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  • Nikki Rockwell

“Wait, Does the Dog Get Hurt?” My Self-Imposed Guidelines to Watching/ Reading Anything!

Updated: Apr 23, 2020

Last Christmas my mother-in-law, Lainey, went through the painstaking task of searching far and wide for books for me to read. I told her that I am open to reading anything, which is, for the most part, true. Carolyn often will say that she doesn't like reading or watching anything “poignant” (a.k.a anything involving a lot of emotions or sadness or anything besides people dancing in the kitchen while making food. :) ) So I often find myself waiting for Carolyn to not be around for me to watch some of the harder-hitting, grittier things. So Lainey took it upon herself to delve into some of her favorite used book stores to get me some really wonderful treasures. Having given her literally no restrictions, she decided to look for books about one of my favorite things: dogs.

I carefully opened the century’s old wrapping paper (My MIL saves everything) to reveal an old, hardback book with the etchings of an old dog on the front. She said “You love dogs! So I figured you would love to read about this dog’s life!” I immediately looked at Carolyn. She said “Ok, so I’ll read that book and let you know if the dog gets hurt before you read it” Yep. And that is how I live my life. Blood, guns, human deaths, give it to me. A dog has a limp? Nope, I cannot deal.

I call this getting “Bombed”, and sometimes I do this to myself. When I am unexpectedly shown or reminded of a time when an animal gets hurt and it results in me exploding into tears. The shrapnel of their cuteness just stabs my heart. Sometimes, I lead a hard life!

I think this all goes back to that time I watched Homeward Bound. It came out when I was a kid and I thought “Sweet! It has two dogs and a cat and I just love noses and whiskers and furry faces!” And then I watched it. It was the doggie equivalent to watching a Snuff film. Sure, all of the animals made it home to a wonderful reunion with their humans, but it was not before I bawled my eyes out watching Chance get porcupine quills stuck in his face and Shadow speaking in his old, noble voice about getting back home to his family. (And if you think I’m not crying just thinking about this, you do not know me!) That was a lesson learned for me. Animals are too pure and therefore should not be used for my Catharsis! Nope, nope, nope! I mean, Land Before Time was too much for me and they were cartoon dinosaurs! (That moment where Little Foot runs up to the shadow and starts to lick it because he thinks it's his mom...I mean, come on!)

So unfortunately, this means I do not get to participate in some pop cultural things that are happening: AKA Tiger King. During this quarantine time, people have basically formed a cult around this Netflix series. People are making memes, dressing their kids up as Tiger King, changing the facial hair styles, basically already planning their new life with Tiger King as their leader. Not that I can blame them, what else are they going to do? So I make the suggestion to Carolyn “Maybe we should watch this! People seem to be getting a big kick out of it!” Carolyn agreed and we finally had something to look forward to. (Besides hugging literally everyone we have ever met once this whole mess is over!)

So before we start watching, we consult one of my bffs about the series. She is usually my “Do animals get hurt?” filter. (For you crazy animals lovers out there, this is a good person to have in your arsenal. It will save you many hours of crying and imaging what would happen if you could just boop their nose. This also makes Carolyn’s life a whole lot easier) So we send a text and she says “Oh no, Nikki DEF cannot watch that. She will not get through it!” Done and done. She has a good understanding of what I can handle, especially after the mistake she made dealing with The Game of Thrones. She mistakenly thought that I could handle that show because of my love of mob movies and my general ability to handle blood and gore. She, however, forgot to mention the Waredogs, or whatever they are called (Carolyn informs me they are called Direwolves). Sure, nothing happened on screen that first episode, but just knowing that completely made-up, fictionalized wolf creature was getting hurt in the plot, helped solidify GOT’s place on my “Nope List”. I mean, come on! They had them since they were little warepuppies! Is nothing sacred in that show?!

What other shows that are out there should I NOT watch?

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