Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Jesse: This is a rare original by David Markham, a Welsh hobbyist who at this point in time is basically THE cutting edge of the whittling world (a little wood-cutting humor). He produces some mind-bending stuff, and while it still feels a little icky to call it fine art this dude is this close to being considered the Picasso of carving sad little sailing ships that remind you of your dead uncle.

The key to his success is the way he broaches these heavy topics that no one else will touches in a way you'd never even think of. It's one existential nightmare after another, and staring at an exhibition of his work you start to feel like you're reading Dostoevsky at home alone on Christmas Eve while your weird old neighbor stands in his driveway for hours with a snow shovel. For example, this one is Santa Claus glimpsing the folly of his own spectacular pursuit for eternal jolliness in the hollow, mirroring eyes of his dog. Other notable works include "Glimpsing Defeat", "Young Child with Deflated Volleyball" (2001) and "Glimpsing Your Own Irrefutable Mortality in your Golden Spoon-Winning Chili Cook-off Entry."

Lisa: I made this at my art class in college, I was like "I very much like dogs and I also really like Christmas because it is practically my birthday" so then I carved this out of a tree and presented it for my dissertation, the thesis is "dogs and Santa have a lot in common" and I was right. I got an A- and I was asked to show my work at a dog convention. True story.

Monday, July 28, 2008


Jesse: Ok, enough with the pugs. It's bad enough that they look fetal insects magnified to an unnecessary size, but then the breathing problems, the leaking anuses, the anxious bundle of fidgety complexes they must have. It's pitiful and genuinely sad that there has to be an animal equivalent of your grandfather with the 3,600 health problems that everyone is secretly praying will just go peacefully in his sleep. And now this poor thing has to wear a basketball suit, as if it wasn't embarrassing enough for him to go through life as the squished equivalent of a real dog, all because of the idiotic whim of some 17th century Austrian princess who begged PaPa for a dog small enough to fit on her hat. These things are a laundy list of why craft breeding was (and still is) to dogs what European colonialism was to the rest of the world. Can't we just leave these god forsaken animals alone and let them play in a field or something.

Lisa: This is making me very upset. I'm too small to play basketball and this dog is even smaller than me probably.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Ghost Dog

Jesse: Ghost dogs are always furious because their very ghostliness deprives them of all the good things about being a dog. They bite a balloon and it keeps on floating or run right through a car while chasing after it and while ghost humans soon settle into a final mournful resentment, with sorrow-wracked looks through dirty windows and residencies in ramshackle old houses, the dogs just keep getting angrier and angrier. They run all night to get out the rage but being ghosts they don't actually cover any distance (there's a kind of reset function on spirits that keeps them locked in a certain area) and being dogs they cannot understand this spatial transference and so get more and more confused and pissed off.

This is why when you find yourself on the moors near Swansea on a particularly foggy St. Andrew's eve you end up pursued by three or four consecutive ghost dogs and collapse all out of breath at a local pub, sitting there wondering which government agency you can call to complain, listening to the locals saying "Ay, that poor Trevor was a right good 'ound 'e was" when they hear your story. But try to have a little understanding. And if you see a hound ghost just let him chase you, keeping enough of a pace that he won't catch up but will at least feel like he accomplished something, because that's basically the only thing these poor guys have left.

Lisa: Jesse, I don't think you should do that if you're chased by a ghost dog because ghosts can kill you.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Take a Bite out of Crime

Jesse: Sure, this picture is disturbing- so much so that seeing it you instinctively reach out to cover the eyes of the child you never planned to have - and why would you ever suspect that you're being had by one of the oldest tricks in the book? Yes, I'm sorry to be the one to break this but the old gun to the pet's head move is a con, and in 99% of cases the main perpetrator is the dog. He hates your rights and is envious of your amazing hands so he exploits one of his biggest assets - vulnerability - to get back at you. So you consent to a search and the dog whimpers a bit to keep your sympathy roused and you walk off none the wiser that your constitutional rights have just been traded in for the perverse pleasure of some sick pooch with a grudge against your entire species.

Even worse, for most of these dogs this isn't a one-time thing, they get off on this shit and pull it every chance they get, at circuses and kids birthday parties, just generally trying to be as upsetting as possible. Take this guy for example. He learned that little face (its good, clearly a pro) from years on the carnival circuit, trailing from town to town behind those things like some diseased tail, grifting families and young children for small bills with a drifter named Smiling Phil who he would beat mercilessly with a thick-bristled push broom and force to sleep in a cage as a twisted form of undeserved revenge. He's a real tough customer who puts a notch in his collar for every kid that he bites, the kind of dog Scruff Mcgruff would love to get in his hands and shove up against a brick wall. And yeah, it's always tough to see a dog turned so completely into a hardened menance like this but in a case like this maybe we'd all be better off if the trigger was pulled.

Lisa: My goodness.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Fran Barkington

Jesse: So if you watch ESPN 4 during weekday afternoons at all you already know all about it, but this dog has practically become a national hero for his winning performance in the Dog-lympics, where insignificance rises to such a deafening level that it becomes important again. You may be wondering how a dog who looks (and yes, smells) like a Vienna sausage wins at anything; don't worry, there's a good answer. You see, the Dog-lympics make no sense. They're run by this fat asshole named Vernon Smiley who wears tweed jackets all the time and has a really amateurish beard and talks incessantly about the "nouveau politique of canine athleticism." Vernon has these ideas stuck in his head about total dog equality and representation so one of each breed is selected for the games, which kind of sucks because the same kinds of dogs win every year and it's no fun to watch them arrogantly beating up on the little guys. This, however, has created a tradition of laziness among the abler breeds that allowed this guy to somehow eke by.

Yes, Fran Barkington, the underdog (trust me the announcers have a field day with this one), took the silver in the dog biathlon (chasing a thing while smiling), overcoming a pile of adversity so huge that Purina is starting a new ad campaign where he plays a spin on the Pied Piper, running along down a suburban street with such focus that he accumulates a rag-tag bunch of fat and out-of-shape dogs and there's this great shot of a mail man fleeing in terror before they end up on top of a hill with a rainbow and a gospel choir and trees swaying in the breeze. "Walking on Sunshine" is playing in the background and they all prance around without a care because they've just learned the importance of fitness.

Lisa: I can't read his expression. That concerns me.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Pettable Arrangements

Jesse: Imagine a service where when you've had a hard day at the office and you come home to this house that looks like a bomb hit it - where your son has carved all these little potato men and left peels all over the floor and the TV is blasting with no one watching and your husband is locked in the bedroom obsessing over what he thinks may be moles on his back - when you hear the sound of doorbell and brace yourself for the next stressful thing (drunken neighbor with a rake looking for his cat or kid selling seeds), but instead it's puppies. A basket of puppies. Delivered to your door.

These puppies are named Giuseppe and Titus and Lourde Anthony (you know because they have adorable little tags around their necks); they bark the theme to Happy Days in three-part harmony and are housebroken in such a charmingly modern fashion that your whole family is amazed (I won't ruin the surprise).

And it gets better. In two or three days when the novelty begins to wear off and they slowly evolve from manifestations of the ideal of cuteness to real little dogs with real smells and annoying habits (they're always under your feet when you're trying to cook) a twinkling little bell rings and they all dash off in a row to a waiting van where they are whisked back to the magic factory from whence they came. You get to keep the basket. In fact you're about to put it up on the mantle because it's so handsome when your son discovers there's a false bottom filled with Lindt chocolate truffels, scented bath oils, little bags of Turkish coffee and the new digital version of Guess Who?, which sets the stage for the best family game night of all time.

Yeah. So if anyone wants to throw down a little seed money to get this idea off the ground shoot me an e-mail and we'll hash it out over Thai or something.

Lisa: Holy. Fucking. Shit.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Woofer

Jesse: You rarely see any pictures of dogs in cars beyond the hackneyed head-out-the-window-not-a-care-in-the-world shot, and of course that shit is as reductive as a teen movie montage where an entire road trip is distilled down to 45 seconds of laughter and truck stops and a little dot jouncing along a map, without all the leg cramps and the screaming at your friend while he pees into yet another water bottle instead of just waiting for you to pull over. In reality the dog basks in the wind for about two minutes before his throat starts filling with flies and his eyes dry out. Dogs do not have tear ducts and are not allowed to use Visine, so imagine how that feels.

Basically, car trips are hard for dogs. Their paws are not appropriate for playing travel-size Parcheesi and when you put on the radio all they hear is discordant noise because their ears are not developed enough to understand Bob Marley lyrics. It's something that no one thinks about. This photo is not so well composed but maybe get some black and white film and a dusky horizon where the animal's dolor is crystallized by the encroaching darkness and we could have a Pulitzer on our hands.

Lisa: I would date a dog if I didn't have to have sex with it.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Fancy Beasts

Jesse: You know you're dealing with a snooty crowd when even the camel, whose skin is undoubtedly crawling with a rogues gallery of disgusting parasites, has his nose turned up. Then there's the dog equivalent of those shithead cats from the Fancy Feast commercials who won't touch anything not prepared by their personal chef but then get tricked into eating crappy canned food because their taste is based on nothing more than this ridiculous expectation of what quality looks like and you know they'd eat their own poop if it was whipped into a terrine and drizzled with a garlic aioili reduction.

Don't be fooled by the fact that they are walking in the desert, these dogs are wearing custom booties to protect their feet from sand damage and transparent Hermes imperméables with silk chiffon eye guards. The one on top is complaining that his tail hairs will get frizzy if they come within 4 inches of the ground and the hawk has never left that guy's shoulder except to pull some fey twirling manuever that lasts less than 10 seconds and then he drops back in an exaggeratedly exhausted huff and sighs "oh Master Roderick this heat is simply dreaaadful." I don't know where these guys are going but it's probably somewhere with a lot of pillows.

Lisa: Animals! Drawings! Animals!

Thursday, July 17, 2008


Jesse: So you see this little madman on the slopes at Killington while you're fiddling around on a green circle, tearing down the wrong side of the mountain on his board, parting rows of skiers like waves of grain and at first you mistake him for a deformed little man having an episode. But as he gets closer it becomes clear that this is in fact a dog so radical that he has Lenny Kravitz on his speed dial. He's pulling 540 tail rolls while simultaneously chugging a Sobe (he doesn't even have hands!) and the stuffed shirts are falling over backwards and getting crossed up and screaming at him to slow down but he doesn't even hear it because has "Voodoo Child" blasting so loud from his headphones that the authorities have been forced to put out an avalanche warning.

Lisa: EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE Jesse I love dogs I love skiing and oh my god it's small look I want to ski with this dog!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It's mine my dog yes yes it's mine please let go

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


Lisa: These dogs OH! these dogs! They're my friends! I love them, we like to play tennis and we run and we play soccer and we go play hoop and i love them! They are so wonderful and amazing they are the nicest people they say the funniest things i have fur in my mouth i keep getting fur in my mouth.

Jesse: This is why I'm against dog cloning. Not for ethical or moral reasons but for the simple fact that when a dog gets it in his or her mind to do something, be it pee on a certain object or run off with the exact part of the newspaper you were saving to show your wife, the urge presents itself so strongly that it becomes permanently imprinted on the beast's DNA. So when you have fourteen versions of John Q. Ruffs instead of one the result is fourteen dogs, scattered about the world as they may be, all at once experiencing the cross-continental yearnings of late-period Forrest Gump so that they can reach this one spot and do this one pointless thing. Thus begins this It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World style journey with the dogs pulling their owners by the leash, the humans following for some reason (you have to give this one a little leeway) a wacky cross-country race involving biplanes and pickup trucks and souped up tractors, and finally a crushing (although not for the dogs) denouement where the owners are left commisserating and eating Roy Rogers takeout in an empty lot in Grand Island, Nebraska while their dogs go to town, stirring up the biggest dust cloud you have ever seen.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

What the hell?

Lisa: This looks like a mean dog, clearly someone did something to make him upset the question is WHY? Why would someone be mean to a dog/friend, why would someone make a friend sad like this? The men in the background want to shoot him which is NOT NICE AT ALL! this dog is so nice but nobody understands his feelings, but he's a very nice dog/friend, really! I bet what happened is he found a litter of orphaned kittens and he said "these babies need a friend" and was being their FRIEND/dog but the men saw him and said "oh no a dog is hurting the baby cats!" but he was not it's a stigma that is attached to dogs and it's not a fair one because they are so nice. so the man chased the dog and hurt his feelings and then apparently he ate some vanilla ice cream because what is that around his MOUTH.

Jesse: Remember that episode of Wishbone about "The Hound of the Baskervilles" and how it had this weird meta tinge becaue he was a magical dog that everyone thought was normal investigating what turned out to be a normal dog that everyone thought was magical? Now that you've read a little Marx you can't help but see the whole thing as an over-complicated allegory for the capitalist system's survival being based on the proletariat's unwitting cannibalization of its own power but when you were ten this mostly flew over your head so afterward you just felt like you had a stomach ache and sat up in your room wheeling a matchbox car slowly in a circle for hours.

So another fun thing is swallowed by that upsetting anti-nostalgia you experience in early adulthood where you reread Fight Club and you hate it and realize the Muppet Show is kind of stupid. You're with your little cousin watching PBS reruns and you get excited when this comes on but you can't stop thinking about that that disturbing advertising conceit where a cartoon potato chip is happily eating another potato chip (or even worse, a pig eating pork rinds) and Jewish kapos during the Holocaust and you feel like you're reading that probably-extremely-depressing novel by Edward P. Jones about black slave owners in the American south when you just wanted to watch a nice show about a dog who likes to read so you tell your cousin that the Easter Bunny has prostate cancer and cancel your Amazon pre-order on that set of Arthur DVDs

Saturday, July 12, 2008

April 27, 2004

Lisa: Clearly April 27th 2004 was a Big Day for these dogs. I'm curious about the events that transpired and if it's an annual celebration or just a one time thing. Was it a wedding? Maybe it's a graduation. My dad and I took a similar picture when I graduated from college. Does this event have anything to do with birds or birdhouses? Perhaps they put on a play; that would explain the congratulatory flowers and the fact that they're posed with a confidence normally reserved for thespians. I think that must be it, they're actors and they just put on a stage version of the 1955 blockbuster, Trial.

Jesse: The thing with dogs is that by now we're so used to viewing them as objects that we totally neglect the idea that they have any kind of inner life, which is doubly harmful because on the one hand you have St. Bernards trapped like fairy tale princesses in cramped 28th floor apartments and on the other you get the almost-as-bad backlash where fussy owners turn their pets lives into a revolting carousel of play-dates and monogrammed bowls and therapy sessions where 30-second bark samples are modulated through a little machine and Rover ends up prescribed a regimen of doggie tai chi to "let his soul breathe".

Following in this tradition of ignorance England's parliament decided on April 27, 2004 to legalize dog marriages. This might have been a landmark moment for the species but they were kind of distracted by the strange smell of pickled herring wafting across the Thames, which provoked a frenzy of snouts poking out of cracked windows all over London. Nevertheless thousands of dogs were married in mass ceremonies all over the country and at first things seemed to be going pretty well, with tons of money being made off of dual leashes with heart patterns and commemorative painted plates like this one. But within a few weeks dog-on-dog bitings shot up 403% and the pubs were crawling with depressed collies trying to drink away their newfound sorrows. The whole country started to feel like a much sadder version of that dogs playing poker painting and people started to realize that their dogs didn't really find this whole thing as cute as they did. Thankfully with the rise in popularity of cat speed dating this whole thing was mostly forgotten and the marriages kind of fizzled out naturally.

Friday, July 11, 2008


Jesse: They may not talk about it in "I Love the '90s" but if you were around you remember that feeling of malaise around the early middle of the decade when we realized we were living in the same time period that "The Jetsons" was set but our lives were still pretty drab overall and plagued with fusty tiny-screened computers and particle board and grunge music.

Now roughly fifteen years in the future our world is swimming with more technology than we know what to do with and that whole phase would seem pretty embarassing if it wasn't already so embarassing on its own. But really, who cares that you were wearing colors with the words "hot" and "electric" prefacing them when we what basically amounts to a pop-tart sized square that can do everything and yes, huge robotic dogs to distract us. Not only does Michael Vick look like even more of a monster but we can sleep soundly with the knowledge that our very own children will be able to remote-control still larger canine behemoths with thundering footsteps that rock the foundations of our houses and power-down noises pulled straight from a Saturday morning cartoon.

Lisa: hehhhh

Thursday, July 10, 2008

What Breeds!

Lisa: I'm not entirely sure what kind of dog that is but look at his little claws it's like he's some sort of adorable monster. The dog on the left reminds me for some reason of Rowlf from the Muppet Babies, now that I think about it, it's kind of like the little dog is playing an INVISIBLE PIANO and Rowlf is like "WOAH dude that's not how you do it" and the little dog is like "what the fuck do you know about music rowlf, you're just a dog" and he's like "man i am NOT just a dog i'm a musician and a muppet and a friend" and the little dog ignores him and just continues to tickle the invisible ivories

Jesse: What is it about disparate animal pairings that gets people so worked up? Kittens and ducklings, puppies and goats, baby ostriches and water buffalo, all grand slams in the arena of cuteness. Any adolescent boyfriend worth his salt knows that the puppies and kittens calendar (with the bonus puppy/kitten/three downy chicks combination for July), with the two natural enemies all a'romp together in fields of clover and intensely examining a fascinating boot, is going to score much more than double the points of either puppies or kittens alone.

It might be the evocation of that perfect sense of pre-lapsarian, first-half-of-The Fox and the Hound-type innocence or the suggestion that harmony can be achieved despite overwhelming difference or maybe its just like an Oreo where two things that are solid enough on their own reach new horizons of fantastic when joined together. We may never really know because science has better things to do and when you try to pontificate on the cuteness algorithm of a scruffy dog mothering a scrawny little marsupial everyone is like "shhhh, look, they're asleep" and they are, on a pile of folded laundry under a Christmas tree.

ETA 7/18/08 @ 10:37am

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

You Know This is Hanging in a Foyer Somewhere

Lisa: It's kind of like the dog is the only one who realizes how fucking stupid this is. Where are they, Sears? First of all, the kid is dressed like a fucking idiot for chrissake. Is it Christmas? No, I'm seriously asking you, is it fucking Christmas? Because only then is it okay to wear red and green together, otherwise you look fucking festive for no reason. Also, I used to have jeans like those and they're really goddamn stupid. It's like they're jeans and sweatpants in one, with an elastic waistband and everything. Finally, the shoes -- oh hell, the shoes. If it is Christmas, why the fuck is he wearing dirty white sneakers? Who the hell would put their son in dirty white sneakers on Christmas? If you want my opinion, the only good thing about this portrait is the dog, and he knows it. Dogs are not seasonal, they go with everything, and they're always in style. Unlike this fucking train wreck of a kid.

Jesse: This dog has the tortured yet saintly countenance of a 14th century Christian martyr. This boy is carefree and joyful and cannot yet grasp the concept of death. Together they star in a dramatic Russian television series called молодой парень, печальная собака (This Darling Child and his Sorrowful Hound) where the little kid repeatedly toddles into mildly dangerous situations and the dog has to save him again and again with his wearied face appearing in extreme closeup like the exact representation of an entire nation's troubles. It may seem to us like a Lassie retread but the whole thing as this amazing cinematic quality and a sense of gravitas that you don't find on American television. Take for example this one scene where the boy tumbling is in slow-motion down a snowy hillside toward the biggest mud puddle you've ever seen with THIS music playing and the dog senses it and is rushing through a crowded town square with the snow coming down and flashbacks to his mother being taken away in the Black Maria (there's still a lot of guilt in this country about the overzealousness of Soviet dog catchers) and there are repeated cuts to the boy's father chopping wood and his mother preparing a roast and then there's this amazing long shot from a helicopter or something where they draw all the way back and you can see the dog rushing down the hill and the early evening shadows are framed amazingly against the path of the boy's descent and you're like "wait a second what am i watching"

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


Lisa: A smiling dog is like therapy to me. This dog is so soft and happy looking I want to press my face up against hers and, I don't know, bite it? I want to bite it. Softly, like that thing a dog does when he wants to see what you're made of so he just like grabs your arm really gently in his mouth and just holds it for a minute, like "okay, well I guess you're made of human" but he dosn't let go right away because he loves you so much. You know? That's what I want to do to her. I want to hold her snout in my mouth and see what she's made of. Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh god ohhh

Jesse: Like those little red laughing Buddha figurines they sell in Chinatown this dog is an iconic representation of a basically intangible thing. He should be modeled into life-sized pillows and distributed to disadvantaged children so they can know what it feels like to be loved by a cloud.

Monday, July 7, 2008

This is a Large Dog

Lisa: IF I COULD HAVE ANY DOG ANY DOG IN THE WORLD THIS WOULD BE IT. While I have an average-sized interest in average-sized dogs I have an above average-sized interest in above average-sized dogs THIS DOG IS A GIANT! DO YOU SEE! I am below-average sized if I had this dog I could ride him I could save money this dog would give me rides it would be a fun day! I don't like that man who is he. Is it maybe a cow!

Jesse: Notice first the look on this guy's face, which is wavering at that exact point where he realizes he's lost control of the situation. You know this clown and his antics, how he traps you into inviting him to your party and gets "buzzed" as quickly as possible off his "patented" cocktail of Passion Fruit Smirnoff and Cherry Limeade so he can immediately devote himself to his role as self-appointed party ambassador, obnoxiously pushing people to do shots, making jokes about your refrigerator magnets, putting a lampshade on his head in the most painfully self-conscious way possible where he has three or four false starts because not enough people are looking and you're just mentally blacklisting everyone who cracks a smile. But here he has hubristically bitten off more than he can chew and the gods respond by flattening him with his own cow-hound dance partner. You cannot dance with a dog of this size. A tall woman is hard enough to manage and she's not even slobbering in your hair or struggling with the fact that she's not meant to be on two legs and has the center of gravity of an Ikea bookshelf.

So here you can enjoy this moment where he mentally says "whoaaa boy, steady" and the no, it's ok really smile flashes like a star twinkle before his knees sort of buckle and he gives one or two strained grunts and topples over on his back for this monster to drag its skee-ball sized testicles over his stupid Budnik-looking face and practical hat.

Sunday, July 6, 2008


Lisa: I wonder what happened to this dog here it's like his wolfdog friend is like "man don't sit too close i don't want anyone to think i know you" and the fuzzy dog thing is like "but dude i can't even SEE this thing is around my neck man" and wolfdog says to him "yeah man you look like an IDIOT you totally shouldn'ta fuckin attacked that bird dude" and fuzzy dog goes "fuck you man this whole thing is all your fault" and wolfdog goes "shut the fuck up man" and fuzzy small thing's all "you got me into this the least you can do is act like a fucking FRIEND" and wolfdog's like "shut up shut up shut upppp" and fuzzydog's like "man this sucks i can't even see a fucking thing"

Jesse: Summer is here and that means its time for lemonade and strolling and for your two dogs to pose serenely on the front lawn like they're the subject of an Andrew Wyeth painting or a family photo circa 1907, the bigger one with his vacuous, pupil-less eyes and the collar attachment that says "My name is LARS and someone at 493 MAPLEVIEW TERRACE loves me" and that bizarre sense of impending doom (the eyes again) that sends up chill up your spine when you wake up in the middle of the night and see him watching you from the foot of the bed. Then there's Terrence who still gets a kick out of wearing that Elizabethan collar even though its been six months since the operation and you throw it away at least once a week but each time he digs it out and stuffs his little head back inside, running around the house like an inverted lampshade, getting stuck as he tries to squeeze under the armchair and then plopping down in the grass like he's using the thing for suntanning purposes. God bless these furred beasts.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

What Wonderful Dogs!

Lisa: What's cool about these dogs is the fact that they're a team, you can tell that just by looking at them. As a general rule I'm against animals wearing clothes (it just doesn't make any sense for Chrissake), although I know if I actually owned a dog I would probably dress him up as often as possible. These costumes in particular are a great investment because they can be used in a number of different ways and for a number of different occasions: Halloween, trips to Germany, beer parties, fairy-tale themed events, role-playing, the theatre, historical reenactments, disguises, birthday parties, intimidation purposes, celebrations of almost any kind, Myspace, graduation, photo shoots, cheering up, day camp, mail, inspiration, the beach, small things, gifting and re-gifting, barking, friendship, dogs, babies, eeeeeeeeeeee.

Jesse: In cases like this my first reaction is obviously to blame the human - for every wiener-dog suffocating in a horrid snowflake-pattern sweater there's an equally tragic owner doing the same in the stifling pit their lives have obviously become - but here I feel like the dogs themselves are responsible and for some reason the idea of blame doesn't even begin to enter into the equation. I love this. It may stand against everything I believe in but I've found myself staring at this picture for nigh upon ten minutes and it's having the strangest soothing effect; I think this is what drowning is supposed to feel like.

Maybe its just the little details here and the way they join together to create something that is the opposite of the sum of its parts. The bug-like eyes that in the wrong situation would be borderline horrifying (imagine these things crawling out from underneath a trailer covered in mud) which work with the costumes to create the kind of cute normally reserved for ugly children and old men. The way their paws are almost touching but not quite (love). Mostly it's the idea that these two weird dogs have somehow convinced me that they share a loving, healthy relationship, with three kids away at obedience school (i don't know, that's the only dog metaphor for college I can think of. Shut up) and the kind of lifestyle where they can wake up in the morning and decide on a whim to dress up for the local Bavarian festival and their costumes just end up matching without any sort of planning.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy Independence Day

Lisa: Here in America there are two kinds of dogs: Dogs that are proud of their country, and dogs that don't give a shit because they think they have no fucking responsibilities. We all have responsibilities! When you wake up in the morning you should say to yourself, "I am an American. I live in a free country! I am lucky to live here, I'm lucky to have been born here, and I'm going to make the most of all the resources that are available to me." I'm talking guns here, folks. We have the fucking right to bear arms and the only people who seem to care are those that are equally interested in fucking their sister. NOT COOL DUDES. We could shoot shit up. We could shoot each other. We could shoot people that aren't American, or people that are American but don't share our values. We could shoot dogs if we wanted (please don't). We could shoot things that rhyme with dogs, like frogs or logs or pogs (except I'm under the impression that some pogs are worth quite a bit of money nowadays so it's really important that we assess our collections first). Why? Because this is fucking America and we are free! I feel like nobody's with me on this. Nobody except this dog. Check out the heat he's packing. It's like he fucking KNOWS what he's DOING when he walks into a room.

Jesse: The worst thing about extremist groups is the way they pick on the weak-minded and physically defective so you end up with situations like this, where this poor little creature, who's spent his whole life being trampled underfoot at dog runs and sniffing the backs of the other guys knees ends up at a weekend retreat with some dickhead in a flannel-shirt and high-waisted Levis named Brother Glenn who preaches about the dissolute natures of the larger breeds and cats secretly running the ASPCA and how the doggie-door to heaven is only 14 inches high. He's feeling good, running free and breathing the mountain air with a knockwurst-looking pug who can barely move and a mutt that someone abandoned in the dog food section at Wal-Mart and he actually starts to believe this shit because this is the first time in his life that he feels like someone is really speaking to him.

Before you know it he's outfitted head to toe for the coming race war, carrying a pistol that he can't even shoot correctly and barking a farewell message to his family about how his soul is ready to ascend the peaks of Mount Zion propelled by the unclean blood of the Great Dane into a video camera that isn't even turned on.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Holy Hell Just Look at this Dog

Lisa: When I was little I had this fear that my toys came alive when I was asleep or out of the room. This was long before Toy Story even came out, although I think it's worth noting that when it did I couldn't sleep for weeks. I was similarly suspicious of my pet bird, a Cockatiel named Robin that I got for Christmas when I was six. I thought he was a genius -- I mean, he kind of was -- but I thought he understood English perfectly and behaved like a totally normal person when my back was turned, and that his whole "bird" shtick was just a cover for, I don't know, the government? These days my paranoia manifests itself in other ways, or at least it did until I saw this picture. WHAT THE FUCK! I mean, HOLY FUCK! "Oh look I've got a little dog oh cool he's acting like a dog that's kind of neat he's all on the ground and shit like dogs should be oh hold on I'll be right back" and the second I turn around he climbs up a fucking BAMBOO SHOOT? IS HE INSANE? Where the fuck did he find a fucking bamboo shoot anyway? No, seriously, I'm done here.

Jesse: It seems cheap to go the Asian route with the presence of the bamboo shoot and the slightly askew eyes, but this guy is so firmly established on a Zen-level plane of serene inner peace that he's only a few inches of chin whisker away from being matte-framed on some stoner dude's wall between the 10 Iroquois Commandments and a black-light poster of Jesus with dreads.

It's especially impressive considering how other dogs seem set to drift through life in this half-drugged Cheech & Chong mode where they treat every bug they see like a fascinating little smidgen worthy of three hundred sniffs. Meanwhile this guy has climbed a plant and is smiling at you like he's about to recommend the book that will change your life. It's actually kind of embarrassing. You can imagine that the rest of his species is spending their day forgetting where they buried half a muddy tube sock while he's locked away in a tiny workshop figuring out a way to make his thumbs opposable.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Dogs are fun!

Lisa: One of the most fun things about dogs is they like to play it's neat because they're so much fun you like them? they turn the most regular normal things into fun games like this dog here he sees a rope that's attached to things that are in the ground and he says "now this to me looks like a game, who's in?" but nobody's in since he's probably more fun than anybody else in the world and his imagination is so beautiful that he's the only one that's able to see the fun in everything it's a curse really but like one of those beautiful curses like how the elephant man was so gross looking but he was like a really nice guy and beautiful on the inside and had so much inner strength and things but anyway so this dog is like "shit man this looks like a rad game" and he fucking bites on the rope and it turns out he's RIGHT the game is pretty much the most awesome thing he's ever played and if i were there i would just sit down on the ground and watch him and be glad that he's not the elephant man because if he was i would like him much less

Jesse: Remember that scene in White Fang when White Fang is forced to fight that other dog and you can tell by his initial reticence that he doesn't want to have to do this again because he's tired of that wild life and having to bite the shit out of canines he knows are his brothers just to prove a point so he gives that look that's like "cmon guy we don't have to do this" but the other dog has no use for it and he's on White Fang with his teeth and White Fang holds back for a second more until its too much and he just tears into this fucking dog and its about as horrifying as you can get with a PG rating, but you know he had no choice so you can respect it and at the last moment when that dog's throat is exposed White Fang pulls back and gives him that look so he knows he wasn't worth it and the guys who bet on the other dog throw down their hats and walk out of the place just shaking their heads? That was awesome.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

A Bit of History

Lisa: Okay, so everyone's familiar with Darwin and all of his big ideas, but what most people don't know is his theory on dogs.

Charles Darwin was just 22 years old when he set foot upon a ship called the Beagle during the winter of 1831. It was upon this ship that he wrote two of his most famous papers, "Dogs: Truly Man's Best Friend and Probably the Best Animals in the Entire World" and "I've Never Loved Any Woman as Much as I Love Dogs, Do You Think I Am Gay or are Dogs Just Really That Great?" In these papers, he speculated that dogs are the most evolved creatures on earth (I would have to agree), and that thousands of years ago existed a race of dogs so advanced that we have yet to discover the secrets to their technologies.

One of the many things that supported his theory was this dog painting. You may notice that the subject has opposable thumbs, which explains how he was able to dress himself in such complicated attire (complicated especially in comparison to the sweaters and t-shirts you may find on dogs of today). Also significant is the fact that the painter (who was also suspected to be a dog) was able to paint inside the lines, unlike my friends' dogs who can't even hold paintbrushes.

The cause for their extinction has not yet been determined; however, Darwin popularized two schools of thought. The first is that a great war broke out and left all but few dogs dead -- which, I suppose, is possible except for the fact that all dogs are best friends with each other, so why would they fight? The second (and more scientifically ground) theory is that this race of dogs is still thriving, they're all just really really really good hiders.

Jesse: If you think this kind of sick dog-man motif sprung whole from the twisted mind of that guy who takes terrifying photos of those gray dogs posing in painter's hats and overalls with human hands then you're wrong. Back in the 1800s people were painting dogs heads coming out of everything: vases, decorative Greek-Revival porticos, the chimneys of small cottages. It was a terrible fad and while nowadays you'd have the geniuses at Best Week Ever taking the air out of the whole thing by Friday evening people in the 19th century were much too polite and so this went on for nearly 80 years. There was even a 60-foot scene of the Battle of Waterloo at the Winter Palace in Petersburg that was painted over with dogs heads on all the soldiers and which, according to rumor, precipitated through its sheer awfulness the early death of Tsarina Anna Ivanovna from tuberculosis at age 14 (seriously).

Things had thankfully slowed down by the late 1930s when in a move that seems pulled from the latest Indiana Jones flick the Nazis began rounding up any paintings of this kind and burning them for the danger they posed to "the sanity and well-being of the greater European continent." SS terror squads raided mansions in Amsterdam and Copenhagen and destroyed untold quantities of stupid portraits featuring dogs wearing pince-nez and foppish hats with the hands of Lord Marlborough or Alexander the Great. This of course was entirely hushed up after the war because we need our villains cast in black and white and the idea that a group of monsters could have performed such a service to the world was rightfully offensive to most people.

Thanks to this paintings of this style are now pretty sought after and guys in the Midwest with doctoral degrees and careful moustaches spend hours discussing them in online forums. This, however, is a fake, you can tell because a dog would never have been allowed to attain the rank of Rear Admiral.