Pluto: Naked and Happy

Such a Happy Dog
Such a Happy Dog

“I feel sorry for Pluto.”

It’s been awhile since I’ve felt any sympathy toward a cartoon character.  Probably 25 years.  I’m sure it had something to do with GI Joe.  Maybe Lady Jaye was captured or Mutt’s dog Junkyard was hurt.  I don’t know.  But it’s been awhile. 

I guess this is why I perked up when my wife said this to me a few weeks ago.  This statement came with no warning, completely out of nowhere.  The kids were in bed, she was watching some real-life crime show, and I was reading.  My eyes shot up from my book and I lifted my eyebrows as if to say, “Go on, tell me why.”  You just don’t let a statement like that go without finding out the reason.

“Well, I don’t think it’s fair that Pluto doesn’t wear clothes or talk, but Goofy does.”

We talk about far more serious topics that this on a regular basis, we really do.  But at the time we were going through a Mickey Mouse Clubhouse crisis with our two-year-old.  Mary Hope couldn’t get enough of it and, like a pint-sized tyrant, demanded her show at all times.

We tried to oblige her by finding it On-Demand, but there is only so much “Miska, Mooska, Mickey Mouse” grown adults can take.  Sadly, it was like crack to our daughter.  She needed her fix when she needed her fix. 

She would walk through the living room saying “Mouse, Mouse, Mouse.”  When we said no, she would fling herself backwards onto the couch and scream “MOUSE!, MOUSE!, MOUSE!” When we told her no the next time, tears would roll down her cheeks as she cried “MOOOOUUUSSSE! MOOOOUUUUUSSSE!  MOOOOUUUUSSSE!” 

It was terrible, really.

Kristy let her watch it during the day quite a bit, though. This is probably where she began identifying with the plight of Pluto.

Pluto seems to be a loyal dog; almost always smiling and wagging his tail.  I suppose that he is Mickey’s pet and he appears to be quite content in that role.  I’ve never seen him look forlornly in Goofy’s direction as if he is jealous of Goofy’s clothing or ability to say more than “woof.”  Actually, they look like they get along quite well. 

Maybe Pluto’s rage is quietly building.  Maybe underneath his playful demeanor there is the cold heart of an assassin.  It’s possible that he spends his free-time plotting to murder Goofy, overthrow Mickey, steal Scrooge McDuck’s fortune, and force the rest of the gang into slave labor making cheap t-shirts and coffee mugs with his picture on them.  The only fetching he would  concern himself with would be how fetching Minnie and Daisy look as they give him hourly back scratches.  From Mickey Mouse Clubhouse to Pluto’s Penthouse.  That. Would. Be. Awesome.

It probably won’t happen, though.  Pluto’s far too nice and beloved to do such a thing.  Plus, he’s a children’s cartoon character; they usually don’t try to kill other cartoon characters.  If so, Odie would have “gotten rid” of Garfield years ago.

After Kristy brought this up, I tried to come up with some possible explanations for the disparity between Pluto and Goofy.  I could think of only one.

Pluto doesn’t speak or talk and Goofy does because that is how their creator made them.  There are no other explanations and really nothing else needs to be said.  Kristy might feel sorry for Pluto, but Pluto is the way he is because a higher power chose to create him that way.  And it appears that Pluto has accepted this without complaining.

I wish that we could be more like Pluto.

We have a creator too, you know.  God, who knows everything and can do anything, chose to create us just the way we are and put us in the families that He wanted us to be in.  He ordained that we would be born during a certain time period and have the intellectual abilities that we currently possess.  We look the way that we look because of God’s plan and were born where we were born for the same reason.

But unlike Pluto, we complain.  And complain and complain and whine and fuss and get mad and…well, you know how we are.

We want to look different, be different, have more, be smarter.  We tend to think that we haven’t gotten what we deserve when what each of us really deserve is to be apart from God and His goodness forever in Hell.  Anything we get that isn’t that is an amazing gift that should be greatly cherished.

I don’t know all the ways that a person becomes miserable, but I do know that focusing on what we aren’t and don’t have is one of them.  I also know that one of the ways for us to become joyful is by being thankful for what God has given us.

No matter what you think about yourself, it could always be worse. 

You could be a pants-less dog with Mickey Mouse for a master.  Compared to Pluto, your life probably doesn’t seem so bad.

(Ever felt sorry for a cartoon character?  Ever felt sorry for yourself?  How did you cope?)

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