Lies, Damned Lies, and ChatGPT: Dennis the Vizsla

So this week we’ve arrived at the final installation of Abusing ChatGPT Lies, Damned Lies, and ChatGPT, in which it is asked to produce a biography of Dennis the Vizsla, who was, of course, the primary inspiration and main character (and boy was he a character) over at Dennis’s Diary of Destruction, back when it was Dennis’s Diary of Destruction. Surely with some eleven years of Dennis-related material to draw on, we could expect this installment to be the most accurate one, right? Right … ?

Dennis the Vizsla was a beloved and adventurous canine who captured the hearts of many with his infectious personality and insatiable curiosity. Born on April 1, 2003, in Southern California, Dennis was a purebred Vizsla, a breed known for their high energy and athleticism.

From a young age, Dennis showed a natural inclination towards exploration and adventure. He was always eager to explore new environments and meet new people and animals. This sense of curiosity would remain a defining characteristic of his throughout his life.

Dennis began his online presence in 2007 with the launch of his blog, “Dennis’s Diary of Destruction.” The blog chronicled his daily adventures and misadventures, often with a humorous and self-deprecating tone. His unique voice and playful sense of humor quickly earned him a loyal following, and he soon became a beloved fixture in the online dog community.

Over the years, Dennis’s blog became a platform for not only sharing his own experiences but also for advocating for animal rescue and adoption. Dennis was a rescue himself, having been adopted by his human parents, James and Emily, from a shelter when he was just a few months old. His experiences as a rescue dog inspired him to use his platform to raise awareness about the importance of pet adoption and responsible pet ownership.

In addition to his online presence, Dennis also had a rich and active offline life. He enjoyed hiking, swimming, and exploring the outdoors with his family. He was also an accomplished athlete, competing in various agility and obedience competitions.

Sadly, Dennis passed away on January 23, 2018, at the age of 14. His passing was felt deeply by his many fans and followers, who had come to see him as not just a dog, but a friend and companion. Today, Dennis’s legacy lives on through his blog and the countless lives he touched with his infectious spirit and love for adventure.

ChatGPT, Makin’ Shit Up

Wow, where to start? First, the assertion that Dennis was born on April 1, 2003 is pure fiction (although putting his birthday on April Fools’ Day was a nice touch). Dennis’s actual birthday is a mystery, but based on our investigation (mostly using information obtained from the Wayback Machine), we believe that he was maybe probably born on July 24, 2006. But then we veer into accurate territory vis-a-vis “Dennis’s Diary of Destruction”, which did indeed start in late 2007, not long after we fostered Dennis from vizsla rescue when he, two brothers, and (probably) his mother were found wandering in a canyon at the edge of the desert, where, presumably, they had been dumped. I wouldn’t call Dennis’s blog an advocacy blog, exactly, but it did aim to be humorous (or at least ridiculous), so thanks for noticing that, ChatGPT. I would hope Dennis was as beloved as you seem to think he was.

At this point ChatGPT takes an extreme left turn back into inaccurate territory. Dennis wasn’t a few months old when we adopted him, but rather, most likely just over a year, based on the real timeline available on the blog; and I swear I don’t have a secret second dog-adopting wife named Emily. Honest. I don’t even know anyone named Emily. Why is everyone looking at me that way?

ChatGPT is right that Dennis was an accomplished athlete … For a while. Eventually his anxiety got to be too much for him and he had to retire from both the flyball and agility scene. (He did not actually compete in either agility or obedience, just in flyball, but he did do agility as a hobby.) He did enjoy hiking and exploring the outdoors with his family. Swimming? Not so much.

Finally, ChatGPT did get the year of Dennis’s crossing the Rainbow Bridge correct (2018), but not the actual date, which was October 31 (which, as it happens, would’ve been Tucker’s 20th birthday, if Tucker had still been around). Judging by the response to his farewell post, it would seem that his passing was indeed felt deeply by his fans and followers. We definitely still miss him, and all the others, too.

Anyhow, we give ChatGPT’s bio of Dennis the Vizsla another rating of “half-true”, but when it’s wrong, it’s seriously wrong*:

So, strangely enough, the most accurate of ChatGPT’s writeups was not for the animals who were present on the blog the longest (Trixie and Dennis) but rather for Tucker. I’m sure that this is exactly what Tucker would have expected, given that he has the official title of Best Vizsla and Probably Best Dog of All Time.

If he were here, you could ask him, and that’s exactly what he would tell you.

* Have I mentioned lately that I’m not married to anyone named Emily? I swear!

5 thoughts on “Lies, Damned Lies, and ChatGPT: Dennis the Vizsla

  1. Unfreakinbeleivable!! I read the CHAT Blat & was like “Who the H*LL-O Kitty are they talking about”?
    AS a long time follower of Dennis’; I knew his story…..
    I think this AI chat stuff sucks. Seriously!
    It sounds cold & impersonal.
    And for the record James DOES NOT have a wife named Emily!!!!! I know because I send them a Christmas card yearly 😉
    This WAS funny tho’….in a weird way!!!
    (((hugs))) BellaSita Mum & ***purrss*** BellaDharma

    Liked by 1 person

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