An Open Letter to the Female Hat-Wearing Dog From “Go Dog, Go”

Dear female hat-wearing dog,

I bought your book to help my son learn prepositions and adjectives and was, from the first read, inexorably drawn in by your heart-wrenching struggle for approval.  Momentarily distracted by the humdrum parade of big dogs, little dogs, black and white dogs, I watched as you walked in, brimming with joy and confidence, and looked on as some total nobody, indistinguishable from most of the other dogs in this book, crushed you with his subtle rejection.

do you like my hat 1 full theuglyvolvo
“Do you like my hat?” “I do not.”

And you don’t even know me, but I wanted to take a minute to tell you that what matters is that you like your own hat, hat-wearing female dog.  Who is this guy anyway, some sort of dog hat expert??  Who cares what he thinks???  Wear a hat you love and if he doesn’t like it?  F*#% him.

I want you to take this in, hat-wearing female dog, lest you spend the next 15 years of your life trying to impress someone who is not worth your time.  Ignore the hat-based norms of the dog universe and wear what makes YOU happy.  Celebrate yourself!  You are awesome and unique, like that dancing eleven-year-old in the blonde wig from Sia’s Chandelier video, only a dog version!

So you try again.

feather steal theuglyvolvo
Just because someone owns a bowler hat doesn’t make them the Tim Gunn/Bill Cunningham of the dog fashion universe.

And not only does he shut you down once again (“Do you like my hat?” “I do not like it.”) he literally steals the feather out of your hat as he rides off on his scooter.  OMG, WHAT IS HIS ISSUE, RIGHT?  SCREW HIM AND HIS DUMB SCOOTER AND HIS HALFHEARTED FOUR-DAY-LATER FOLLOW UP TEXT MESSAGES.  (Not into UR hat, babe.  U look cute tho.)

If you’re seeking approval because you’re itching to be in a relationship right now, know that there are other fish in the sea and, more importantly, bazillions of other dogs in this book.  Without even looking I found some big dogs and some little dogs going around in cars.  I found a red dog on a blue tree.  I found a green dog on a yellow tree.  I found two dogs in a house on a boat in the water and three dogs at a party on a boat at night.  All of whom seem single, ready to mingle, and possibly capable of empathy.  The female-to-male dog ratio in this book is totally in your favor so why are you selling yourself short???

dog party theuglyvolvo
Admittedly this is like the world’s most pathetic party, but in fairness they seem like nice guys.

Forget this dude who isn’t into your hats!  It shouldn’t be hard—he is so completely and totally forgettable because P.D. Eastman draws all dogs more or less identically.  And yet like so many cartoon female dogs, you only have eyes for some generic nobody who can’t see how freaking fantastic you are.  You confront this guy a third time, desperately searching for the hat validation that since childhood you’ve been told you need.

ski hat confrontation
“I’m just a boy, standing in front of a girl, telling her I don’t like her hat.”

IT IS NOT ABOUT THE HAT—ARE YOU LISTENING???  It doesn’t matter if he likes your hat or not.  I want you to feel the burning radiation of your self-worth as you say, “THIS IS ME.  THIS IS WHO I AM.  IF YOU’RE NOT INTO ME BECAUSE I’M WEARING AN UNCOMFORTABLY LONG SKI HAT, MAYBE THIS IS NOT THE RIGHT RELATIONSHIP FOR EITHER OF US.”

But you’re not ready to do that.  And like so many relationships, it comes to a head at a party.  A dog party.  A big dog party.

dog party tree
Unlike that other ‘party’ that consisted of three dogs, a checkerboard, a banjo and a lollipop, this one is actually like a legit party.

Big dogs, little dogs, red dogs, blue dogs, are all at a dog party.  What a dog party!  And you show up looking totally cute and you approach him again (In fairness, I admire your tenacity) and ask one final time if he likes your latest hat.  A hat topped with a flower pot and a pennant flag–one that has no fewer than two spiders and a goldfish dangling off it.  A hat that features a bouquet of lollipops and three candy canes in close proximity to a mop that clearly you only put on because you lost a bet.

close up on crazy hat
This hat is Vera Wang’s living nightmare.

So you ask if he likes your hat and he’s like “Yes!  I like it!  I like that party hat!” and you guys drive off together into the sunset.  And it seems like an idyllic future, except that there is literally no way you can wear this hat every day without sustaining major neck damage.  So you guys settle down, date for a few months, maybe move in together, but eventually you get to the point where you’re like “I sort of don’t want to wear this hat every day just to keep this relationship going.”  And honestly, at this point he’s not even into the hat anymore because the novelty is wearing off.  The sex isn’t as good.  You lie awake in bed next to each other staring at your phones as you frantically wonder if you should buy a new hat to spice things up. Have you gone right back to being invisible?  Who are you to him now?  Just a series of crazy Mardi Gras-style hats?

goodbye

Assess your value, female hat-wearing dog.  Take a minute to really look at yourself in the mirror and say:

 “I am a moderately well-drawn ketchup-colored poodle and my storyline is the closest thing this book has to a plot.  I am the only thing pulling the narrative along.  I’m well-groomed, enjoy skiing, and have enough disposable income to amass a comfortable hat wardrobe.”

And then feel free to ask your reflection if it likes your hat.  And if your reflection is like, “Girrrrrrl, you look amazing regardless of whether or not you’re even wearing a hat,” maybe ditch this mustard-colored moron who immediately ends a date when he’s not digging the girl’s hat because you’re terrific and life is short and sh*t like that’s not worth your time.   

Good-bye!

Good-bye!

   *         *          *

Welcome to the Club: 100 Parenting Milestones You Never Saw Coming

If you enjoyed the piece, please share it and/or follow The Ugly Volvo on Facebook or Twitter.  Thank you!  I also have a book being released in September called Welcome to the Club: 100 Parenting Milestones You Never Saw Coming that you can pre-order Barnes and Noble, Amazon or Indiebound.  Also every time someone pre-orders one of the books, an angel gets its wings.  I might be confusing that with something else but I’m like 90% positive that’s what I heard.

I know at least one person will be upset that I “can’t just enjoy the book Go Dog Go like everybody else” so if anyone needs me I’ll be right here repeatedly banging my head into the wall and writing the word “Satire” on my tile floor with Crayola bath crayons.

Thanks again for reading.  Also, if you’d like to buy the book Go, Dog, Go, do that too!  Despite my making fun of it, it’s a lovely book that I have read about 4,000 times.  It’s literally like 5 bucks.  My book is like 12 bucks.  Go nuts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

214 CommentsComment

  1. Your analysis is dead-on, and fantastic to read. My professor in my elementary ed – child’s lit class also loved it, and made it required reading for her gender studies class. Additionally, she posted it on our class website so everyone in my child lit class can read it too! I’ve come back and re-read it because it so accurate!! Thank you again for writing this!!!

  2. Well, obviously, it isn’t about the hat–The elephant in the room is that she wasn’t “in-heat” when she chose the other hats. Biology has got to have something to do with attraction. Her lack of self-respect and desperate attempts for validation were playing into a sort of “cold bitch” demeanor that only nature itself could ease.

  3. Oh my God, I love you so much for writing this! Yes to self-actualization of all moderately well-drawn ketchup-colored poodles! SubscriBing to your blog right now.

  4. Avatar

    Elaine DiMasi

    Ahhh I love seeing somebody love my favorite book so well! I’ve bought copies for my friends’ kids I don’t know how many times. It’s so great that we know all the same dogs, even if we don’t always agree about what gender they’re presenting 😉 That poodle must like something about that mustard colored hound, isn’t that interesting?, and if this is our version of Inquiring Minds Want To Know, good on all of us 🙂

  5. I’ve never, ever commented on a blog before, but I enjoyed this piece so much I wanted to make sure to say how both hilarious and poignant it is. I guess you’ve taken my blog-commenting virginity. 😉 Also, I’ve shared it on Facebook. Kudos!

    • Avatar

      Raquel D'Apice

      thanks! I rarely (if ever?) comment on stuff as well, so it’s very appreciated 🙂

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