Murphy Row: Who Rescued Who?

We rescued a dog. Now I am going to blog about it. I am not blogging about my dog in an attempt to garner a wider audience. I am not trying to use my dog because she will be more popular online than me. I do realize that the internet does not need any more content about dogs and dog ownership. However, what is the point of having a blog if you shy away from the topic that is on your mind just because it is too cliche to blog about?

“Who rescued who?”

I hate these bumper stickers. If you are going to be pretentious about how you got your dog, at least be pretentious enough to get the grammar correct. It should be, “Who rescued whom?”

That being said my dog is rescuing me. Due to some personal struggles with self worth, I do not respect my own life enough to live it properly or even take care of myself. I need another living being to depend on me to give my life enough meaning to push me past the threshold of trying hard at life. Plants never needed quite enough from me, and a baby would be an insane jump, so the needs of a dog are perfect to improve my life.

I see myself as a pessimist, but in reality I am a realist. I see the world for exactly what it is and most of the time that calls for pessimism. Need proof? What do you associate with tears? Sadness (I know your answer because I do this on stage). But that is wrong, any extreme emotion can cause tears, like happiness or sadness. Sad events that bring us to tears just out number happy ones by such a large margin that we all associate tears with sadness.- A geometric proof that the world is a sad place.

Having a dog gave me reason to believe in joy. Sure, my dog cannot change the horrors I will hear about every day on NPR, but she can increase the joy in my singular life. As a realist/pessimist, I would wake up every day and have a reasonable expectation that sorrow would outweigh joy, because the world is a sad place (see tears argument above). Now my dog brings enough pure joy and love into my life that with each day I reasonably expect happiness to overtake sorrow. She has effectively pushed me over the edge to realist/optimist, which makes a huge difference in how I approach my daily life.

Has she really made the world a better place? No. Has she improved my world enough to make me a better person in it? Absolutely.

Yes, I have always had profound thought about life and love, but my profound thoughts were always through the lens of pessimism. The only time people want to hear your profoundly sad thoughts are at a poetry reading when you are 16 years old. Now I blog about my happy thoughts and my dog like a real adult. All the death imagery and angsty can stay in my poetry notebook from high school, where it belongs. The wailing of the Siren over the black water beckons me no more to the isle of imminent   demise.



  1. I’ve been guilty of posting about my dog, cliche? Probably, but honestly, who cares? He helps me on a daily basis to ‘get over myself’ …Great post! Cheers, Nicole I think you’ll relate to the poem I wrote about my dog, if you want to read it! Not trying to to gain an audience, as you put it!!! Just can relate to the dog thing! http//

  2. Great dog, great post! “All the death imagery and angsty can stay in my poetry notebook from high school, where it belongs.” Reminds me of a certain blue notebook from lo these 40 years ago.

  3. I think dogs remind us to live in the now. They show us how much better life can be if you just live in the moment. There is no past or future for a dog, only the present and when they are with you then there can be nothing wrong in the world. They really are magical animals, and when you look at the evolution of humans alongside dogs I honestly think there is something in our DNA that draws us to them. They are like the missing strands of us that evolved away as our intelligence grew, they remind us of our wild past.

    On top of all that psudoscience they really are just great buddies to have around when you’re feeling down, or any time really.

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