Art Imitates Life

Fun fact: the story arc of strips 219-229 (begins here) was inspired by real-life events.

It all started when my car flooded. I had no idea what to do, and I’m about the least car-savvy person to have a drivers’ license. It would not be an exaggeration to say I lost my shit. Was the car ruined? How expensive would it be to fix? How the hell did I fix it? Could I drive it to a mechanic safely or would I get shocked and die when I turned the ignition?

After multiple panicked freak-outs, I reached out to a few people who all managed to calm me down in their own ways. They gave me their time, their patience, and their knowledge of what parts of cars have electrical wiring.

A waterlogged car isn’t usually the end of the world. But a flooded home might be. In a few years that seemed to see a surreal number of natural disasters, I watched countless efforts for aid. Some were structured and expected, like Direct Relief, but others seemed to materialize out of thin air by sheer force of compassion.

Games Done Quick is one of my favorite charitable organizations. It’s one of the most joyous things the Internet has ever seen and each event is a highlight of my year. The biannual marathons benefit the Prevent Cancer Foundation and Doctors Without Borders, but the team mobilized a near-instant disaster relief marathon to help the recovery effort after hurricanes in Texas. It also wasn’t the first time people banded together in the name of charity and playing video games really, really fast.

One of the core ideas behind Dog and Bird is that while the critters are studying (and frequently misunderstanding) humans, they’re unknowingly exemplifying the best of humanity. When someone needs help, you give it. That’s just as true to be whether it’s a single person who needs a sympathetic ear in a bout of anxiety or a whole population trying to fight against centuries of oppression.

Few things give me as much hope as humans’ ability to care for each other. So here’s your reminder to care.