At the end of a long day, it’s great to curl up in front of the TV with a pup on your lap or at your feet. If you’re looking to increase your anxiety, cable news has you covered, but if you fancy happy endings, a new show, Finding Fido, could be your perfect match.
Unlike most TV shows about dogs, Finding Fido isn’t presented from a training perspective. Host Seth Casteel occupies a less formal place in canine pop culture. A photographer who went from viral sensation to bestseller with his books Underwater Dogs and Underwater Puppies, Seth has built a career out of being simply, a dog guy.
“I would say that my title is dog enthusiast,” Seth tells Dogster. “I am a dog lover, and I happen to find myself in a lot of different roles now, hanging out with dogs, photographing dogs, and matching dogs with humans.”
Fans know Seth for his brilliant photos and charity work, but on Finding Fido, the talented photographer puts down his camera to step in front of one.
“I’ve never hosted a TV show before, so for me it’s sort of a weird situation because you have cameras there, but you’re doing real work, helping real people and helping real dogs,” he explains.
According to Seth, “Finding Fido” is a reality show that actually lives up to that label. Each episode features regular people meeting with three real-life rescue dogs in the hopes that one will be a perfect match. Luckily for the dogs, everyone gets a rose on this show. The two dogs who aren’t picked are later matched with other families off screen.
“It’s a win-win. Three adoptions, three happy endings,” Seth explains.
Long before he became a TV host, Seth got his own happy ending when he found his own perfect match in a Poodle mix.
“I’d been looking for a few months and came across Nala in the Orange County Animal Shelter in November of 2007. I met her and knew right away, this was my dog.”
A 1-year-old stray at the time, smart and cheerful Nala was everything Seth was looking for. He says realizing he’d found the perfect dog for him was a very exciting moment, and a decade later he’s helping others experience that same feeling.
The first episode of Finding Fido follows Matt, an outdoorsy, dog-experienced diabetic who was looking for a pooch who could keep up with him at Big Bear and also be a candidate for diabetic-alert training. Seth was impressed with the research Matt did before beginning his search for a companion, and also with the potential of the dog ultimately chosen.
The next episode in the series features a couple divided over the size of their ideal dog. One person wants a big dog, but the other thinks a smaller breed would be easier to manage.
“It is about compromise,” Seth explains. “Ultimately we found a dog that worked well for both of them.”
Seth says there are two main things he hopes viewers take away from the series. First, he hopes to open eyes to the benefits of adoption and rescue.
“There’s just so many awesome dogs available at your local shelter or rescue that are ready to be your best friend,” he says, adding that plenty of purebred dogs and almost any specific breed a person is looking for can be found in shelters.
The second thing Seth hopes to do is provide tools and education so that potential dog adopters end up with the most compatible canine companion for them and understand the long-term commitment they’re making.
For Seth, committing to a rescue dog has been a life-changing experience, and Finding Fido is essentially an extension of everything he’s done over the last few years.
“My life is basically dogs — and I’m grateful for that. I have such a great time with my work, and I’m so happy to be able to spend all this time with dogs and try to do something positive with dogs and people. I’m a pretty positive guy, and dogs are pretty positive beings.”
Finding Fido airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. EST on Z Living, and full episodes are online at ZLiving.com.