Today I posted a photo of my dog on Facebook. In under three hours, Lewis, who is an elderly mutt (a non-designer, natural-born mix of beagle and Bassett Hound) who carries a bit of a paunch, received more than 150 likes from total strangers and no less than 16 well-wishing comments (e.g., “God bless this handsome dog” and “He gives me hope...”).
I’ve been posting on Facebook since roughly 2007. Much as I hate to admit it, I’ve posted hundreds of selfies. But never, not once, did I garner the warm and effusive reaction that Lewis received today. It’s not that I’m jealous or bitter - I swear I’m not that kind of dog mom. Even after I scrolled through my own selfies and saw that none ever came close to generating the enthusiastic reaction that Lewis got today, I still buried my face in his wrinkly neck and asked him, “Who’s a good boy?”
He didn’t answer. And that got me thinking. Lewis is obviously a good boy. In fact, he’s the only good boy in this house. He has to know this. Now, I’ve always sensed that Lewis is humble. It’s something in the way he politely and patiently bows to the ground, his head on his arms, whenever he sees another dog approaching for a sniff. But perhaps Lewis is more humble than I ever realized. Perhaps his ego isn’t even a thing for him. Perhaps it’s Lewis’s humility, his utter absence of self-consciousness and vanity, that makes him so damn likable. So much more likable than me.
Not that I’m comparing. I mean I’m really really happy for him. Honestly, I am. And I feel I can learn something from him. Nine things, in fact. Or more specifically, nine reasons why he’s more popular than me on Facebook:
1. He doesn’t do duck lips.
The only thing he knows about ducks is that they annoy the crap out of him when they quack at him from the edge of the pond in the front yard, just outside the parameters of the invisible fence.
2. He doesn’t overdo the makeup.
He doesn’t use “airbrush” technology or “bake” his concealer. He doesn’t even know what concealer is. He just knows that it tastes kind of meh when he licks your face.
3. He doesn’t position the camera sixty degrees above his face in order to emphasize his eyes and his cheekbones.
First of all, he knows that it only makes his nose look big. Second of all, he’s well aware that everyone knows that trick.
4. He doesn’t edit his photos using filters so that he appears softly lit and vaguely smudgey.
Also, he doesn’t play with Photoshop to even out his coloring or to give himself a thigh-gap.
5. He doesn’t coerce other dogs into jumping into the photo with him so that it won’t seem like just another selfie.
Come on, admit it - you do that too.
6. He doesn’t know or care which is his “good side.”
As a result, all of his photos look distinct from one another, unlike mine, which pretty much all look the same. A Lewis-selfie always looks fresh and new.
7. He doesn’t pose with a sultry but vaguely victimized smile that makes him look like a Russian Mail Order Bride.
Actually, I don’t do this, I swear. But don’t tell me you don’t know what I’m talking about.
8. He doesn’t ever ask you why you haven’t liked his photo yet.
He’d never even think of it. He’s not even on Facebook.
9. He’s a good boy.
No drama. No demands. He’s a good boy, even if he won’t tell you he knows this is true.