Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The Dog Calendar

There's this calendar in the break room at my office that has truly given me a reason to live. It's a dog calendar created by some organization that places therapy animals with people who need them. Every month features a different picture of a dog.

But I don't love this calendar for the pictures. It's the ridiculous quotes printed on the calendar for each month that make my heart sing with joy.

Hashtag, for clarification, I'm not making fun of organizations that provide therapy animals. Hashtag, I'm just making fun of their calendar. Hashtag, please don't send me angry emails about this. Hashtag, but if you do, include pictures of therapy animals wearing clothes. Hashtag, I still don't understand hashtags. Hashtag, twice up the barrel, once down the side.

You guys. This organization apparently went out to the people who have therapy animals and asked them for quotes about how they feel about their therapy animal so they could include those quotes on this calendar. AND I FREAKING LOVE THESE QUOTES.


I love them because they are totally and completely drab and inconsequential. Without fail. Every. Single. Month.

They don't say things like, "My dog once saved me from an explosion and ever since then . . . etc."

Every single month the quote is something like,

"I like my dog! Mandi."

Or "My dog lives at my house! Paula."

Or, "My dog is my friend! Samantha."

And I cannot figure out why they can't seem to gather quotes with a little more substance. Or why they think the quotes they have gathered are worth printing.

I think it seems even more ridiculous because the quote is presented one at a time and is supposed to carry us through an entire month so the presentation feels really dramatic for what it is. At the end of each month, I turn the calendar to the next page and for some reason expect to find an inspirational and well-worded quote and instead I get, "My dog makes me happy. Cindy."

When 2013 ended I was really sad because I thought this would mean the end of the dog calendar. But alas, it was not. On January 1, someone had already replaced the 2013 calendar with a 2014 calendar made by the same people and with a whole new set of twelve AMAZING quotes.

I made a rule for myself early on that I'm not allowed to look ahead at the calendar. I don't want to blow through the quotes all at once. I want to enjoy the calendar all year. You guys. I know I exaggerate a lot on Stranger but I need you to understand that I mean it when I say that it has been a really difficult challenge for me to not look ahead.

And on the first day of each month, I walk to work a little earlier than usual and with a slight bounce in my step. I go into the break room and flip to the new page before I even walk into my office to set my stuff down.

And the feeling I get when I read the quote stays with me for the rest of the month.

It's the little things, Strangers. Surely you have those little things, too.

~It Just Gets Stranger

31 comments:

  1. We do! We all get really excited when we see a new blog post. So imagine the crazy dog calendar feeling...only there wasn't a new quote, it was the same quote the next month due to some crazy issue at the printers! That is what we feel when we go to your page EVERY day and look for a new post and there isn't one. Think about that when you think about not posting!

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  2. Augh! You know we just began a new month and yet you did not share October's quote with us?!? That high-pitched whine in your ear is the collective shriek of WHAT DID IT SAY, ELI echoing out of Pennsylvania and all of the other places your strangers call home. Pretty please, let the Dog Calendar Quote of the Month become a regular feature on It Just Gets Stranger- a way for us to celebrate the passing of time together. (As is, omg I cannot even believe it's October what happened to September already but it must be true because New Quote about therapy dogs, thank you Eli, your hair looks fantastic.) Also, no need to actually compete in an Ironman because your ability to keep yourself from looking ahead in the calendar is an impossible act for mere mortals. You have an Iron Will. It's like you are actually Made Out of Iron and surely being an honest-to-goodness Iron Man should disqualify you from competition. Might as well just stay home and update your blog :)

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    1. Ah! You are so right! This month's quote says, "My dog has enabled me to lead a happy life!"

      The dog calendar gossip blogs are all complaining right now that this is too similar to March's "My dog makes me happpy!" I haven't weighed in on the conversation yet because I'm not sure how I feel about it.

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  3. You need to do your own Twice Up The Barrel, Once Down The Side calendar, but make it the same photo of you every month, accompanied by the most boring or pedestrian quotes you can muster. I know, it's hard for you to write boring but you could try. I'd buy that calendar and anonymously gift it to everyone I know just to see the completely look of bafflement on their faces as they flip it open to January and see your smiling snuggie clad self and read a quote that says "I like to eat cereal! ~Eli".

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    1. yes! this!!
      ~T

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    2. I object - I refuse to buy a calendar without at least one picture of Queen of Colors

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    3. Instead of boring or mundane Eli quotes I think it should random journal entries from the Lost Journals he does sometimes. I would buy that. Maybe.

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    4. Nicole, how about if it were 11 photos of Eli and then December could be the Queen of Colors holding a shiv and the caption could read "Merry Christmas mother cluckers"?

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    5. BAH HA HA! This needs to happen. :)

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    6. Tami calendar!!

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  4. This reminds me of the calendar I got from my cousin at Christmas this past year. It is full of "cutesy" pictures of cats and dogs. The thing is, that they are kind of boring pictures with a lot of white background. I decided that each month, I would draw/doodle in the background of each picture. So now it's not just a cat sitting in a bucket; it's a cat floating in a bucket with the Titanic sinking in the background...a lot more interesting in my opinion.
    I understand how hard it can be to wait for the next month on the calendar.
    I do wish it came with quotes though.

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  5. "My Eli makes me feel like I could one day have hair as fine as his." - Stranger

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  6. My dog has been in a nationally distributed calendar the last three years and not once have they asked me for a statement to publish with her picture!

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  7. To play devil's advocate here, a therapy dog that makes someone happy might well be preventing a depressed person from harming themselves. So, bland platitudes to you might just mean the world to others. Just sayin'

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    1. Hashtag stick in the mud.

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  8. I agree with awesomesauciness and would like to point out that a simple "My dog makes me happy" may be a breakthrough for a child/adult who is nonverbal.

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  9. Hashtag, your hashtags are wonderful!

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  10. #IneedthiscalendarandIpromisenottoshareanyquotesinadvanceandpleaseEliwhywouldyoupostthiswithoutlinkingtothecalendarthinkofallthegoodyoucoulddo

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  11. It sounds like those quotes are doing their job. Even if they aren't particularly profound...

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  12. A funny lady that I work with has a calendar of outhouses outside of her cube with quotes about thrones, chairs, seats, etc. taken totally out of context. Every month, I look forward to seeing the new outhouse-of-the-month and reading the quote that comes with it. You aren't alone in your rule to not look ahead but choose to remain surprised on the first of every month. :)

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    1. Well what am I doing wrong? My calendar is boring landscape scenes that I don't anticipate seeing at all. #ineedanewcalendarthathasawesomepicturesandquotes

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  13. My boss has a calendar of yoga dogs. Someone took pictures of dogs, then Photoshopped their furry bodies into directions that they do not naturally go. It's sort of amusing... but sort of scary and/or torturous. They are all labeled with the name of the pose, like it's completely normal for a shaggy doggy to be standing on one leg doing the tree pose.

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  14. Maybe you could spend some time with a therapy dog and the child/adult to whom it has been assigned and find out just how meaningful those "bland" quotes actually are . . . To a child with autism (for example), a therapy dog really can make them happy in a world that doesn't otherwise make sense to them. Just sayin'.

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    1. HAHAHAHAHAHA! Why do people with no sense of humor even read this blog in the first place? I mean, I like that they do because these comments are so entertaining but . . . just sayin'.

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    2. I think Eli's meaning for this is more that you'd think some people would give a better quote considering what they went through. "I like my dog" sounds...forced. Almost like that person was put on the spot for a quote about what the dog means to their lives. I think you'd expect something more like "Since I got my dog, he/she has renewed my sense of life and love." But instead we get "My dog lives at my house". Calendar's like that are supposed to be inspiring to others reading it, and it seems to fail, which is what makes it funny. The "my dog makes me happy" could be taken different ways depending on who's saying it and how they mean it.

      Either way this is just for fun.

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  15. Is THIS dog in the calendar? It should be!
    http://i.imgur.com/qLpt6gI.jpg

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    1. First of all, that picture is amazing. Second, how did you make a clickable link in the comments? Was it black magic?

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    2. I have two degrees in Computer Science! It's far too complex - you'll never understand...actually I'm just not sure I can type it out without creating another link. How about a link to a page explaining how to create links?? LINKCEPTION.

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