All Of Family's Neuroses Projected Onto Dog

Top Headlines

Family

Cheetos

Tips For Traveling With Young Children

Family vacations can be a time for bonding and building lasting memories, but when young children are involved, trips can also be stressful to plan and execute. Here are The Onion’s tips for traveling with kids

Good News Kept From Parents Out Of Fear Of Proving Them Right

DANBURY, CT—Saying she wants no part of the conversation that would inevitably result if she broke the good news, local medical billing technician Jenny Comers reported Friday that she’s keeping word of her recent pay raise from her parents out of fear of proving them right.

North American Children Begin Summer Migration To Dad’s

NEW YORK—With the increasingly warm weather signaling the commencement of their age-old journey, millions of children across the North American continent began their annual summer migration to their fathers’ homes this week, sources confirmed.

Parents Worried Children Old Enough To Remember Family Vacation

YOUNGSTOWN, OH—Fearing that their kids’ impressions of the experience could quite possibly remain with them for the rest of their lives, parents Joel and Bethany Weyandt told reporters Tuesday they are worried their children are old enough to remember the details of their recent family vacation.

Report: Dad Wants To Show You Where Fuse Box Is

YOUR LOCATION—Noting that it’s important to be prepared in case of emergencies but it’s also a good thing to know in general, your dad announced today that he wants to show you where the fuse box is.

Kids Love When Mom Sad Enough To Just Order Pizza

FORT WORTH, TX—Saying they get their hopes up anytime they notice her looking particularly downhearted, siblings Paulo and Marisa Hernandez told reporters Wednesday they love it when their mother is sad enough to just order pizza.

Being Older Than Daughter Babysitter’s Only Qualification

UTICA, NY—Possessing no particular proficiencies or training whatsoever, local 12-year-old Jessica Radloff was reportedly hired to babysit Hayley Carden, 7, this week based solely on her qualification of being older than the child she was asked to watch.

Total Weirdo Spends Mother’s Day At Cemetery

ST. MARYS, OH—Apparently content to hang around dead people rather than celebrate like a normal person, area weirdo John Mills spent most of Mother’s Day at a local cemetery, creeped-out sources confirmed.

Child Visiting Ellis Island Sees Where Grandparents Once Toured

ELLIS ISLAND, NY—Pausing to imagine the throngs of people who must have arrived with them that day back in 1994, 12-year-old Max Bertrand reportedly spent his visit to Ellis Island this afternoon walking around the same immigrant station his grandparents once toured.

Siblings Quietly Relieved Oldest Brother Setting Bar So Low

CHARLOTTE, NC—Explaining how the 25-year-old’s personal and academic shortcomings had made their relationship with their parents far easier, siblings Eric and Theresa Conrad confided to reporters Friday that they were quietly relieved their ol...

Kids Teary-Eyed After Helping Dad Move Into First Apartment

BOWLING GREEN, OH—With their father marking the start of an important new phase in his life, the children of local man Barry Hunt told reporters they got a bit teary-eyed after helping the 49-year-old move into his first apartment Thursday. Teenager...

First Holiday Season Without Grandma Incredible

MARBLEHEAD, MA—Expressing appreciation for the more relaxed and cheerful atmosphere, members of the Shaw family confirmed Thursday that the first holiday season without grandmother Ethel Shaw had been absolutely incredible.

Area Mom Raving About Phoenix Airport

AURORA, IL—Noting its impressive collection of shops, restaurants, and transit options during a phone call with her daughter, local mother Carol Wingfield expressed her admiration for Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport in the strongest terms, ...

Hands-Off Mom Lets Kids Create Own Psychological Issues

BOLTON, VT—Saying it’s important for parents to avoid simply passing their own neuroses on to their children, area mother Tricia Eakins told reporters Monday she believes in taking a hands-off approach and letting her kids develop their own ps...

Family Fears Grandmother Aware Of Her Surroundings

BEDFORD, NH—Acknowledging a look in her eyes that sometimes makes them think she may actually be registering things, the family of local grandmother Janice Humphries expressed anxiety Tuesday that the 93-year-old nursing home resident might be aware...

Self-Centered Child Blames Divorce Entirely On Himself

LINCOLN, NE—Claiming that the third-grader refuses to acknowledge anyone else’s involvement in the situation, sources confirmed Monday that egocentric 8-year-old Dylan Fielder blames the divorce of his parents entirely on himself.

Tips For A Healthy Pregnancy

Pregnancy is a challenging time for any expectant mother, but eating well, getting prenatal care, and being active are all ways that women can stay healthy and feel great.

Back-To-School Preparation Tips For Parents

With millions of children heading back to school next week, parents across the country are stocking up on supplies, getting in touch with teachers, and setting expectations to help their kids succeed.

Top Parenting Trends Of 2014

Between questions of breastfeeding, circumcision, vaccinations, and must-have accessories, moms and dads are confronted with a wealth of options when it comes to raising their children.

Grandmother Talking Big Game About Being Alive Next Year

HAMILTON, OH—Noting that she had made a lot of bold proclamations in recent months regarding upcoming birthdays and future vacations, family members of local grandmother Abigail Stapleton told reporters Wednesday that the 88-year-old is talking some...

The Pros And Cons Of Waiting To Have Children

According to the CDC, more women than ever are waiting to have children until they are 35 or older, when they have completed their educations and are more financially stable, though doctors warn that having children later in life can lead to health com...

Man Brings Son Into Office To See Where Dad Emasculated

ROGERS, MN—Smiling and offering commentary throughout the visit, local employee Jason Aldrich reportedly brought his 7-year-old son to his office Tuesday, giving the young boy a chance to see where his dad is humiliated and stripped of his manhood o...

Homosexuality Only Thing Parents Can Accept About Son

GRAND FORKS, ND—Expressing their deep disappointment with his behavior and lifestyle, local parents Jeff and Susan Lindegaard told reporters Tuesday that they are simply unable to accept anything about their 24-year-old son Henry aside from his homo...

Aunt Enters Ninth Year Of Raving About ‘Wicked’

OGDENSBURG, NY—Praising its vibrant visual effects and declaring multiple songs “absolute showstoppers,” local aunt Treena Warner, 53, informed extended family members for the ninth consecutive year that the Broadway musical Wicked...

Something Apparently Going On With Mom And Her Best Friend

They’re In A Fight Or Something

SEWICKLEY, PA—Noting the abrupt cessation of nightly phone calls and general references to her longtime confidante, household sources confirmed Wednesday that something is evidently going on between local mom Catherine Bowen, 51, and her best friend...
End Of Section
  • More News
Up Next
TV Listings
Just Like Everything Else!: Fox 8 p.m. EDT/7 p.m. ABC Pete's wife is still on him about building that darn shed, these kids are going to be the death of Sheila and Dave, and the hot next-door neighbor is up in EVERYBODY'S business! Sunday nights on ABC couldn't be any more familiar!

Special Coverage

Satisfaction

Sleep

Family

Cheetos

All Of Family's Neuroses Projected Onto Dog

FLAGSTAFF, AZ–"Mommy, Woofers is lonely out there in the doghouse! He wants to come in and play!" says attention-starved Billy Tobin, 10.

Members of the Tobin family, including neurosis receptacle Woofers.

"That dog doesn't care about being in this house! He just wants to run around," counters mother Janet Tobin, 44, an unhappily married homemaker.

"Will you two be quiet? All that poor dog wants is to be left alone!" says Bob Tobin, 50, world-weary father and unfaithful husband to Janet.

So goes a typical exchange with the Tobins, a dysfunctional Flagstaff family whose members possess an uncanny ability to project all of their various neuroses onto the innocent psyche of Woofers, the family dog.

"It is not unusual for a neurotic personality to project unresolved issues onto an infant, pet, house, or other neutral entity that is incapable of expressing its own opinions and feelings," said University of Arizona psychology professor Dr. Jonah Douglas. "But while such projection is far from uncommon, the fact that this family has managed to project every last one of its problems onto a single being, Woofers the dog, is truly exceptional."

The use of Woofers as a third-party neurosis receptacle is a daily occurrence within the Tobin household, with unspoken dissatisfaction, pain, and anger constantly displaced from its true source and transferred to the tabula rasa that is, for them, the dog's psyche.

Said Douglas: "Thanks to Woofers, the Tobins need never directly confront any of their longstanding personal and interpersonal issues, enabling them to perpetuate their self-defeating behaviors in an endless cycle of collective denial. He is the emotional glue that keeps this horribly maladjusted clan from tearing itself apart."

Grandmother Ellen Tobin, 78, who lives in constant fear that she will be put away in a rest home, tells fellow family members that "Woofers is never coming back" every time the dog is not in the same room as her.

"Where's Woofers? Where's Woofers?" Ellen shouted at daughter Janet recently. "You sent him to the pound, didn't you? Didn't you?"

Similarly, 14-year-old Renee Tobin constantly berates the animal for being "smelly, mangy, and ugly"–not realizing that she is actually expressing deep-seated insecurities about her own changing body and budding sexuality. "Can't somebody ever give that dog a bath? It's gross!"

Another telling incident occurs when Billy returns home from elementary school, where he is unpopular and alienated, to a home where he receives little affirmation and approval. He passionately hugs Woofers, mistakenly believing that the dog is sad and lonely without him.

"You just need some love," says Billy, offering Woofers a treat as he gazes at the dog's blank, uncomprehending face. "You're by yourself all day long, and you must've really missed me, huh, Woofers? Isn't that right? Yes, it is. Yes, it is."

When Woofers responds enthusiastically, jumping up and down in response to the attention and food he receives during this daily greeting ritual, Billy erroneously interprets this as a sign of the dog's agreement with what he is saying.

"Get that dog off my bed right now!" yells Janet, whose repressed awareness of her husband's longtime infidelity has led the pair to sleep in separate beds for the past six years. "Put him out in the yard where he belongs. That's all he wants anyway–to run around, sniffing every tree and bush in the neighborhood!"

"If that dog wants to run around all night long, let him," adds Janet, totally unaware of the transparent nature of her oft-repeated complaint. "He's just going to be scratching at the door all night anyway if you don't let him out. If that's what he wants, why keep him cooped up in a place he obviously hasn't wanted to be for a long time? Who cares what he does all night, so long as he's not doing it here? Let him howl at the moon all night for all I care."

"Must you snipe at him all day long?" Bob responds. "He's had it up to here with all the shouting. Great, now he's whining again. I hope you're happy. He can't take all this constant noise. Dogs have very sensitive hearing, you know. Look at his face! Can't you see that you're driving the poor animal crazy? No wonder he wants to get out."

Though the Tobins are deeply troubled, they can feel confident that they will not have to confront any of their problems any time soon, thanks to the heroic, if unintentional, role that Woofers plays in their lives.

"To the best of my knowledge, in the annals of modern psychiatric science, there has never been a case of one creature serving as an essential emotional proxy to so many people," Douglas said. "Woofers must indeed be a profoundly exceptional animal. A lesser dog would have cracked under the strain of so many mutually contradictory projections long ago."

Family Video