THIS IS US

Want to Know Thyself? Get Thee a Dog

But only if you want to live without regret

Daniel Williams
Human Parts
Published in
5 min readMar 5, 2022
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My son said, “I’m ready for a dog.”

“Okay,” I said. “You ready to feed it?”

“Yes.”

“Walk it every day?”

“Yes.”

“Pick up its poo?”

“Yes.”

“Maybe you didn’t hear me. If we get a dog, you’ll have to pick up tons of poo. By that I mean crap. Excrement. Stool. You know the fake poop we have, used arguably too much for making dinner guests think one of us crapped in their shoe?”

“I’m familiar.”

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“Well, dog crap isn’t like that crap. It isn’t rubbery and solid and pleasing to the nose and good for pranks.”

“But real poo is good for pranks.”

“You’re not wrong.” But I wouldn’t be thrown off course. “Listen, the real thing is soft and warm. Nay, hot. And the plastic bag provides zero sensory protection for your hand against the softness and the hotness. And a dog craps every day. Forty to fifty times a day.”

What?” said my son.

“Stop,” said my wife. “A dog doesn’t poop fifty times a day. If it did that, it would be dead.”

“That’s another thing,” I said. “Dogs die. You ready for your most wonderful best friend in the whole world to just die without permission and leave you alone forever and ever?”

“Everything dies,” said my nihilistic son. “Can I have a dog?”

And I, finding it impossible to overthrow his philosophy of nothingness and nonexistence, said, “If we must.”

“We must.”

Her name is Blossom.

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She’s a middleweight pit bull mix. All black but for a heart-shaped patch of white on her chest, and she has one white paw, which she uses all the…

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Daniel Williams
Human Parts

A poverty-stricken, soft Batman by night. Illustrator and writing teacher by day. Previously: McSweeney’s, Slackjaw.