Saturday, October 2, 2010

It's a Dog's Life

Went looking for our dogs the other day.
Arthur was on top of the big chair.
Lucy was under the children's rocker.
They blend in!

Found them basking in the warm sunshine.

"It's really a dog's life"
Q: Can you shed light on the meaning and origin of it’s a dog’s life? Those of us over 50 seem to use to suggest the need to accept the existential fact that things are hard; but in the under-50 set, the idea is that dogs have it easy, and so it’s a dog’s life equates to ‘how cushy’!

A: It certainly seems that the phrase has become more ambiguous than it once was, though I’ve not come across many examples myself of its use as a description of a pampered existence. Most of our expressions that include dog are old enough to be based in times when dogs were not cosseted, but were kept as watchdogs or hunting animals, not as pets. They often weren’t allowed in the house, but were kept in kennels, fed scraps, worked hard, and often died young. So going to the dogs, dog tired, to die like a dog, dog’s dinner, dogsbody, dog eat dog, and a dog’s life all refer to a state of affairs best avoided. Specifically, a dog’s life is first recorded in the sixteenth century and seems to have remained in the language with the sense of “a life of misery, or of miserable subserviency” ever since. I’d hate to lose it myself.

Idioms are words, phrases, or expressions that cannot be taken literally. In other words, when used in everyday language, they have a meaning other than the basic one you would find in the dictionary.
For example, “break a leg” is a common idiom.

Literal meaning: I command you to break a bone in your leg and you should probably go to the doctor afterwards to get it fixed.

Idiomatic meaning: Do your best and do well. Often, actors tell each other to “break a leg” before they go out on stage to perform.


  1. That is just soooo sweet. A little sunbathing in the house...what an adorable dog. I love my girl but often wish she was small enough for my lap. Twice a week I let my neighbor's little dog out to potty while she's at school. I love the dog's affectionate personality and all the little dancing she does around my feet when she sees me.

  2. Ahhh... that does look like a good life... dog or human, to enjoy basking in the sun. If I could squeeze myself into that rocker, it looks like the perfect spot to me. =)

  3. I just love your doggies! I think it is great the way pups will seek, find, then conform themselves to sunshine! I think that's how God wants us to be.... we seek Him, find Him then conform to the Sonshine!
    Maybe that has something to the meaning of it's a Dog's Life! Ok, now I sound like I should be commenting on Ton's blog!
    I hope you have a wonderful week my friend! And many thanks for my calorie free birthday cake wish!
    Dee Dee

  4. Awww...look how cute they are! Warm sunny spots are the best! :)

  5. I hope you pulled up a chair and enjoyed a bit of that sunshine yourself??

  6. What a cute picture of your dogs. Yes... I think our pets have it pretty easy in life.

  7. Enjoyed the photos of your doggies... and the musings too!


Related Posts with Thumbnails