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Life can be rough, but not as rough as it can be for a dog who's in space.

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Reminding people of this is the purpose of doginouter.space, a single-serving website that (with Sputnik floating in the background, a dog inside it) asks "What's troubling you, friend?" No matter what you answer, it will acknowledge your pain, but remind you that dogs sent to outer space had it worse.

The site's creator, who's an auteur of single-serving websites, goes by stavrosthewonderchicken. This particular site has a rather sad backstory. It's the product of a joke about Laika (the Soviet dog sent to space in the 50s) that Stavros shared with an old friend, one of several such running jokes. After the friend died, Stavros was inspired to make the site in his memory:

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One of those things was to say '…at least you're not a dog in outer space' to each other when Bad Stuff happened, referencing Laika, the dogstronaut of the Soviet Sputnik 2 mission in 1957. It wasn't deep or clever, but it made some hard times a little bit better. And of course, when it comes down to it, we're all just dogs in outer space.

Rick died in Bali Bombing back in 2002, but I had a dream about this joke of ours last night, and so I spent the morning making this site. I hope it makes someone else laugh, a little, especially if they're going through Bad Stuff.

Of course, the site itself is in the spirit of the joke. On MetaFilter, Stavros said he loved using "poop" as a test word for the site (he's 50). So go ahead, play around with, make some jokes, or feel sad. After all, it could be worse: you could be…well, you know.

Ethan Chiel is a reporter for Fusion, writing mostly about the internet and technology. You can (and should) email him at ethan.chiel@fusion.net