Americans Sleep (And Do More) With Dogs

Bowlingual matches your dogs "woofs," "arfs" and "arooos" to a handheld database that offers different interpretations for different breeds, because everyone knows how snooty French poodles get when their caviar bowl is empty. The Bowlingual's "Home Alone" mode records what your dog is thinking while you're at work, as if it's anything other than, "What fools these humans must be."

Eating From the Same Bowl: It's getting harder to tell the difference between dog food and people food. Wyler's — the company that brings you fruit drinks and a variety of snack treats — now offers freezer pops to reward your four-legged friend on a hot summer day.

Pooch Pops aren't like the other Wyler's frozen sorbets and ices. It's more of a dog's summertime fantasy — frozen meat and cheese on a stick. But with no sugar or food coloring, Pooch Pops might be better for you than the typical frozen treat for humans.

Frozen dairy treats for dogs are already a hit, with products like Frosty Paws ice cream available in many supermarkets.

But the future of dog and human snacking was unveiled earlier this year in a pet products show in Atlanta, when Dogmatic Products introduced Woofy Pop, a microwavable popcorn for dogs and dog owners. Woofy Pop will be available in bacon- and chicken liver-flavor, so you and your dog might have to flip a coin to see who gets to pick dessert.

Restoring and Recovering a Neutered Friend: If you otherwise treat your pet as an equal, you may have mixed feelings when it comes to neutering. But dog lovers — like so many others people these days — have been turning to plastic surgery for relief.

Since 1995, more than 100,000 dogs in 32 countries have received Neuticles — prosthetic testicular implants that give dogs — or perhaps just their owners — the feeling that nothing's changed.

But soon, Neuticles will serve more than a superficial, cosmetic purpose.

Next month, a dog will receive the first set of Neuticles with a pea-sized microchip that can be used to identify a lost pet. If the dog is lost, the microchip in its scrotum will allow for fast identification and retreaval. It's not quite a doggie LoJack, but it's one step closer.

"It's a great way to say 'I love you' to your pet," says Neuticle inventor Gregg Miller, who is scheduling his 2-year-old boxer, Winston, for the first Neuticle Microchip.

"I've been saving him for this event," Miller says.

Perhaps it won't make up for all that's lost, but it might go a long way.

Buck Wolf is entertainment producer at The Wolf Files is published Tuesdays. If you want to receive weekly notice when a new column is published, join the e-mail list.

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