not as special as a few years ago when there were fewer of them with a web cam set up, is the internet connection allowing pet owners to view their little dears.

Staffer Michelle Areton says clients really like to log on to the store's website and watch the doggie doin's during the day. "They come in to pick up their dogs at the end of the day and may remark, 'I couldn't see him or her on the camera. I guess he was out of range,'" quips Michelle.

Blake Wallizer, President of Denver based says use of such cameras and online streaming are becoming a necessity for pet care providers rather than a luxury feature. Wallizer's company supplies and services such doggie cam owners. "People want to know that their canine incarcerated at a care center for most of the day is actually enjoying a healthy experience," he says.

Of course, the dogs don't know they're on camera and their beloved owner can peek in at any time. The four-footed woofers just go about the business of acting like dogs. When Alfonso remarked that he learned a lot about Bruno that he didn't know before because of watching on the web cam, I only wondered how much do you really need to know about a dog? After all, your best friend doesn't have to declare a major, write a job description, or even fill a sale quota. The critter just has to lick your face when you come home and not remind you of all the things you screwed up for the day.

What owners like Alonso really seems to want is a connection with that little creature that warms your heart, makes you smile and feel loved and valued. "I got to see the lady dog he was focused on," says Alonso. If he wasn't able to observe over the web, he might never have known Bruno had a crush. It may seem kind of silly to a non-pet owner, but it's doggone powerful stuff when it's your dog and you're away from it a lot.

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