No B.S Friday: I’m still not quite sure what to make of this experience…
That little dog got me in so much trouble.
So I remember I was out for a walk one time, and this little dog comes running up to say hello.
I like dogs, so I bent down to give it a bit of a pat and a ruffle.
See what a nice guy I am. This proves it.
Side note – I was actually talking to a film-maker friend of mine, and this is a common movie technique. If they want you to like a character immediately, but they don’t have time to put into it, they just give you a shot of them being kind to an animal.
Apparently, if we see somebody being nice to an animal, we just automatically assume they’re a good person. Maybe because the opposite is true, if you’re nasty to an animal you are probably a nasty person.
Anyway, watch out for it. Think Russel Crow’s character is Gladiator. In the opening scene he’s shown thoughtfully patting his dog (who for some reason has come to the battlefield with him), and then the dog is never seen of again. Or Brad Pitt in Fury, in the opening scene with the horse of the Nazi he’s just killed. Or <insert some reference that makes it look like I don’t only like historical action films. Something something Susan Sarandon.>
Anyway, there I was, nice guy that I am, giving this dog a friendly pat.
At that point the dog decides that we’re now buddies and he starts following me down the street.
I’m looking around for his owner, who I presumed was somewhere around, but then realise that this dog is out all on his own. I’m looking at the houses nearby and they’re not looking like doggy houses.
Um… Now I’m wondering if I’ve accidentally invited a stray dog to come and live with me.
Because that’s how its behaving.
It runs off for a bit, then runs back and looks at me like, “Where are we going next?” Then it goes and comes back and goes and comes back.
I keep on with my walk. I figure it will just get bored of me eventually.
And that’s ok for a couple of blocks, but then the dog starts doing naughty things.
It runs up someone’s driveway and runs around in their yard. It’s in the middle of the road as car is trying to get past. It chases a cat.
And I realise that I’m now looking like an irresponsible dog owner. Like I’m some dude who has taken his dog out for a walk, and then just doesn’t care what the dog gets up to.
And people are looking at me like, “Are you going to get your dog under control?”
And I’m shrugging at people, trying to say, “It’s not my dog.” But it just looks like I’m just saying, “Sorry my dog just shat on your lawn. Nothing I can do about it.”
And this dog is still super friendly with me, and so now I look like a guy who takes his dog out for a walk, and then when it does something naughty, just pretends like it isn’t his dog.
Any cred I established in the opening scenes is not lost, as people glare at me down the street.
It’s just a bizarre experience.
But it’s one that also feels kinda common.
Like, people are going to judge you about things they don’t understand. They won’t know the full story. They won’t understand why you’re doing the things you’re doing, or how much control you have in the story anyway.
But they’re going to judge you anyway.
And there will be times when you are making a mess in someone’s lawn – where you yourself will be the naughty dog – and you’ll just have to shrug your shoulders and say, “Sorry. I don’t know why I did that. I just don’t have full control over this thing.”
What can you do?
Haters are going to hate. You’re going to be naughty and make a mess. It’s just life.
All you can do is keep walking.