As most of you probably know, I like a good heartwarming dog story as much as the next guy (maybe more), but this City Room post (which gets uncomfortably close to 1,000 words, no joke) is a bit much. Basically, a tiny little dog named Bruno slipped out of his collar in Jackson Heights, and was found just over a day later after the friendly man who found him (and called him “niño,” which… aww) saw one of the “missing dog” signs. The end.
Times writer Fernanda Santos seems to think this story is a perfect opportunity to finally write about about how people use email(!) and social networking(!) (Bruno has a Facebook page) and how sometimes people know people with access to big email lists! And while these things are true, they are not very interesting. In fact, Santos’s campfire ghost story lede could’ve just served as the entire story:
This is the story of a dog with his own Facebook page and newsletter who slipped away from his collar and spent hours and hours wandering the streets of Jackson Heights, Queens, until a stranger took him home. It is also the story of the speed of modern communications, lots of posters, a few coincidences, and two dog owners with more than your average connections.
This is the story of a Times writer with too much time on her hands.