People have been writing about dogs almost from the moment writing was invented. Long before the internet, when people got their reading material from print sources, the phrase Man Bites Dog was coined as an example of a news story with an unusual angle. Given how much ink has been devoted to dogs over the years, it’s fitting that this hypothetical headline about man’s best friend would be used to illustrate a basic tenet of journalism.
These days, there’s so much dog-related content on the internet, it’s hard to wrap your head around it. However, if you follow Terribly Terrier on Facebook, or just make it a habit to search out dog stories on a regular basis, you’ll soon see that almost all of them fit into a very limited number of categories. Here are the main types of dog stories found all over the internet – if you don’t find at least one of them annoying, you are truly a devoted connoisseur of canine content.
1. Human Horribly Mistreats Dog
Unfortunately, a lot of stories about dogs are sad. By far the most common of these are the ones where a person does something terrible to a dog. Typical subjects include dog fighting rings, unethical breeders, random cruelty toward pets, and (gulp) bestiality. These stories succeed by generating tons of social media shares and comments, as dog lovers use all the online tools as their disposal to vent their spleen at the offender. On the good side, these types of stories can prompt thousands of people to line up to adopt a dog who’s been rescued from an abusive situation. On the not-so-good side, it seems a little unhealthy for a person to wallow too much in this stuff.
2. Dog Bites Man
In the sometimes-abusive relationship between people and dogs, the people aren’t always the violent ones. While a dog biting a person usually isn’t notable, there are circumstances so extreme and/or tragic that it becomes news. Sadly, dogs do occasionally maim or kill people (typically children). In some cases, stray dogs even form packs, terrorizing an area by attacking people, livestock, and pets.
3. Why Does My Dog… ?
Dogs have a reputation for being uncomplicated, especially compared to cats. Most times, we get what they’re thinking (or at least we think we do). But there are also times when they do things that are simply baffling to humans. For people who are trying to fix problem behavior, or are simply curious about what goes on in their dog’s head, there are reams of internet articles exploring things like licking, butt-sniffing, weird sleep habits, and other common areas of confusion.
4. Dog Saves Person
We humans are fascinated by stories of dogs behaving courageously (especially those of us whose own dogs run for cover at the sight of the vacuum cleaner). On the one hand, we’re impressed by dogs’ preternatural ability to sense danger and act accordingly. On the other, we’re touched that dogs are so bonded to us that they’re willing to sacrifice themselves. Thus, stories of dogs alerting people to fires or fending off wild animals pop up regularly on newspaper sites and dog blogs.
5. Disabled Dog Beats Odds, Lives Happy Life
If nothing else, dogs are adaptable. Also, they don’t waste a lot of time feeling sorry for themselves (okay, maybe some of the very spoiled ones do). Put the two together, and it shouldn’t be surprising that dogs generally don’t roll over and die over minor inconveniences such as losing three legs, going blind, or suffering from devastating birth defects. Regardless, a lot of people are inspired to read about dogs persevering through hardships, often with the help of human technology and ingenuity.
6. Celebrity Has a Dog
While it stretches the definition of “content,” there’s a lot of space on the internet devoted to pictures of celebrities and their pets. So, why do we care if Jennifer Aniston has a Corgi? Well, for one thing, people with stalker tendencies like to know everything they can about celebs – the more personal, the better. For another, people enjoy the thought that famous singers and movie stars are more or less like us.
7. Science Proves Something Dog Owners Already Knew
The unique relationship between dogs and humans is the basis for many scientific studies, each of which can spawn articles on a multitude of websites. These articles often focus on how dogs behave in sophisticated ways, have a broad range of emotions, or show a shocking ability to understand humans. A lot of these scientific “findings” tend to elicit a big duh from dog lovers, who already give dogs a lot of credit (maybe even more than they deserve).
8. Dogs Are Awesome
Ever get an email forwarded to you containing nothing but silly or sappy pictures of dogs? If you’ve owned an email account any time in the last twenty years, the answer is probably yes. This type of content (again, using the term loosely) has always been a staple of the internet. These days, a lot of the sharing is done not through emails, but through Facebook and other social media. Some people might argue that these types of sentiment-laced articles do nothing but pollute the internet. On the other hand, it’s… just… so… irresistible. But love it or hate it, these types of dog articles are definitely here to stay.
So, which type of dog article would you like to make disappear from the face of the internet? Let us know!