A Dog's Life is a one-act play by Pam Valentine. It follows a day in the life of four dogs in a pound when a human comes looking to adopt. The dogs are an old mongrel named Ben, a German Shepherd named Fritz, an incredibly overweight poodle named Fifi, and a hyperactive puppy named Ginger.
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!This play provides examples of:
* BerserkButton: Fifi's is her weight, Fritz's is babies, and Ben's is [[spoiler: insulting his human.]]
* BewareTheNiceOnes: Ben is a genuinely gentle soul... right up until you press the BerserkButton detailed above.
* BigLippedAlligatorMoment: While Ben and Fritz are discussing their pasts:
--> '''Fifi''': I fell in love with a greyhound once.
--> '''Fritz''': [[LampshadeHanging What has that got to do with anything?]]
--> '''Fifi''': Nothing.
* BrickJoke:
--> '''Ginger''': How many humans have you had, Fritz?
--> '''Fritz''': Seven. Or is it eight?
--> ''some time later...''
--> '''Ginger''': What's [[CopsAndDetectives fuzz]]? Is it food? Is it? Is it?
--> '''Fritz''': [[AccidentalPun Nine]]! I have had nine humans.
* CerebusSyndrome: Hoo, boy...
* ChildHater: Fritz. It's played for laughs.
* DecoyProtagonist: The focus of the story is on Ben, not Ginger.
* DeadpanSnarker: Mostly Fritz, but Ben also gets in a few digs.
* DogStereotype: Somewhat.
** Fifi the poodle is very French and quite spoiled, but rarely snooty about it except where Fritz is concerned.
** Fritz the German shepherd is neither heroic nor particularly skilled, and is actually something of a {{Jerkass}} for most of the play.
** Ben the mongrel is StreetSmart, BookDumb, and functionally the TeamDad.
** Ginger the puppy is very sweet, but completely hyperactive.
* Dramedy
* FatGirl: Fifi.
* ImColdSoCold: [[spoiler: Ben's last words]] are along these lines, with a fair bit less {{Narm}} than is usually present.
--> It's gone very... cold, hasn't it? I can't remember ever feeling this cold...
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Fritz. He can be downright nasty, but he's had a pretty hard life. At the end, he [[spoiler: comforts the dying Ben and offers him some of his uneaten biscuit.]]
* MyGodWhatHaveIDone: Ben, after [[spoiler: biting the human who came to adopt a dog because the warden pressed his BerserkButton.]]
* NaiveNewcomer: Ginger.
* NiceGuy: Ben.
* NoNameGiven: The humans are not named.
* RunningGag: What's a gag? Is it food? Is it? Is it?
* SuicideByCop: [[spoiler: Ben biting the visitor]] is functionally this, given that [[spoiler: it causes the Warden to schedule him to be put down even sooner.]]
* ThisIsMyHuman: This is how the dogs refer to their owners, although the humans are still clearly in charge.
* TheTramp: Ben's master was one. [[spoiler: Referring to him as such in front of Ben, however, is a ''spectacularly'' bad idea.]]
* VitriolicBestBuds: Fritz and Fifi have something like this going on.