These good boys certainly are
Photo: Bruce Bennett (Getty Images)

There are many, many animals on the internet each week, but you are busy and can only click on so much. And yet it’s hard to go into the weekend thinking: Could I have done better? Were there animals that deserved my internet traffic that did not receive it? In this important recurring feature, we recap some of the most important animals from the internet that you may have missed.

Some dogs suffer from “global fear,” a hugely relatable condition where every outside stimulus, no matter how harmless, turns the poor little guy (or girl) into a quivering, panicky mess. They even take Xanax for it sometimes. But while we feel a profound empathy for and possibly even a spiritual connection with a dog who just can’t handle the overwhelming enormity of existence, there aren’t ThunderShirts for humans (yet). So instead we’re going to turn our Friday afternoon thoughts towards the animals who inspire us to be brave, act confidently, and stand strong with the courage of our convictions.

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Next time you feel like a puppy who’s just been shaken out of a peaceful sleep by its own farts, think about these deer, who were able to resist the urge to run away even as a gigantic fucking alligator casually strolled by:

Or this dog, whose person says not to run with scissors, but who does it anyway, because this beautiful blue-eyed rebel doesn’t know the meaning of the word “danger.” Not that dogs aren’t capable of learning the word “danger;” canine intelligence experts estimate that the average dog is capable of learning around 100 words, and this very good girl, a border collie named Chaser, has more than 1000 words in her vocabulary. This particular dog just doesn’t give a darn.

And neither does this woke cat, who’s been reading up on mass incarceration and doesn’t want to be part of a justice system that prioritizes systems of control and profit for the private prison industry over transformative justice and the possibility of true rehabilitation, especially if it involves wearing a harness and walking around on a leash. Honestly, we’re not even sure what a police cat does, but whatever it is, this principled cat isn’t wasting another second doing it.

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When you know yourself and don’t worry about what others think, you’d be surprised what you can do, whether it’s knocking on your human’s front door or saving your friend from drowning, like this good boy named Remus, who was caught on security footage in Arizona earlier this week using his nose to nudge his friend Smokey to safety after Smokey fell in the pool and started freaking out. Good dog, Remus.

And if you’re still scared, that’s okay. So is this octopus, which uses a network of muscles and color-changing cells known as chromatophores to change colors and blend in with its surroundings when it senses a threat. And octopuses are freaky as hell, so if they get scared sometimes, so must we all.

This week also introduced us to an inspirational human, nine-year-old Gideon, who’s pet at least one dog every day for the past two years. That shows amazing persistence and vision all on its own, but Gideon also documents the dogs, listing them by name, breed, and how good they are (spoiler alert: they’re all really good) on his website. Last month, he started documenting the dogs on his twitter account as well, which Gideon has named “I’ve Pet That Dog.” Indeed you have, Gideon.

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So be like Gideon: Be confident, and stroll right up and ask if you can pet that dog. Just follow the advice of our pal the “Helpful Vancouver Vet,” who says to approach a new dog with your fingers curled, to make it harder for your new friend to nip at you. Then, hold out your hand so the dog can sniff you before you give it a gentle scratch under the chin. Once the dog realizes you’re not threatening and reacts with friendly body language, feel free to pat it on the head.

See? It’s easy. You’ve got this. We believe in you, and so does this good boy.

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