It’s a busy time at my house these days. My wife and I are both working at home. My daughter has been working full time, but her office has just gone down to “emergency only” cases. This is a good thing for several reasons. I won’t get into the public health reasons. The big reason this is a good thing is that our new puppy, Farley, has been bugging us incessantly to get a phone.

Not to worry, we are holding off at this point. However, he’s very cute and has these things called “puppy dog eyes.” You may have heard this term used metaphorically in reference to some humans, but Farley LITERALLY has puppy dog eyes. So, there’s really no telling how long we can hold off on the request.

At this point, we’re trying to satisfy his thirst for social interaction by taking him on frequent walks. This, however, gets back to that public health thing. Farley has no concept of social distancing. I have tried to explain it to him. I’ve said it slowly. I’ve had my wife, who is fluent in Doggish, try to explain it. No luck. Puppy dog eyes. Our walks then, lead to frustration for all parties. Farley veers toward all humans, who he senses could really use a dose of puppy. We vainly tug back on his leash, hoping that the humans will not fall prey to his animal magnetism. These tug of wars are good exercise for all involved, but they are unsatisfying. The humans, already starved for interaction, sometimes look at us as though we’re hogging the puppy. The puppy looks at us with, you guessed it, puppy dog eyes.

So, faced with this problem, we did the only thing that really seemed prudent and considerate toward our fellow humans.

Today Sarah helped Farley set up an Instagram account.

He lied about his age, of course, but let’s face it, all the kids do that these days. He promised to be polite whenever possible. His first two posts were selfies. I suspect that it will be quite a while before he takes any artsy shots of the landscape, the fire hydrants, or the terrier next door (an older woman who at this point finds him VERY immature). No, I’m pretty sure it’s going to be selfie-centered postings.

Within a few hours he had developed a modest but burgeoning following. My family, of course is a bit competitive about its influencing power, This seemed to bring out a bit of a personality change in me.

I immediately claimed victory. Of the first 25 followers, most unbiased polls showed that I was the biggest influencer in the family. I am a big influencer. In fact, I may be the best influencer in the world. I’m a stupendous influencer.

Sarah countered with typical elitist intellectual distortions, showing that ten of the people had gone to college with her. So? Does that make them special? I went to college. I did very well. She added that 8 more worked with her, either at camp or in her current job. Debatable. I noted that my sister and brother-in-law were both following. “Umm, I think that must have come from Mom’s Facebook post.” Always she throws the Facebook tampering at me. “Oh, yeah, well, look at that one. Right there, that’s the best man from my wedding. Now that’s clearly my influence. No denying it. I’m a very big influencer. ”

Sarah rudely points out that he, too, probably saw my wife’s post. “So actually, Dad, I’m happy to report that you were responsible for exactly one of the 27 followers.”

“Oh, nice of you to acknowledge that. Who was it? “

“Umm. That would be you. You, are the only follower that was brought to to Farley’s account by you.”

Well, she is just a bad reporter, probably from the failing New York Times. And that was a bad report. A disgrace. So, faced with all this phony data, this fake news, I have made it my mission to make my dog more famous to show my influencering prowess.

I’m not quite sure how I’ll do it, but if you want to watch the impressive meteoric rise in his followings, you could go to Instagram and simply search @farls.barkley and if you feel like it, you can click follow. Please. Please. His paws are bigger than my hands.

5 thoughts on “Influencing

  1. I just said to Evan the other day, “Had we known this quarantine was coming, it could have been the perfect time to get a puppy.” We have gone back and forth for 2 years about whether another dog would be just what our 6 year old dog needs to keep her company while the rest of us are at work/school or if she would hate the intrusion. Our indecision, coupled with my lack of time to commit to a puppy, has continued to land us in the Not Right Now column. But right now, with all of us home, and our dog living her very best life full of daily long walks and an endless supply of playmates, would have been a great opportunity to bring a puppy to home. I know you planned for this puppy long before the virus took over our lives, but he seems like a wonderful distraction from the news – and I would welcome that right now too. Enjoy him and your outings, even though it’s challenging to keep him close.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. He is a great distraction, though he felt a bit ignored today as all three of the humans had conference call after conference call. He’s not used to not being the center of attention…which could come back to bite us later. For now, though he is definitely our silver lining. We did get a puppy when our older dog was 7, and they became the best of buddies.


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