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Spot Was A Dog




pot was a dog. A dog, spot was. Spot was not some representation of emotion, or a metaphor for fun and animalistic tendencies. Oh, no, spot was just a doggie. A mutt, if you will. The mutt has no symbolic qualities, whether it be the extension of class due to pure-breds being more expensive, nor was Spot a mutt because of an anti-establishment movement. Getting down to it, the truth is that Spot was a mutt because the author happened to come across a mutt a few days prior and thought up a story for the mutt to warm the hearts of readers. That is it. That is all.

Now Spot, as most dogs do, liked to chase things. He liked to chase cats. He liked to chase balls. He liked to chase his own tail from time to time. In Spot's simple life, the cats were not a representation of a higher class that Spot sought to capture. In Spot's simple head the balls were not a metaphor or social comment on the endless monotony of a 9 to 5 job, oh no. The truth, dear reader, is simply that Spot found the task fun.

Sure, we can all tell the story of Spot chasing and chasing and chasing the cat into a corner, then stopping. We can all say that, "The reason Spot never catches the cat and willingly lets it go is because he doesn't know what else to do. That without the chase, Spot's life is meaningless and we're all Spot, chasing after ethereal goals that we know we'll never reach."

But here's the thing, that's just human thinking and projecting. We try to assign meaning where there is none, and in Spot's case there is none. He only let the cat he was chasing go because last time he caught the cat he got scratched. Spot doesn't like scratches, he likes chasing things as dogs tend to do.

And one day, like any other day, Spot ran into the road. It is here that most teachers assign meaning to the road, telling of its awfulness and the end of the line. But in a sudden twist of fate, Spot wasn't run over! Take that, you teacher. You see, Spot, like countless other dogs, just skedaddled out the way of the coming car and went back to sniffing a new scent he'd found. Does this mean that Spot was a lucky dog, because the author intended to mean harm?

Not in the slightest, for Spot is just a dog and random things happen to dogs. Sometimes, they — just like humans — find themselves on a street with a car coming. But here's the thing, and I need you to listen carefully. Spot liked his owner, a lovely little girl named Alex who played with him whenever she came home from school. She sometimes was too tired to really play, but being a dog, Spot didn't mind. He just liked her company, because that's what dogs like. Just in case you're wondering, Alex was tired because she was a child and school can be tiring. That is all. No hidden comment on the social norms, no sneaky bit on education and the criticism layered against it. Oh no, Alex was just required to go to school due to her age and the law of the land.

Of course, with all this character build up, you're expecting an end. Well, yes. Spot dies. But all animals die. And all people die. Even little Alex will grow up and die one day. Tears will be shed over Spot the simple dog, but they'll have no deeper meaning beyond the loss of something loved. Yes, Spot will be adorable in his final moments, licking at her fingers and nuzzling his head into her lap. But that's just what dogs do. And her tears are just the tears of a child afraid of loss.

Her parents will try to spare her pain, telling her of Doggy Heaven, but deep down she'll know. Children are smarter than you think, and they'll understand that when you read out excerpts of this in class: It's just a simple story, with a simple girl, of a simple dog named Spot. A tribute to a cherished memory, if you will.

Rest in peace, Spot. I'll never forget you.


Quiz question:

Why was Alex too tired to play with Spot sometimes?

Because women in patriarchical societies are expected to perform unpaid emotional labor.

Because women in patriarchical societies are expected to perform unpaid emotional labor.

Because education is meant to train you on a daily basis through mental exhaustion.

Because education is meant to train you on a daily basis through mental exhaustion.

All of the above.

All of the above.

None of the above.

None of the above.

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Issue 14


September 22, 2017

Spot Was A Dog was written by A.U., who asked me not to credit them and promptly deleted their account. Farewell A, I'll never forget you.

The illustrations on this story were done by Andy Babbitz, who smells funky.

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Issue 14

This writing was originally published in Opium Magazine, and is not listed in the archives.
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