Internet radio station plays for lonely pets


"Remember, be kind to your mailman," said Jane Harris, a disc jockey. She softened her voice until it was a little insinuating: "He only wants to deliver the mail."

Harris is a DJ on DogCat, a new Internet radio station for pets. Now dogs, cats, hamsters and parrots can keep the anxiety, the loneliness, the restlessness at bay while their owners are out. It is radio just for them, live 17 hours a day, 4 a.m. to 9 p.m. Pacific time, and podcast for the rest of the 24 hours a day.

Those who listen to DogCatRadio will find that there is generally an animal motif to the playlist, such as "Hound Dog": "You ain't nothin' but a hound dog/ Cryin' all the time."

This Elvis Presley song is a frequent request from listeners (presumably the owners), as are the Baha Men, singing: "Who let the dogs out (woof, woof, woof, woof)."

And Dionne Warwick is also popular, especially her soothing song "That's What Friends Are For": "Keep smiling, keep shining,/ Knowing you can always count on me."

Since many pets are apparently bilingual, DogCatRadio also has a "Spanish Hour," 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. Pacific time daily, with Hispanic commentary and music, such as Luis Miguel's "No Se Tu." Dog was started in June by Adrian Martinez, who is also president of Marusa records, an independent label in Los Angeles.

He runs the station out of a customized recreational vehicle parked in his office lot in the Eagle Rock section of Los Angeles.

Martinez, 34, who owns six dogs and two cats, said he founded the station because "my cat, Snickers, asked me to do it." One day, Snickers was pacing the floor restlessly and meowing. "I said, `What do you want?'" Martinez recalled in a telephone interview from Los Angeles. "I turned up the music, and she was fine."

Martinez added, "I wanted to do something for the pet community."

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