Actor and director Kevin Smith posted a moving tribute to his beloved dog on social media shortly after the animal’s death, but some found it weird that the tribute included a picture of Smith embracing what was initially believed to be the dog’s dead body.
On Wednesday morning, Smith posted a message on Facebook letting his fans know that his beloved dog Mulder was dying.
“As I've spent the last year carrying him around like Hodor,” 44-year-old Smith wrote. “I'm not taking this terribly well. They never tell you when you get a dog, but there is a price to pay for being the recipient of 17 years of unconditional love, loyalty and companionship: they take a huge chunk of your heart with them when they go. Mulder was beyond worth it.”
Later on in the day, Smith confirmed that Mulder had died and posted a picture of him hugging what was initially reported by some to be the the dog’s lifeless body.
“He's gone. RIP Mulder, my Buddy-Man. Thank you for 17 yrs of sheer joy and affection,” Smith wrote. “It took a dog like you to make me a better person.”
Many people offered their support to Smith, sharing their own experiences with losing a pet.
“I know exactly what you're going through,” one user commented, according to the Daily Mail. “I had to put my Sam down last September. He was my best pal for 14 years and he died of cancer of the bladder.”
Others, however, apparently thought that Smith went too far and even accused the filmmaker of being an “attention-whore.”
Despite some negative backlash from people who were uncomfortable with the picture, Smith defended himself on social media.
“This wasn't about look at ME - this was about look at HIM,” Smith responded. “And based on the amount of likes and comments the posting drew, I don't think the image came across to the intended audience as in poor taste.
“I was in pain and I just wanted to hear from people who knew that distinct pain of losing a dog,” Smith continued. “And I'm glad I did, because I got to read some amazing stories people posted about the lives and deaths of their pets. It was therapeutic for me. We don't really do wakes and funerals for our pets, so we usually miss that important step of the grieving process: grieving with others, sharing stories about the departed.”
After the initial report from the Daily Mail that the picture Smith tweeted was of him hugging his dead dog, the actor/director took to Facebook to acknowledge that Mulder was actually alive in the photo.
"The Daily Mail in the UK wrote about a brief Reddit dust-up over the photo, but they said Mulder was deceased in the image I posted," Smith wrote. "Mulder wasn't dead when that photo was taken yesterday and he was still alive when I posted it on FB this morning. He was still fighting to stay above ground - which is why I'm holding him on his back (he couldn't breath laying on his sides or his stomach anymore). We didn't take any pics of him after he was gone. Not judging those who might do so, but for me, the last thing I was thinking about after my dog died was taking a picture of my dead dog."