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Depression Dog is an advice animal style image macro featuring a cut out photo of a taxidermic dog on color wheel background with shades of gray. The captions typically present bleak situations with a downtrodden outlook, similar to Forever Alone image macros.
The dog photo was known on 4chan’s /b/ (random) board as “Staredog” as early as August 2007. Though its original post date is unknown, the watermark in the upper left corner of the original image is attributed to the Swedish auction site Blocket.se. The image macro was created some time in early January 2009 on /b/, with the earliest instances using black Arial text instead of the conventional white Impact font. While the original thread was never archived, it apparently inspired the creation of Memegenerator, according to an AMA-style 4chan thread posted in January 2011 by an Anonymous user claiming to be the founder of Memegenerator.
A custom caption generator for these images was created on January 2nd, 2009 and hosted at DepressionDog.info. The following day, a handful of image macro examples were reposted on the Kirupa forums. On the Valentine’s Day of 2009, YouTuber MadThad0890 uploaded a video compilation of Depression Dog (shown below). DepressionDog.com was launched on January 4th, 2009 to curate notable instances and a Twitter account @Depression_Dog began tweeting in the style of the macro’s captions in April 2009. Similar compilations have also been featured on the Tosh.0 blog and humor site Thumbpress.
The emergence of Depression Dog lead to an increase in search for Staredog, the image’s name before it was used in an advice animal. However, after August 2009, Staredog fell out of use.
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