Story and photos by Ashley Alt

“Ever wonder what your pets do while you’re not at home?”

Max, an endearing, perfectly behaved terrier living a charmed New York City life, is the epitome of a do-no-wrong dog who loves his owner, Katie, dearly, never skipping a beat to greet her at the front door and obey all commands. The polar opposite of innocent Max, Duke, is the unruly beast of a hound that unexpectedly barges in on Max’s comfortable living and sets off the crazy maze of the film. By getting the entire gang of apartment pets tangled in all sorts of trouble, Duke inadvertently leads the brood into unknown territory where no domesticated pet should ever go.

So, what are our own pups, cats and other common household pets up to while their human owners leave for work every day? Are they breaking in our refrigerator to steal leftover chicken dinners and birthday cake? Are they getting lost in the drama of a Latino soap opera, enacting the heartbreak scenes? What about sneaking out of the living room window to head to their feline friend’s apartment? According to the movie, out in theaters last Friday, our domesticated brutes are doing all of these things, plus throwing wild parties, street fighting with alley cats and going as far as driving a city bus across the Brooklyn Bridge, as shown by Snowball, the feisty ring-leader bunny of the anti-pet owners cult.

Photo: Flickr

Photo: Flickr

What we learned Wednesday, July 6th, interestingly enough, is that the tagline from the new hit animated film, The Secret Life of Pets, can be answered through the eyes and ears of one of Comcast’s emerging lines of business: Xfinity Home. Xfinity Home is a home security and automation platform and Comcast recently introduced a new camera to keep tabs on your house (and your pets!) while you’re away.

Who knew there was such a simple solution? Not Max’s owner, Katie, apparently! But luckily for us, we had exclusive access to a special event that would tie it all together!

In celebration of the premiere of the highly anticipated film, Studio Xfinity in Lincoln Park (901 W. Weed St.) held the private event last Wednesday for family and friends to enjoy it together. Filled with anxious patrons awaiting the big-screen debut, everyone got into character with colorful face paint, goofy balloon animals, silly photos and pet prizes from the Twitter vending machine.

A young event attendee, Rachel, was bursting with excitement over the movie while showing off her freshly painted face and twirling around in her new outfit.

“I’m excited to see the movie because there are dogs in it, and we have dogs at home, and I love dogs, and the rabbit (from the film) looks so funny!” she cooed.

Many other pet lovers were jumping up and down with glee, (ourselves included) telling us they had been sleeping with their favorite stuffed animals all week to get ready for the film.

“My pet dog is coming with us to the movie!” one young boy exclaimed. “He’s going to sit next to me because you shouldn’t leave your pets home alone,” he advised.


Studio Xfinity regularly holds open and closed events to show off new products and promote happenings (technology-based and beyond) in the city for various celebrations and causes. In the past, this has included a Harry Potter themed party, meet and greet with professional stock car racing driver Danica Patrick and autograph signing with Cubs and Sox players. It’s proven to be a refreshing space to both have fun and learn about the tech of the future at the same time for all age groups.

Although we know our pets are up to some sort of monkey business when they’re left alone, the animated version of what happens as we leave for the office every morning comically depicts the amusing debauchery that goes on in a pet’s life.

So if you’re dying to know the mischief your pets are getting into while you’re away, head down to Studio Xfinity to check out Xfinity Home, and if you haven’t already, head to the cinema to get your fill of a fun-loving summer film.

“Know what your pets are up to with Xfinity Home.”

It’s got a bit of a ring to it. Don’t you think?