Missing the dog? Say hello on Skype

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iol scitech dec 30 skype pic AFP Microsoft-owned Skype's Twitter account displayed the message: 'Don't use Microsoft emails.'

It’s a feeling dog owners know all too well – the guilt brought on by the hurt look in your pet’s eyes when you leave them at home alone.

Now dog lovers are turning to the free online video call service Skype to communicate with their pet while they are out at work.

The idea is taking off in the US where dog owners are setting up a Skype account in their pet’s name. A small setting change means the machine at home picks up automatically when they dial in.

Property agent Tom Roszkowski regularly checks up on his three-month-old puppy Pizza from the office. The New Yorker, who lives with girlfriend Agatha Budys in Brooklyn, bought the Norwich terrier-dachshund mix two months ago.

Curious to know what Pizza did all day in their apartment, he changed his Skype settings and set up an account for the puppy. Mr Roszkowski said: ‘It started as us being curious and wanting to check she was OK. Then people at work started asking me what’s Pizza doing, and now when I Skype her everyone gathers round to say Hi.’

But when the couple saw how sad the puppy was on her own they decided to get a second dog to keep her company. Mr Roszkowski said: ‘One time we called and she was crying the whole time. It was a heartbreaker.’

Experts have warned that Skype isn’t suitable for every pet. Dog expert and broadcaster Anna Webb said: ‘Dogs make sense of their world through smell so if they can hear you but not smell you it might confuse them.’

A third of pet owners would rather holiday with their pet than their family, a survey found. And 13 per cent would even choose their pet over their partner. The study of 2,010 UK pet owners by travel comparison website TravelSupermarket also found that 47 per cent who go away on their own miss their pet more than human loved ones. - Daily Mail


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