Puppycam: For When You're Sick of Politics

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Any other reaction to this live-feed puppycam just isn't human. The streaming video of six baby Shiba Inus, a Japanese hunting breed, has generated nearly 2 million happily distracted views since it was launched just over a month ago. (The live feed occassionally goes "off air" but thankfully comes back to life after short periods.) The puppies — three males and three females named Autumn, Ayumi, Amaya, Aki, Akoni, Ando — spend most of their time sleeping, but there is enough twitching, scratching, yawning, spooning, wrestling and yipping to keep viewers glued to their computer screens. (The puppies' caretakers sometimes appear at the edges of the shot with food and the occasional "Good boy!" or "Hey wiggles!") Maybe it's the depressing economy or the end of the electrifying election season that's left viewers looking for a little cuteness to offset a malaise, but regardless, these tiny puppies are completely captivating. It's like the car accident you can't turn away from, except a lot less morbid and more adorable.

According to the video's poster, the puppies turn five weeks old on Nov. 11 and are located somewhere in California. Early clips showed their mother, Kika, nursing the pups, who snuggle together in a doggy bed but have access to a larger play area. There is no shortage of toys for the dogs, who presently have what appears to be a stuffed striped bass or rainbow trout — it's hard to say from the pixelated live feed — among other playthings. (Around Halloween, a stuffed Jack-o-lantern made a brief cameo.)

According to the hosting site, ustream.tv — which also features a "hamster live" webcam for the more rodent-inclined — the Shiba Inu Puppycam is the most-viewed show currently available. The American Kennel Club says Shiba Inus have "an independent nature and can be reserved toward strangers." Good thing they don't know they've been watched by strangers for more than 66,000 combined viewing hours.

See Pictures of presidential First Dogs.

See TIME's Pictures of the Week.