What Good Is a Self-Portrait Without My Dog?

Foster fails and life changes

Melissa Rock
In Living Color
Published in
8 min readApr 21, 2024


Rue and me, photo by Author.

How many of our In Living Color writers are avoiding the monthly challenge due to a lack of ideas? Are you feeling an absence of creativity?

I, myself, am not immune.

And I’m the one who posted the call for stories! How ironic.

When I wrote the challenge story I knew that my selfie stash was becoming rather thin. Scarcity leads to creativity!

I scanned through my Google photo albums incessantly and after I reached photo number 80 of me and my dog, I decided Rue plays a dominant role in my self-portrait.

March 30 marked four years since Rue graced my life. She began as my foster and later taught me what a “foster fail” was.

Here is a photograph of Rue and her friend Georgie at the dog park. Georgie is a French Bulldog and Rue is a Boston Terrier. Can you tell the difference?

Rue and Georgie, photo by Author.

People who see me regularly, and maybe even my Medium friends, know I have a borderline obsession with my dog. My partner complains that I love her more than…