Bones or No Bones Is Exploitative

I'm not even kidding, really

Funny pug dog lies on the background  of a white brick wall . Happy  funny pug  . Dog  grooming conc...
difficulty breathing

Two days ago, I started seeing people tweeting about “Bones Day” or “No Bones Day.” I thought it was a Halloween thing that surely I’d be forced to eventually comprehend without my consent, like that Joyce Carol Oates tweet about grief and skeletons.

When another day passed and nothing was becoming clearer, tail between my legs, I asked my coworkers to explain Bones. Jenny, whose opinions are always good, told me, “It’s a TikTok dog. He is very old and every day his owner lifts him up to see if he will plop down. ‘Bones’ or ‘No bones.’ Like a horoscope kind of thing.”

Darcie, a poet-intellectual-tweeter, added, “Like how David Foster Wallace would look outside his window to see if the podiatrist sign would show a happy foot or a sad foot.” I have no idea who this “David Foster Wallace'' is, but he sounds annoying.

It took the Governor of New York tweeting about this pug, whose name is Noodle, and his owner Jonathan Graziano, to watch a video of him. I don’t follow the Governor of New York on Twitter (I’m cool), but by this time, “Bones or No Bones” had become such a strong piece of input data in the week’s algorithm that public figures needed to comment on it to get retweeted, with its natural endpoint being the timeline of yours truly, a woman who only follows Bravo meme accounts and my sister.

Noodle makes me uneasy, even though I love dogs. Maybe my discomfort with the whole “Bones or No Bones” apparatus is because I don’t think animals or children should be forced to have careers.

I really do love dogs – picking up my Korean jindo Mars’s poop has been my only consistent, fulfilling hobby since I got him three years ago. But pugs don’t move me to squeals like many other breeds do. I worry, often, about how they’re bred to have those little faces and those lardy bodies, and the disease of their movements. More than any other breed, pugs always seem like a snorting little accessory or a punchline for their owner’s lame-ass joke of a personal brand, and they didn’t ask for that. Noodle’s owner’s style of relentless positivity irks me to no end, but maybe that says more about me than about a dog breed.

Please, let’s end this now. Let’s not make a Grumpy Cat-esque hellscape out of this. Noodle’s owner already made him go on TODAY and hobnob with the lunatics that comprise the third hour team. Noodle is ninety-one-years-old in human years. His whole thing is being tired. Let him sleep.