Over the many years of having dogs, I have been privileged to have two who liked to watch television. Indeed, contrary to claims that dogs can’t see in 2-D, these dogs really could see the images.

The first one was Archie, a Golden Retriever I adopted when he was about 9 years old. He was very discriminating with his selection of programs, only enjoying those with animals. Archie’s favorite was the movie, Babe. Archie would charge at the television screen whenever the Border Collies appeared in the scenes, barking ferociously at them. When Archie passed away just 2 ½ years after I adopted him, I would hear the song “It’s You, Babe” by Styx on the radio every day for a week, Archie’s way of saying “hi” to me from then on.

Along came my current foster dog, Monty, a standard Poodle who I was warned like to watch Animal Planet. Well, it isn’t just Animal Planet; Monty would watch TV obsessively if I allowed him. Here he is watching Jeopardy [edited: that should read Wheel of Fortune!]. He just asked if he could buy a vowel.

Monty watching Wheel of Fortune

He stands with his nose inches from the screen, waiting for an animal, any animal, to appear. And when it does, Monty barks, punches the screen, and runs around to the back of the TV to see where the animal went when it disappeared from the screen. Monty is not as discriminating as Archie; he barks at any animal, real or cartoon. So imagine Monty’s reaction to the movie Babe. Animals in every scene. Pure entertainment for my Monty. By the end of the movie, my TV screen had so many nose prints that it was nearly impossible to see the picture.

Of course, we watch Babe every time we find it in the listings. One day, as we viewed it for the umpteenth time, I learned many good lessons from this simple tale of a pig who learned to be a sheepdog.

1. When Babe learns that humans eat pigs, he was told, “The way things are is the way things are.” In other words, do not resist what you cannot change. Resistance can create blockages in our lives and may inhibit you from attaining your goals.
2. Farmer Hoggett had a gut feeling about the pig’s ability to be a “sheepdog” when he saw the pig separating the chickens into whites and browns. Hoggett followed his instincts and pursued them. Your heart is very wise.
3. Despite people thinking he was crazy, Hoggett followed his dream. He disregarded the judgment of others.
4. Farmer Hoggett followed through and won the sheepdog trials with his pig. Don’t give up on your dreams.
5. Babe was told he could not be a sheepdog but he proved them wrong. The duck wanted to be a rooster. Who’s to say he can’t? Never profile individuals.
6. The dogs called the sheep “stupid” and the sheep called the dogs “stupid.” Neither was correct. Never judge anyone.

Archie and Monty certainly knew what they were doing when they watched this wonderful, uplifting movie. If you are a fan as I am, did you learn anything else from Babe?

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