Only 35 seconds long and with more than 850,000 views, a video of resident Ron Kroha’s English springer spaniels begins with his voice: “Let me see if it’s ready, I’ve got to check…”
Scampering on a hardwood floor and occasionally spinning with excitement are Hope and Rosey. He asks them, “Girls, are you hungry?” They appear eager for their dinner.
Mr Kroha then sings, “It’s ready! It’s dinnertime, it’s dinnertime. Hope and Rosey, want their dinnertime.”
The spaniels rush the length of an area rug toward another room, spinning as they go. He sings, “Because they’re hungry, hungry, hungry girls. Yay Hope, Yay Rosey.”
As the dogs stare up at Mr Kroha, he steps briefly into the frame to place their bowls in a tray.
“What good girls,” he said.
They sit and wait.
“Okay,” he said, and they rush to their food.
Originally uploaded to the Internet in January 2010 on YouTube titled Twisted Sisters, Hope and Rosey, the clip has seen a recent spike in popularity.
While friends had originally suggested he post his routine dinnertime song — something he always sings for his dogs — websites Reddit.com and Gawker.com recently picked up his video, which boosted it from about 37,000 hits to more than three quarters of a million views. “It just flew,” he said.
Mr Kroha’s niece also created a Facebook page for the dogs at Facebook.com/HopeandRosey, a twitter account at twitter.com/HopeandRosey, and a blog at HopeandRosey.com. On Facebook, they are introduced with the comment: “These two English Springer spaniels are an affectionate, excitable pair whose love for ‘Daddy’s Dinner Time Song’ has turned them into overnight internet sensations.”
He has since been featured on television shows, including Good Morning America.
His niece, Kristin, also has her own blog, Beautyandbean.com, where she posts a picture of Mr Kroha with Hope as a puppy and writes of the dinnertime video, “My uncle’s upbeat YouTube video of his two playful Springers became an overnight internet sensation. On the video you can hear him singing his famous dinnertime song like a Broadway musical while the girls twirl in synchronized excitement...down the hall...all the way to their bowls.”
She also offered her insights of her uncle. “His love for life is infectious. But, above all else, it’s his perspective and ability to find the beauty in the everyday that’s been a real gift to all who’ve known him. Perhaps, in some ways, it’s what brought me to start this blog — with a friend — in hopes to document the beauty all around us.”
Among the many comments to his video, he recalls one ironic remark about him, “This man has never had a bad day.” But on the day three years ago when two friends had happened to be with him and shot the video for fun, he said, “I was at my worst point.”
Earlier this month, Mr Kroha answered his front door where Hope and Rosey rushed into the foyer. They then obediently moved through his kitchen to a sun porch where he pointed to a bench. They quickly settled there while Mr Kroha talked candidly about his life on the day of the video. “I was pretty miserable,” he said. He had been diagnosed and had been receiving “brutal” treatments for two types of cancer.
Hearing his voice, the dogs — Rosey, a liver and white blend, and Hope, a black and white mix — slipped off the bench to wait by his chair.
Petting them, he said, “I really connected with the dogs. They were a lifeline during treatments.” Recalling the grueling months where he traveled daily to Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, thinking back on the exhaustion he had felt, he said, “They were my reason for getting up and taking care of them.” The spaniels “played a big part” of his recovery. Today, three years past his cancer treatments, he said he is “feeling blessed and optimistic. There was a good chance I would not be here.”
Impressed with the high number of views his video has received, he said, “My greatest joy is that I made people smile.”
Comments to the video include: “I watch this every morning and it just warms my? heart. Thank you,” “That’s adorable,” “Seriously the most heartwarming thing I’ve watched! My? fiancé and I love this video and watch it everyday because it makes us smile,” and “Dinner time, dinner time — my? new favorite summer song.” Viewers mention their own dogs, or their favorite parts in the video.
With 409 comments so far, one viewer even asks about his dinnertime song, “Can I get this in a ringtone?”
Laughing, Mr Kroha said, “A crazy little song, and people say they can’t get it out of their heads.”
He always sings to the spaniels when it is time to eat, he said, and the video is a glimpse of “what people do behind closed doors.” In this case, people glimpse his daily routine with the dogs. Counting his dogs’ ages and feeding them twice a day, Mr Kroha estimates that he has sung his song more than 3,000 times.
Why does he sing to his dogs? Glancing to where they sat wagging their tails at his attention, Mr Kroha said, “Dogs love to eat, so we make it an event.” He sings “everything” and he talks to the dogs all day long, he said. Whether doing laundry, or bath time, he has found that “if you make things fun, like getting a bath,” the dogs like to play along.
Will he make more videos? Mr Kroha already posted “Hope Gets The Paper” where he encourages her to run up the driveway for the newspaper, and then hurry back. He plans to post Hope’s birthday party soon.
Praising his “girls,” Mr Kroha said they “adore” each other, and that “without so much as a growl,” the pair “share and play, you couldn’t ask for better.”
Leaving the sun porch, Mr Kroha stepped into the kitchen where he keeps treats. The dogs spun in place, just as they had spun in his video, which is a motion they make naturally, he said.
Mr Kroha lives with his partner Kevin Rose, for whom Rosey is named.
Stepping into a den, he looked at photos of his dogs, and typed in the blog address on his computer. The experience “has been good for me.”