At the top of BuzzFeed’s “Hot This Week” list, perched like the Eye of Sauron seeking out clicks in every corner of the internet, sits a heartwarming story about a Dog that BuzzFeed murdered.
The dog, offered as a blood sacrifice to the Gods of Content, had already been killed when the article was published, and for some reason, people aren’t mad about it.
I suppose the story is being read as cute rather than appalling because it’s told from the dog’s perspective. The article, 280 words in length and mostly pictures, is written by the dog himself. His name was Dukey Roberts, and he appears to have been either a black Labrador or some mix thereof.
“I Died Today,” writes the dog who had a blog.
Before his summary execution at the hands of the ‘Feed, Dukey was given hamburgers, met with neighbors and his former groomer, and enjoyed running through sprinklers at the “splash park.”
As he chronicles his day, highlighting the generosity of children and noting how much he will miss his friends, the dog expresses his belief in an afterlife with non-committal, “I didn’t say goodbye, I said ‘til we meet again.” It’s hard to tell whether he’s just placating his friends or if he is truly expressing his faith considering the vague tone and the fact that he’s a dog, but it’s sweet nonetheless.
One of the most noticeable things about Dukey is his missing third limb, presumably removed by BuzzFeed to sell advertising space. He never makes mention of it, despite being a talking dog that’s fully aware of the fact that he’s about to be murdered. In his final moments, you would think he would at least reflect on how only having three legs affected him.
After he says his goodbyes, a representative from BuzzFeed arrives and administers what is probably pentobarbital with a syringe – in broad daylight, in the middle of a public park filled with children.
As Dukey dies, he makes it clear that he’s experiencing no pain whatsoever. He does this by writing “I felt no pain.”
And that’s where the story ends. Dukey really never expresses his feelings towards his execution at the hands of BuzzFeed, or how he feels about his death being exploited for page views. Perhaps, as a dog, he couldn’t comprehend such things. Perhaps, as a dog, he couldn’t even comprehend that he was going to die today. Perhaps he didn’t even write the article.
The only thing we can tell for certain, is that Dukey’s life served a purpose, and as his story tops 3 million page views, we can be sure that he would be proud of his metrics and the advertising revenue he’s brought in. Whether Dukey was right about an afterlife or not, we know that he’s in a better place now, the annals of the BuzzFeed Hot This Week list, and here, on the pages of Thought Catalog.