We Interviewed the Pug With No Bones

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S1: Now, I don’t know about you, but I am. Jones in for a bonus day. Oh, and we got one, oh, we got one, this is such good news.

S2: Hi, I’m Matt Malone

S3: Kircher and I’m Rachel Hampton and you’re listening to I say, Why am I

S2: in case you missed it?

S3: Slate’s podcast about internet culture. Madison, how are you doing? How are you feeling over there?

S2: Honestly, I have a cold.

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S3: Frank Sinatra has a cold.

S2: No, like I truly gay. Talese is not involved. I just I have a call. Bring on the. Oh, bring on the Sudafed. Bring on the the many, many COVID tests out of paranoia. But no, I just have a cold and I’m a baby.

S3: I mean, I feel like when you have a very harmless cold, this is the best time to be baby. Like, it’s it’s just so fun. You get to just sit and be dramatic because you can’t breathe through your nose.

S2: OK. No part of this is fun.

S3: You know, what else isn’t fun

S2: getting banned from TikTok?

S3: Yeah, which we have no experience with, but one Addison Rae now does

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S2: Addison Rae being the Addison Rae?

S3: And she earlier this month was banned from TikTok for

S2: about a day. To give you a little bit of a data, Azaria has 85 million TikTok followers. She is the third most followed creator on the app, so that that’s like a gaping black hole when you you remove her from that ecosystem.

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S3: I can only imagine that someone pressed the wrong button. I’m going to be completely honest, like there is no way that they would permanently ban Addison Rae from the app just willy nilly.

S2: So the Rachel, I’m going to say a thing that I know is going to make you laugh. The the tldr on this is Addison Rae band on band span of 24 hours. No one quite knows why beyond.

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S3: And that is all the talk about Addison Rae on this podcast for hopefully the next six months.

S2: More importantly, later on the show, today we are going to be talking to a man and his possibly boneless Pug Noodle who have captivated TikTok.

S3: But first, we’re talking about dating and not my dating life.

S2: But oh no, you beat me to it.

S3: Boundaries, Madison.

S2: I have none. No, we’re not talking about Rachel’s dating life. We were talking about my favorite social media trend, I would say of the fall, which is soft launching Rachel. Are you familiar with the soft launch?

S3: I am very familiar with the soft launch. Parsing whether or not a photo is a soft launch is one of my favorite fall activities to scrolling people’s Instagram Stories. But before we explain why we love it. Madison, what are the soft lines?

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S2: OK, so a soft launch is say you’re dating somebody and you haven’t posted them on your Instagram grid or stories before, and you don’t want to do a full on post proper with tags. So instead you’ll you’ll go out to dinner, you’ll take a photo of your dinner and like they’ll be a third hand in the frame. That’s not yours. You know your your many legion of followers will will screenshot and zoom in. That’s a soft launch.

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S3: There are many different forms. The soft launch can take the disembodied hand on the dinner table, as Madison suggested. There’s the photograph moment where you just it’s clearly someone is taking a photo of you and your hand is kind of reaching towards the frame like you’re holding somebody’s hand, but you can’t see whose hand it is. You just know that it’s a hand. There’s the you’re taking a hike and someone’s back is in the photo. Honestly, I kind of love fake soft launching my friends. I’m just like, I’m. I just love framing people in photos as if we’re some kind of relationship that we don’t want to publicize just back. Shots aren’t. Adamu, to say it like that.

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S2: Oh my. We’re going to play an example from TikTok of some some potential soft launching tactics you could you could use if you’re looking to soft launch a significant other this fall. OK, fine. As requested, I’ll tell you what a soft launch of a relationship is for the girls. She post a picture of him at a restaurant. His face will not be in it. You will tag the restaurant but not tag him for the guys. It will only be a photo of himself and he would Typekit. It’s like a little heteronormative, but the spirit of the thing is there.

S3: But importantly, soft launching season is, as you said, fall. And that is because cuffing season is fast approaching.

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S2: Rachel, would you like to define cuffing season?

S3: I would love to define cuffing season. I would like to state that cuffing season is affected by climate change. The longer hot girl summer lasts because the seasons are heating up and staying hotter longer. The later cuffing season is so please adjust your timetables accordingly. Cuffing season is, I would say, the tryout period for your winter boo because no one really wants to be out here dating in the winter. It’s cold. You don’t have to get cute. You’re not trying to get hypothermia wearing heels on the street, you know. So cuffing season is, I would say, you know, once you’re done getting your hoe out during the summer and you’re like, All right, I need, I need, I need someone who’s going to like, kind of stave off the seasonal affective disorder.

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S2: TikTok deemed September quote unquote soft launch September. We are granting all of you icy. Why am I guys an extension? Because it has been a long and hard year. And if you’re anything like me, Rachel, can I speak for us? We don’t have our shit together, do you? You maybe need a little more time. We do need more time.

S3: Also again, the temperatures just dropped in New York, at least. So I just feel like if you can’t wear your trench coat, it’s not cuffing season yet.

S2: You’ve got a little bit more time to squeak in your soft launch. Feel free to send us your soft lunches for approval.

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S3: Discussion passing Madison will find their last name within exactly five minutes of you sending a photo of their back. Don’t worry,

S2: five minutes or your money back now that you are all set up to successfully soft launched. We’re going to take a quick break. I’m going to take some antihistamines because when we get back, we are going to be speaking with big air quotes around speaking the one and the only Noodle, the 13 year old geriatric Pug who has captivated TikTok and may or may not have bones. Find out after the break because it’s fun if I don’t get so a little sorry, you didn’t get the memo, cause Noodle said that it was okay. Noodle said that it was quite alright if I don’t leave the house all night, all day. We have a special announcement for you today. This year marks the 25th anniversary of Slate and for a limited time only, we’re offering our annual Slate Plus membership at $25 off. As a member, you’ll get no ads on any of our podcasts. Unlimited reading on the slate site and member exclusive episodes and segments from shows like Slow Burn Amicus and the Political Gabfest for the past quarter century. Slate has been covering all the major news events, from elections to social issues to historic court decisions to that one time we talked a lot about her. TikTok is obsessed with those books about aliens with a breeding king. Our podcasts have debated if things are sexist, named the best summer songs and explain the latest TikTok trends if we become a part of your listening routine. We ask that you support our work by joining Slate. Plus, sign up for Slate Plus at Slate Plus dot com slash. I see. Why am I plus to keep us going for another 25 years? Again, we’re giving you twenty five dollars off an annual membership through October 31st, so sign up now at Slate.com. I see. Why am I? Plus? All right, we are back with Noodle, the Pug and his owner, Jonathan Graziano. I do need to make a formal apology to the other. Jonathan Graziano, who I mistakenly emailed thinking he was Noodles owner, that Jonathan owns a very cute Frenchie corgi mix named Tucker, sent me a great photo. Thank you, Jonathan. But today we are here to talk not about Tucker, but Noodle, the Pug who has taken over TikTok with his Groundhog Day esque performances day in and day out, where we wait to find out whether or not the dog has bones.

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S3: John was so excited to have you and Noodle here. This is you all have taken over the internet like y’all might have broken the internet more than Kim Kardashian did back in the day.

S1: Oh my gosh. And who knows, it might. Even it seems like it’s going to go on as long as that marriage did to. Holy Moly, this just keeps snowballing. I’m I like having this weird out-of-body experience where like, I know what’s happening and I can sort of rationalize it, but it’s also like, I have no this is way beyond me.

S2: Let’s get to know Noodle a little bit. So Noodle is 30. How did how did Noodle come to you?

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S1: How did Noodle crash land into my life? So, so I adopted Noodle when he was seven and a half years old. I used to work at a company called BarkBox BarkBox. They did a comedy night once a month that was called the open bar tonight, and people could bring their dog. It was like, Oh my God, it was a I was a fever dream. I’m not even sure if it was real. It was so much fun. But they did have. We did a comedy show once a month, and I did. I went up and I took a turn and I did a bit about how I just got in this job and how I loved, you know, I loved dogs, but I had just met Doug the Pug and I wasn’t necessarily like, you know, hardcore Pug person. I just knew I wanted to get a dog that I just would connect with. And this woman who was at the show, she was there to pitch product for the box. She came up to me afterwards and was like, You know, I’ve been fostering this dog for a little while, who is an owner? Surrender. I’m being pretty picky with the people who want to take him in and someone to take him who I’ve offered him to. Some of the people who I thought would want to take him, you know, ended up and ended up falling through, or they didn’t want to take him. So I’m wondering, would you have any interest like you look like you? You would be a right fit. And I saw his photo. He was sitting on like an IKEA bag in the front seat of a car. He was five pounds heavier than he is right now. And like for a little dog, you know, Noodle still pretty darn set a solid 23. But that was really big for him, and I was just like, Oh my gosh, I looked at my roommate and I just went, You know, I’ll I’ll pay like, what do you think? And two weeks later, I I adopted him and he truly crash landed into my life. Oh yeah, it was the best. He’s the sweetest little dog.

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S2: So you adopted Noodle at seven and a half. Noodle is now 13.

S1: Yeah, almost 13 and a half.

S2: So it’s been some time. But recently Noodle has become a viral sensation because of these videos you make with him where you start off the day Noodle wakes up, you hold Noodle up and then Noodle can either stand or collapse to the ground like his body is gelatin, and that will determine whether it is at a bones day or a no bones day.

S1: Good morning, everyone, and welcome back to yet another round of no bones. The game where we find out if my 13 year old Pug woke up with bones and as a result, we find out what kind of day we’re going to have. Now this could go either way. Noodle What I want

S2: to know is where this game came

S1: from. OK, so the name no bones, I will say, originated with one of my best one of my dearest dearest friends and my best friend and roommate in college, Nikki. When she didn’t want to do something, she would go boneless and her boyfriend would be like, OK, we got to go, and she’d just be like, Oh my God, that’s my life. I just I, my lower body can’t work like I. We can’t go. And he would be this fun little thing that they would do where he would like, you know, kind of move or pick her up or whatever it was. And it was just this thing where we realized, like, if you don’t want to do something, you would just go dead weight. And I adopted Noodle and I just we learned very quickly, like within the first week of adopting him that this dog can sleep in like I would walk him, you know, at like eight o’clock, nine o’clock at night. And I try and get, you know, three or four walks in a day just in case he’s got to go potty or whatever it is. And it would be like eight o’clock at night I’d walk home and then 11 a.m. The next morning, I’d like go, Look in my room and I’d be like, Dude, you kind of go out like you. You’re going to, you know, you’re you’re the tank is full. You got to go. So I would do, you know, it wasn’t even like it wasn’t a thing, it wasn’t a bid or anything at that point, but I would just kind of lift him up. You know, you, you know, you always be. It’s a dog. You have to be so gentle and so thoughtful of of of them. But I would lift him up in my bed and he would just he would give me nothing. And I just kind of like, let him, you know, I’d prop him up and I’d sit him down and he would just collapse back into his sleeping position. And that’s when we learned two things. We learned not only that he was a full like not. Roebourne practitioner of no bounds. But that if Noodle didn’t want to do something, Noodle was sure as hell not going to do it.

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S2: So have you asked your vet about Noodle a like quality?

S1: Well, so like Noodle, you know he’s an he’s an older dog and we’ve had plenty of histories of vet visits and oh my god, my vets, I think they know me as the hysterical one. Not in like ha ha funny, but in like I’m the one to call them right before closing and be like, Are you available? I need you right now, like full full emergency. And they’re like, Jonathan, like, don’t really. He’s you’re fine. You’re fine. So you know that that, you know, obviously he’s, you know, as he’s gotten older, it’s, you know, he’s got his, you know, all of his joints, supplements and all of his little things. But like for the most part, like from what I can tell, you know, and all of my time caring from him, like he’s just always done this and you know, you try and be. I always say, whatever I post these videos, I try and make sure that people know like I get a lot of asks for people for me to do this every day and every morning. And my big thing is like, if Noodle know if he’s a sound asleep or if he’s already light up and with it like, we’re, you know, we’re not, we’re not going to. We’re not just going to do this for a video like this is something really is a little it really is just like a litmus test that we do to see in the mornings. And you know, he’s got his nice big soft bed. So I know that he’s, you know, you know, comfy, man. But you know, as he’s gotten older, obviously, he does have some, you know, he’s got, you know, come in just he’s got some health issues, but he’s for all intents and purposes, he’s a super happy, you know, still with it, still wants to go on walks, still wants to do his whole thing. And I just, you know, I do the best I can with him. But he’s a stubborn, stubborn old man.

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S3: What is the most inopportune time that Noodle has just gone boneless that you can remember?

S1: Oh my gosh. So I live on the I live on the fifth floor of my apartment building, and he does not Noodle does not do stairs. I will shepherd him up and down the stairs. He’s got a little bag. I know, right? I sit here and I’m just like, OK, dude, like, you’re fine. So Hill and every now and then he’ll like, Take the initiative and do like one stair. And it’s like, Oh my God, like, Oh, you’re so brave. Like, Look, you go. So what? I’ll have the most inopportune time. I’ve seen it as there were two instances. There was one time where I was at BarkBox and there were a lot of people like investors had come by and they were excited to meet Noodle because we featured in content and stuff before. And I’m sorry, there’s I guess there’s an emergency happening outside my apartment, but

S2: you know, you talked about the dog with no bones.

S1: I know that he’s here. Oh, there they found us. Oh my gosh, the spot is coming in my window. They would. I would. They were like, All these investors are ready to see Noodle and I just picked him out of his bag. And this was again, this was a year ago and he was just asleep like he fell asleep on the train. And, you know, sometimes you just kind of warm up in the morning like, you know, you got it, you got to heat up the engine before the car ready to go. And I scooped him up and I just plopped him on his bag and he just went, totally. He did. He just flop down again and he just was sound asleep and they were all like, Well, I guess that’s it.

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S2: John, I’m curious because Noodle has sparked somewhat of a TikTok movement. What in your mind is the difference between a bones and a no bones day?

S1: OK, so I, you know, I am invested in changing the narrative around and no bones dame. So I’ll tell you, like when I started filming these videos, like it was literally just here is my old dog who is the, you know, my joy. I love him. I’ve been, you know, I’ve been cooped up with him for 18 months, and he just was this silly old dog who just did this very, you know, this very silly thing in the mornings. And but my soul, my interpretation of a bones day is whether the bones are bones. Day means that you get your bread. That’s the day that you say, OK, the thing I was putting off, I’m going to do because I did invest

S2: in the stock market.

S1: It’s like investing in stocks to target, Oh my gosh, invest in the stock market. But I bone’s days where you take the thing that I think you are putting off doing or the thing you were kind of scared to do, or you just, you know, you didn’t you weren’t super motivated and the bone stays the day you do it. And then in no bones day, a lot of people think is like unlucky or is a day where you, you know, it’s a you you can’t, you know, succeed, or it’s a day where you’re, you know, you don’t take risks. And like, I definitely contributed that to that narrative sometimes because I do think it’s a day where you need to just like rest. I see no bones days as days of like self-care and sort of, you know, I think it’s it’s so hard to find. I know about you guys, but you know, you wake up in the morning, will open Twitter, and thirty seconds later, you just go, Oh my God, I ruined my day before it even started. Oh my gosh. So the idea, just the idea that there’s this little Pug out there that can help give you either motivation to get out of bed in the morning or give you a justification to be kind. Yourself that day is miraculous, it’s miraculous that it’s turned into that, and I’m so grateful that people have been so kind and so, you know, so accepting of me and like my humor and the way that I am with Noodle and the things that we do together like, it’s always been such a joy to share him with people. But I never mind 2021 bingo card. Not that this was not on that bingo card.

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S3: I just have to ask, does Noodle know that he’s famous?

S1: So Noodle doesn’t. No, I don’t think Noodle has any idea that he’s famous, but I do think Noodle knows that. What do I think? Noodle knows? I think he knows. Obviously, he knows that he’s the most special man in the entire world and make sure that, you know, we have daily affirmations very often. But I think he knows. I think this kind of goes into the squawking aspect of it of like when he sees strangers like, I think Noodle knows that he’s like deserving of immense amounts of attention. Like, I think, you know, I mean, I think he knows, like when people walk by, I think he’s genuinely like, you need to make, you need to pay the troll toll like you need to pause and pay attention to meet the troll toll. Seriously, he just I swear to God, he will sit at this bar. He haunts the front door and thankfully all the people there, you know, they know him that I’ve been going there for years and they love him. But he will. They’ll look over and they’ll go, What the hell was that? And then they’ll look down at this little Pug who has not gotten up like he has not gotten up. He’s lying there yelling at them and they’re like, Oh, wow, he has gotten stopped on the street. I mean, not so much, but Noodle very much has gotten stopped. You know, one day I’ll be, Oh my god, are you, Jonathan? It’s like that day will come. But for now, it’s been very much like that. Is that Noodle? Is that the is that the the Noodle? A lot of times I get the Noodle and I’ll just go, Aha. I love sharing this dog with people, and he is such a special little man that it doesn’t. It’s it’s all of this has surprised me, and absolutely none of this has surprised me.

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S2: Can we meet Noodle?

S1: Oh, sure. Let me go. Let me go. Get him. Let me go. Get him. Hold on. Let me go. Get him. All right. Where is he? Oh, come on, king. Here you go. Come on, buddy. Boy. Let’s go

S2: get going.

S3: Oh yes, I’ve never been more excited for anything in my life, either.

S2: Noodle so hefty in person.

S1: He is. He’s a he’s a dance, dance dance man.

S3: He’s a thing.

S2: Oh my god. He is a

S1: fucking he’s a thick king who’s had a wonderful one. We’ve been, you know that as a lot of us have on a perpetual weight loss journey, a journey for health. Noodle just broke twenty four pounds and we are so thrilled. He is. He is that. Yeah, he’s we’re really, really happy. He’s doing well.

S2: Good job. Noodle so cute.

S3: Wow. I feel like I’m meeting a legend. I feel like I’m meeting the Queen. I’m going to be honest.

S1: Yeah, I mean, it’s or at least it’s on par with like the red tape to get access to, for sure. He lives in an ivory tower and the top of, you know, Hamilton Heights on the fifth floor in the tree tops Noodle.

S2: What do you think of all this? Strong and silent type, I see

S1: a lot of very calculated breathing Noodle Noodle is a mouth breather. We will just come clean with that right now. Noodle is a mouth breather.

S3: Honestly, he deserves that. He does.

S1: Exactly. I think so, too. I think so, too. Let’s see what I can get any more. Do you have anything else to say? Freaking. OK. All right. Just some. Some delicate, delicate exhales inhales. He just had his dinner. So he’s about he’s in it, right in the interim between his post-dinner pre evening nap.

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S3: Honestly, Noodle is living the life I want for myself.

S1: I know he really does live a life that a lot of us would be. I like, I like to think, you know, obviously it’s so, you know, being a having a dog is it’s a combination of like, I know what I doing, I know what I’m doing. But I also have no fucking idea what I’m doing, and I just try, you know, I just try to do right by this dog. And, you know, I have. I’m so grateful I have this. A great group of friends that help me with this. And his Instagram has been absolutely invaluable as far as having just a community of people to help me, to help me with my questions or to help me to learn more about his, you know, I need a new, you know, I new joint supplement or, you know, he’s his nose needs to be buttered. What were what do I get and people, you know, I just been, Oh yeah, they got to have their nose buttered. You got to it. It’s not.

S2: So it’s because of you listening at home. Rachel’s face just looked both horrified and deeply shocked.

S1: There’s a lot. I have a whole series on Instagram that I’m thinking of bringing the TikTok called. I call it Pug maintenance because a lot goes into just making sure that you’re, you know, because he’s got his whole face folds that you got to keep clean and he’s got his little eye drops and he’s, you know, you just there’s a hole. His medicine cabinet is bigger than mine, and it’s all in the interests of just prevention and preservation. And it’s a joy. It’s a joy. It’s nice to have something to care about more than me, if that makes sense. I think a lot of dog people understand that. We’re like, It’s so, you know, I take care of myself as well that I’ll wake up in the morning. And if I’m having a bad day, or if I’m really, you know, talk about no bones, oh my god, really, really unmotivated. It’s been so incredible and so grounding to have this, this animal that is dependent on me. That’s like, I don’t care how awful your morning is, Jonathan. You have not fed me and you have blocked me, and I just have to, you know, I have to fall in line and it’s been really wonderful for me. He’s been I like to think I’ve been very good to him, but he’s been so, so, so good to me as well.

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S2: Well, I think that is all the time we have here. Rachel and I are going to go buy some butter for our noses. We are going to fight and you got to

S1: get you’ve got to get the kind that’s coconut oil based. There’s lots of good stuff, but you want to get the coconut oil based cane because you might have to use it often, and it’s OK if they lick that.

S2: Got it! And Jonathan is going to go find some new joint supplements because no offense, the ones you’re giving Noodle currently clearly are not cutting it. I have.

S1: I have found I have found many ways to keep him, you know, like lightning on the streets. You know, he’ll go potty and he’s off. But I have found and I don’t know if anyone has discovered this yet. I have not found a cure for the for the mornings.

S3: While we wait for the cure, for mornings, I want to say thank you so much for coming you and Noodle. This was the best course.

S1: Thank you.

S2: But once again, that was Noodle, the Pug and Jonathan Graziano Kircher.

S3: All right, that is the show. We’ll be back in your feed on Saturday, so please subscribe. It’s free and the best way to never miss an episode. Please leave a rating on review and Apple Podcasts. Tell your friends about us. Tell your dogs about us. You can always follow us on Twitter at I See Why my underscore pod, which is also we can discuss your questions and also photos of your dogs. And as always, you can drop us a note at. I say, Why am I at Slate.com?

S2: I see why am I? Is produced by Daniel Schroeder, our supervising producer is Derek John Forrest Wickman and Allegra Frank are our editors, and Alicia Montgomery is executive producer of Slate Podcasts. See you online

S3: or on bones. They.

S2: Yeah, I could I could I could double for the Pug today if we need additional audio. He.