Saturday, October 24, 2009

Kathleen's "Old Yeller" Moment

Have you been forwarded the tear-jerking story "Whoever gets my dog"? It's the one about Reggie, the adopted black Lab.

This isn't Reggie. This is my Beauty, the adopted Lab mix. I blogged about my adoption experience a couple of months ago, and I might have called her nearly perfect. Her few minor problems went away quickly. No bad habits left. Beauty is a wonderful dog, and I'm now a huge fan of pet rescue organizations, big proponant of adoption.

But back to Reggie. The e-mail story is pretty long, and normally I would have deleted it, but it came from dear daughter, and it's a dog story. I was a little misty by the end, even though I had a feeling it was fiction. It has to do with an adoption, a letter, a soldier. You can read it at Snopes , which is the real subject of my post. (And I'm a day late posting--sorry guys. I didn't look at the calendar.)

Do you use Snopes? It's good stuff. I saw an interview with the Snopes couple a while back, and I was impress with their operation. They're research geeks. As writers, we can identify. What I particularly like about Snopes's take on the Reggie story is the way they checked out several of the details, found them to be extremely unlikely or impossible to corroborate, but then acknowledged that the story, like all good fiction, tells an overall truth about life in our times. I didn't feel duped. My "Old Yeller Moment" put me in touch with emotions that run deep--all the way back to the little girl crying right along with the boy sooting his rabid pet on the big screen.

Fiction is wonderful, isn't it? And how about that Snopes? Read any good whoppers lately?

7 comments:

Indigo said...

Love the picture of your dog. Pickles my working dog is a Black Lab, Husky mix with a sprinkling of white on her chest and paws. I couldn't help notice Beauty's tail curling. It's the first time I've seen another labs tail curl like that outside of Pickles. I think it's the Husky in her, when she's happy it curls all the way up like a Husky's does.

As for sad sap animal stories. I'm a sucker for them. However I do think there are enough true to life rescue animal stories without being fraudalent with them. The Reggie story might of made an excellent fiction book. (Hugs)Indigo

catslady said...

I love snopes and depend on it all the time. I know a couple of people who forward things to me all the time and because it's written down they take every thing as fact. I have to be the one to research it and send them the snopes article. The big problems is they send it on to dozens and dozens of people and of course they never send them the snopes link. I've decided they don't want to know the truth because the articles are how they want them to be (especially politics).

Kathleen Eagle said...

A point I forgot to make--the Reggie story is well-written, which is why you're hooked into reading to the end. As I said, good fiction. And I don't think it hurts the pet adoption cause at all. Good fiction is probably just as good for the cause than paid advertising. But it's good to separated fact from fiction in the viral e-mail world, and for that I thank Snopes.

Indigo, we're pretty sure Beauty has a bit of Dobie in her. She had a copper sheen around her muzzle, plus a pointier face than most Labs. Love the name Pickles!

Ali said...

I definitely use Snopes when I get forwarded e-mails... I love that site. I'll have to find and read the interview with the couple who created Snopes :)

PJ said...

Kathleen, you about made my heart stop when I saw the title of your blog. I was so afraid something had happened to Beauty!

I get stories forwarded to me all the time and most of them aren't true. I always check things out with Snopes. Oh, and I usually end up crying over the animal ones, even when I know they aren't true.

Pamela Keener said...

I went to Snopes & read The Reggie story. I am an animal lover at heart owned by a Golden Retriever, A German Shorthair Pointer and a crazy lazy fat cat. Even though the story isn't true it breaks my heart that soldiers have to leave their loved ones and beloved pets to ensure our freedom. The term freedom isn't free reminds me of their sacrifice.
Love & Hugs,
Pam

Kathleen Eagle said...

Oh, PJ, I didn't think of that! Sorry. No, Beauty's fine. She wishes it would stop raining her. We get back into the garage after a foray into the rainy outdoors and I sing to her. "Shake shake shake--shake your Beauty..."