Laughing Until It Hurts

Today’s prompt was one of those that seemed intriguing when I wrote it and then when I came to it, I had no idea what to paint. Since I don’t enjoy painting people, it made it extra challenging, and we ended up with this wildly exuberant dog instead. I’m not sure dogs actually laugh, nor do they experience that uncontrollable laughter than leads us humans to fits of tears and stomach pains. But there’s really nothing better, so it’s no wonder so many people report this as being a favorite of life’s little pleasures. Not surprisingly, “laughing until you pee a little” didn’t make the list, as though it’s quite similar, it comes with embarrassingly unfortunate consequences.  My favorite part of falling into a fit of laughter is that the thing that takes you there is not usually even that funny in the first place. It’s just a moment between you, and that friend who knows you better than anyone should, that triggers a comical chain reaction. I remember rolling on the floor with my friend from college, clutching my stomach while laughing uncontrollable, barely able to speak, yet managing to utter the words, “it hurts to be happy!!” 

I tend to find humor in absolutely everything in life. This has gotten me into trouble on many occasions. If I find myself in the horrible circumstance of being surrounded by “serious” people, I nearly have to shut off my ears to avoid laughing at something. I usually end up giggling anyway and being shot those horrible serious stares that are devoid of all understanding. Life, to me, is beautifully ridiculous. Not so much a poem or a love song, but a cherished joke we all love to tell. I can’t imagine taking any of it too seriously, and really, what would be the fun in that anyway? I get this from my family who have giggled their way through hard times, financial problems, and even funerals. There is always something happy to focus on, no matter what bad things are happening in life. Always. It’s simply a choice, and you’ll always find me choosing happy. Once in college, I was completely out of money and found myself unexpectedly crying in the grocery store. The very idea of crying in a grocery was so perfectly stupid to me that I immediately started giggling. I then grabbed those sad ramen noodles I’d been eyeing and headed back to my cramped apartment to enjoy a feast fit for no one. Laughing all the way.

Sure, bad things happen, sometimes every day. But if you look at the world with an artist’s eye, you’ll always find that the good outnumbers the bad. This, to me, means that life is essentially wonderful and the bad things can’t possibly be as important. If I get too stressed about something bad that’s happening in my life, I’m letting something small opaque the greater meaning. Oh, yeah, I don’t proclaim to know the “meaning of life” at all, I just proclaim that it doesn’t need one. Life doesn’t have to be fully understood to be enjoyed. In fact, the mysteries are what makes life so terribly interesting in the first place and propel us to go on living it. Perhaps, on that next turn we take around the bend, all will be revealed. So we journey onward, hoping to find the next clue as to what any of this means. And then, just as we think we know exactly what it’s all about, something really dumb happens and we can’t help but smile. Then giggle. Then guffaw. Then, yes, maybe even pee a little as we realize life has told yet another unfathomable joke, that leaves us laughing until it hurts.

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Yellow Ochre, Terra Cotta, Quinacridone Burnt Orange, Opus (Vivid Pink), Ultramarine Blue and Payne’s Gray.  Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with sepia ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book.
#WorldWatercolorGroup - Day 14 - Laughing Until It Hurts - Dog Laughing - Doodlewash
Creator of Doodlewash® and founder of World Watercolor Month™ (July) and World Watercolor Group™. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world! If you'd like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!
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33 Comments
  1. karen colson 1 month ago

    Im sure dogs (and many animals) have wonderful senses of humor — and every other sense a soul possesses. Thats why i love them so….

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      I agree!! Animals are so wonderful!! I love them as well!! 😃💕

  2. Yvonne 1 month ago

    Charlie this blog is one of your best and somehow we simply must be genetically related … you poor man!! lol

    Yes, dogs do belly laugh … my grandfurry, Jango, is proof of that! He may be quite special, which he is, of course, but when he laughs, I laugh and he laughs more. ❤️

  3. Mary Beth MCDONOUGH 1 month ago

    Great doodle! Just looking at that dog I was smiling. Loved the blog. When we would get silly and giggling as kids my grandmom would say, “laughing comes to crying”. We never wanted to believe her but it usually ended up being true. It never stopped us though. Giggling was always fun. Your blog has brought back many memories. Thanks, Charlie.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Thanks so much, Mary! 😃💕What great memories!! I’m so happy this brought them back for you!

  4. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 1 month ago

    This is a wonderful article, Charlie. You’ve touched on so many issues that should be addressed with more humor. And this little fellow laughing till his whiskers vibrate – he knows it too! Laughing is good for the mind, the heart, the soul.

    BTW, I really like the looser watercolor application and the very thin black line. Sometimes you have to adapt style to subject – well done on this one.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Thanks so much, Shari! 😃💕 Yeah, this was a style-changer for me and I wasn’t sure how it would turn out. So glad you liked it!!

  5. Junya Wang 1 month ago

    I loved your story today, especially the part about the grocery store (it was hilarious)! The way we fall into fits of laughter was very aptly described -that it’s not usually the subject of laughter but the people we’re with- and finally put into words something that I’ve never quite realized. I’m sure your uplifting message about finding laughter in life will stay with me for quite some time to come.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      That’s such a wonderful comment to receive. Thank you, Junya! 😃💕 I’m so happy this post resonated with you.

  6. Sandra Strait 1 month ago

    Charlie, your painting made me laugh and brightened my day. Your thoughts about laughter are right on – so the next time I find myself caught up in the largely unimportant dramas of life, I’ll just picture your laughing dog and remember to laugh.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      hehe!! Excellent, Sandra! 😃💕 Yeah, this dog is a little crazy isn’t it? hehe… we should always remember to be this happy!!

  7. Sharon Nolfi 1 month ago

    I agree. Life is “beautifully ridiculous,” and so many people don’t get it! Love this post and sketch.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Thanks so much, Sharon!! I’m sooo happy you agree!! hehe 😃💕

  8. Nay Aung 1 month ago

    Actually having a pet is not my type,but your interpretation of this figure is cool!I like the fur you’ve made and also the tongue.It is not quite easy to paint from this view.Also love a nice thought on laughter
    🙂

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Thanks so much, Nay! Glad you liked this one! 😃💕 No pets, eh? I don’t think I could live without them!

  9. smzang 1 month ago

    Sir Artist,

    You have a beautiful soul

    (and a wonderful talent)

    Keep writing and painting and laughing
    so the rest of us can do the same!

  10. SnehLata Maheshwari 1 month ago

    Charlie you are vision to watch the thing deeply this makes your post so amazing. Yes i also feel . your sketch wah kya bate hene.maza aa gaya.means feeling good.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Aww you’re so sweet and encouraging, Snehlata! Thank you so much my friend! 😃💕

  11. Thomas Blanchard 1 month ago

    Yep … I agree! Life is beautifully ridiculous for sure. Great job capturing the laughter of this pomeranian lookin pup!!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Thanks so much! 😃💕 I have no idea what kind of pup this is at this point… it was super loose! lol

  12. Martha Keim 1 month ago

    Great giggle on the dog

  13. Kaye Boggs 1 month ago

    I can’t imagine anyone not ever have a giggling fit like those you described. They are missing a lot in life by missing uncontrollable in their life. The only thing you didn’t mention was that “peeing your pants” hilarity. Wonderful gigglepost!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Lol… I mentioned it, but didn’t describe it in detail! I figured that was a bit much for one post! So true… life is just meant to be FUN! 😃💕

  14. mudpilewood 1 month ago

    Dogs do laugh and you have nailed it in this great image. It is in their twinkling sparkling eyes and thumping tails.

  15. Sandra Gilbert 1 month ago

    I know my dog has a sense of humor, you should see her smile. Looks quite a bit like the one on your little laughing dog there. 🙂

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Aww cool!! I believe they do as well! Thanks so much, Sandra! 😃💕

  16. Kate Powell 1 month ago

    Not knowing if dogs laugh, they smile, and this guy invokes a huge smile from me — a great watercolor!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Aww thanks so much, Kate!! 😃💕 Glad you liked this little crazy pup! hehe

  17. Elizabeth Metz 2 weeks ago

    The older I get, the more “laughing til it hurts” and “laughing until you pee” start to seem like the very same thing….

    Love the dog face and the whole post here. We need more laughing in the world.

    (And possibly more moisture-proof seat covers, but that’s neither here nor there.) 😀

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Yeah, one can never have enough moisture-proof seat covers as we age! LOL 😂

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