I’VE been thinking a lot about my girlfriend’s parent’s dug, Noodle the labradoodle.

She is a smashing big dug; daft, lanky, clumsy and with curly hair – I have to say she reminds me a bit of myself.

But while I was thinking of what I’d say to my own dug if, for some unknown reason, he became able to speak and understand English, I couldn’t help but think that if big Noodle could do that, she’d have a kind of existential crisis.

How would she react to finding out what she is and why she is alive? Her parents, a poodle and a Labrador, both chosen for their temperaments and good nature, were brought together to create a litter of designer pups. And thus, that’s how she came to be.

“So I’m…” she’d ponder, “nothing more than a product?”

“Naw,” I’d say, trying to put her at ease. “You’re more than that, hen. That’s just how most pups come

intae the world.”

“Perhaps,” she’d say. Maybe she’d scratch her chin here as she contemplates the very nature of her existence.

“But my parents, they did not find each other like star-crossed lovers. They were instead chosen and forced together. I was designed to be something unnatural. A fusion of two breeds, selected for nothing more than to please humans.”

“Suppose it disnae really matter, does it? I mean, you’re here noo and you like the people and the hoose and aw that, eh?”

She’d ignore me here and continue philosophising. “This fur,” she’d say, looking down at her legs.

“Unnatural. Designed so as not to shed and mess up the home of a human.”

“Wit aboot yer personality though? That’s aw you. You’re unique.”

“The Labrador, renowned as the friendliest kind of dog. The poodle, known as one of the cleverest and most placid. All traits which I exhibit. I am who I am not by nature or nurture, but through selective breeding. I am Frankenstein’s monster.”

She’d kick away a toy which she had loved playing with just

moments before being cursed with this crippling amount of self-awareness.

“I was engineered to be playful,” she’d say. “How can I bring myself to play knowing what I know now?”

I’d sit down on the floor next to her, trying to console her. But she wouldn’t seem distraught or

anything like that, just staring off into space. Numb.

“Are you awrite?” I’d ask.

“I’m fine.”

She would of course not seem fine.

It’s tragic to see a once outgoing and bubbly dug reduced to this nihilistic state.

“My ancestors were wolves,” she’d say to her reflection in the mirror after a few moments of contemplation. “Apex predators, noble beasts. But look at me.”

She’s long and skinny with a closely cropped, curly blonde coat.

The hair on the top of her head has been left long so it looks like she has a wee toupee on.

“I have been designed not only to have a certain personality but also to look like this.

“I am to a wolf what a clown is to you. My ancestors will be spinning in their graves.”

I’d clap her head here, trying to reassure her because no words would come to mind.

How do you bring someone back from the brink after they’ve come to a realisation like this?

“Dae ye want tae go fur a walk?” I’d offer, bereft of ideas. Her tail thumps against the floor.

I naively think I’m making


“Look at how those words caused my tail to wag,” she’d say, glancing back at it. “All these characteristics are just there inside me, beyond my control.

“Bred into me to make me more appealing to humans.”

I feel myself start to lose my

patience here.

“How much longer you gonnae be able to talk and understand things for?”

“Not long. A blessing, I suppose, because I will be free of this torment. On the other hand, however, it may be a curse.

“Is it better to live blessed with the knowledge of the true nature of your existence but miserable? Or to live in ignorance, but also blissfully happy?”

I feel my mind wander into my own existential crisis.

I couldn’t handle living with this dug if she was permanently like this. Is she right?

Could what she’s said to me be applied to the human experience? I decide that no, it couldn’t.

“You need tae chill oot,” I say.

“You’ve got it made. Nae need tae work, nae pressure, nae stress, nae need tae worry aboot money. You’re a dug. Your only goal is tae have a good time.”

At this point, she nods sagely.

Whatever magical effect which caused her to briefly achieve

sentience is starting to wear off.

She has a shake and starts bouncing around as normal.

She grabs a shoe and runs out the back with it as I give chase.