A couple of weeks ago, in the doldrums of August, the Wall Street Journal revealed that there are people (Manhattanites, obviously) who are actually willing to pay money for their dogs to learn to use iPads. Well, the hard-nosed investigative reporters at Today.comhave uncovered the rest of the story, complete with video.
It appears that Anna Jane Grossman, the journalist (and former New York Observer staffer!) turned dog trainer responsible for this scheme (which we can only assume is actually a cleverly disguised plan for the redistribution of wealth), actually lifted this idea from the unlikeliest of sources:
A couple of years ago, Anna Jane Grossman read a spoof article on the website The Awl about a teenage girl who was building up her resume for college applications and was struck by one detail; among the descriptions of organic ibex farming and studying Chinese, the high school student was teaching her dog how to use an iPad.
Her reaction was probably not what the good editors of The Awl dot com anticipated: "It was not real. But I was like, 'Oh, I can teach my dog how to use the iPad!'" Not that they're going to, you know, start using Seamless. "This isn't a Disney movie," she said. You can, however, teach them to bump yes/no or take a "dog selfie."
Ms. Grossman is aware that you might not approve, but she sticks to her guns: "I actually don't think it's so stupid because we're giving people a way to interact with their animals and help enrich this relationship." Nice work if you can get it.