Up until recently, I genuinely liked Dwayne Johnson, AKA “The Rock.” No more.
He seems like such an affable, good natured person. As far as I can tell from afar, he truly helps people when he can, he’s a mentor and a decent man. Anecdotal stories I hear about him from people in the TV and movie industry confirm he’s a good guy, always smiling, easy to work with, nice enough, etc.
And, let’s be honest; as a guy with a staunch record of heterosexuality, I can say without hesitation Dwayne Johnson is a good looking guy. So I’ve always wondered “what’s wrong with him,” since no one can be that close to seemingly perfect. We’ve learned from decades of facts that if we get to close or in love with a celebrity or athlete, we almost always find out later they have a glitch as a human that forces us to re-evaluate our idolization of them. Some crimes are more forgiving than others, of course. Perhaps we change nothing about our opinion of Taylor Swift knowing that she’s clearly a head case when it comes to relationships. We don’t know if she’s needy, super picky, a dead lay, a non-lay, or a total slut, but we know she’s rather vengeful and spiteful when it ends and somewhere in there is her glitch. No biggie, right? Who doesn’t struggle with personal relationships? Some areas are more grey; most of us leave our athletic heroes when we find out they cheated, but not all. There’s still plenty of Barry Bonds fans claiming he’s the greatest of all time, which he isn’t, and don’t even get people started on Tom Brady. The more heinous usually get left by the roadside by most, but never all. Michael Jackson still somehow has fans, though his legacy was forever ruined and you’ll never go more than 60 seconds talking about him without children being mentioned. Kobe Bryant remains a suspect human being after whatever he did or didn’t do to that woman in Colorado but rape allegations are a hard thing to shake.
For me, sadly, Dwayne Johnson is now in the category of the heinous, even though almost no one will agree with me. That’s okay, because I accepted long ago that the American culture is already guilty without trial based on the long standing rule that you judge a society based on how it treats its pets and animals. We are a vile group of people who try to hide behind those of us like me who do actually train their dogs, pretending that I am the majority when the truth is that the majority of Americans are the ones responsible for the 3-5 million pets we euthanize every year.
In a stunning case of total ignorance, The Rock was hailed a hero a few weeks ago when his brand new puppy “Brutus,” fell into the swimming pool and he dove in to save the puppy. Fucking bravo, asshole. You saved a dog that you never should have allowed to be in that position.
When I brought home my puppy Shep 11 years ago, I lived in a home with a swimming pool. I did not stupidly allow him to just run around the pool area as Johnson freely admits he did. I did not stupidly believe that all dogs know how to swim, as Johnson freely admits he thought, never acknowledging that ignorance isn’t an excuse. Instead, I got into the pool and slowly introduced Shep to the water via the steps of the pool so he knew how to get in and out safely. Once in the water, I let him go, always positioning myself in case his doggie paddle wasn’t up to snuff. I then led him out of the water via the steps. One year later, I adopted Nellie the White German Shepherd and handled water introductions the same. No drownings, no near drownings, no excuses. Oh, and by the way, if your puppy is in trouble OF COURSE you jump in an save him; that’s not being a hero that’s doing the absolute bare minimum of what you’re required to do. That now virally famous photo of the Rock in the swimming pool is nauseating. This is like bragging about feeding your kids. Shut up and do your job.
And then came last week when the Rock had learned nothing and still allowed his brand new puppy to one again roam free, never paying attention to what the animal is sniffing, eating, curious about. This is how dogs die. They find a rattlesnake for the first time, or they disturb a nest of ants, rats, yellow jackets or any other thing that can inflict serious pain on them. Puppy outings are a vital tool to teaching them that somethings don’t get screwed with, but it only works if you have your dog leashed and you’re there to do your job of training them. The Rock had other things to do last week when oopsie-doopsie, the little guy ate a poisonous mushroom and died what can only be described one of the most painful and excruciating deaths an animals can suffer; the slowly shutting down of all of its internal organs, one by one.
Can you smell what The Rock is cooking? I can…neglect. And giving him a pass because he has a great smile or does other great things isn’t how I work. He’s in hell now as far as I am concerned along with all of you who will say “it’s just a dog, lighten up.” Eat a turd and die, says I. All I ask is that if you have that attitude you never, ever own a dog. Let one of us love him or let him be euthanized because death is a better option than being neglected by you or The Rock.