When a pair of cardinals nested in an azalea bush directly outside our dining room window this spring, I joked that I should set up a webcam to record and share the process online in real time, like the Hawk Cam in New York City. Of course, as a spectator sport, a pair of songbirds nesting rates about as poorly as watching dogs sleep, which, as I write, 1,454 people are doing via The Pet Collective’s Corgi Cam, a 24/7 live stream of a corgi bitch named Brinkley and her litter of four puppies.
Breaking news – the puppies just woke up! Brinkley has moved about a foot from the wood floor where she was dozing and is now nursing while lying prone on a heated, disc-shaped metal surface that the folks at The Pet Collective say is easier to clean and disinfect than fabric bedding. With this thrilling development, the Corgi Cam’s viewer count has climbed to 1,554. Five minutes later, lunch is over, and 1,611 viewers are again watching five dogs sleep. It happens to be lunch hour on the East Coast, and the Corgi Cam offers a no-cost alternative to trolling the noontime flash sales on Rue La La. Hold the phone, any office workers who have to keep the audio muted in their cubicles just missed an exciting round of off-screen barking.
No question, puppies are more cuddly than baby birds, and these two-week-old quadruplets stand to get considerably cuter and a whole lot more active by next week, once their eyes have opened and they are beginning to walk and play. By contrast, at two weeks old the twin cardinal chicks outside my window had already been pushed out of the nest. The fledgling phase, in which the chicks hop around on the ground, with Mama and Papa Cardinal anxiously helicoptering for another week or so before they are able to fly, has got to be nearly as stressful for avian parents as watching their offspring compete in the Olympics is for human parents.
Oops – Brinkley has accidentally bumped into the camera, changing its angle so that now most of the puppies’ bed is obscured; 1,725 viewers are thinking “WTF?.” I post a comment on the Corgi Cam’s YouTube page, asking someone to adjust the camera angle; since the live stream launched on July 31, the page has gotten over 3,000 comments logged, most some variation of, “Awwww…sooooo…cute!!”
I have to tear myself away from the excitement of corgi whelping for about ninety minutes to help my 18-year-old daughter retrieve her car from the tow lot, which involves first squaring up with a certain local university for a dozen unpaid tickets, some dating back several years to when her older sister was driving and illegally parking the same car, and then paying a king’s ransom to the Phil’s Towing, which now tacks on a $6 fuel surcharge for every tow.
Following this costly intermission, I head right back to my computer for another soothing installment of the Corgi Cam. Brinkley helpfully bumps the camera back to its optimal angle, so that I and 2,156 others once again have a bird’s eye view as all four puppies latch on for their mid-afternoon meal.
One of the best things about watching the Corgi Cam, as opposed to, say, the London Olympics, is that there are no NBC commentators peppering Brinkley and her pups with insipid questions like, “Can you tell me what you’re feeling right now?” The wordless webcast says it all: life is sweet in Corgiland. I think I’ll stay tuned for a while.