One of the most striking images from my childhood was when my brother and cousin and I were in a canoe, about thirty feet from the dock where our parents stood with our family dog, and we pulled in the paddles and jokingly started yelling help.
Wiggles, our family dog, god bless his little heart, jumped in, swam to us, grabbed a rope which hung from the front of the canoe with his teeth, and started swimming back, pulling us to shore.
I have never, ever liked making a joke and having someone feel hurt or embarrassed because they didn’t realize I was joking.
Of course in this strip, I took that fuel, and turned it on its head. :)