Shaming for Laughs: Who’s a Bad Dog?

“I’ll never do it again,” swears this reformed pooch. (Photo from

A few months ago, I was struck by a photo I spotted on a news site. A teenage boy was standing at a busy intersection of some city wearing a sign written in his own hand, I presume, stating that he is a serial class cutter and that he will never, ever, “EVER!” do it again.

The story goes that the boy’s father was fed up with his little dollop of joy and decided on this form of punishment as a last resort. Since then, there has been a rash of parents publicly shaming their delinquent children by making them wear signs admitting to their misdeeds and vowing not to be repeat offenders. I’m thinking of tying the TV remote around my daughter, along with a sign that reads: “I will not watch Disney when there is a Giants game on.”

Publicly humiliating one’s child has become so popular that even dog owners, best friends to those perennial bad-boys of the animal kingdom, have picked up on the tactic. Check out It’s filled with repentant pooches staring soulfully into the camera while swearing off a life as a canine ne’er-do-well.


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