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This floppy 13-year-old pug can tell you what kind of day you're going to have

Jonathan Graziano with his pug, Noodle. The two have taken to forecasting the mood of the day based on whether Noodle stands up or flops down in bed.
Jonathan Graziano with his pug, Noodle. The two have taken to forecasting the mood of the day based on whether Noodle stands up or flops down in bed.

Bones or no bones?

No, it's not a Halloween thing. It's a forecast of the day's vibe, as predicted by a 13-year-old pug named Noodle and endorsed by his growing legion of TikTok devotees.

Noodle and his owner, New York City-based Jonathan Graziano, have won over the internet with their near-daily videos of a game called "no bones." They're are mostly posted to TikTok, but also shared on Noodle's Instagram account.

"Good morning everyone, and welcome back to yet another round of 'no bones,' " Graziano says at the beginning of most of these videos. "The game where we find out if my 13-year-old pug woke up with bones and, as a result, we find out what kind of day we're going to have."

The premise is straightforward, and adorable. Graziano hoists a sleepy-looking Noodle out of his fluffy bed. If the pug flops back down, it's a "no-bones" day — a time to lay low, avoid risks and cancel plans without regret. If he remains standing, it's a "bones" day, which is a sign to get out there and indulge.

"You've got to treat yourself today," Graziano said on Monday, the most recent bones day. "The Japanese fried chicken you were gonna order for lunch — get the curry to dip it in. All those festive gourds? Buy 'em! That raise you deserve but haven't asked for yet? You totally deserve it, ask for it!"

Viewers are catching on. Graziano (and Noodle) have amassed more than 2 million followers on TikTok, where the hashtag #nobones had clocked nearly 194 million views as of Tuesday morning. And "Bonesday" was a top trending topic on Twitter on Monday.

Some admirers have posted videos of their own, using the pug's bones or lack thereof as a barometer for whether they should do things like go to work, make plans, impulse shop or get out of bed.

One user said they turned in their two weeks' notice on the last bones day, while another blamed their broken coffee machine on a no-bones day. One even made a song on the topic.

Graziano earnestly thanked followers for their enthusiasm and participation in a video posted last week, in which he provided a little context for Noodle newcomers.

"We've just been doing this for years," he said. "I adopted Noodle when he was seven and a half years old, and we learned very early on that when he doesn't want to go on walkies, he will not go on walkies. And it's just insane to be able to share this with you guys and see the response. So I really appreciate it."

He also noted that not every day can be a bones or no-bones day, since Noodle has to be a "special kind of mushy" in order to take on the task.

"You can't just force the bones, right, the bones have to be ready," he added.

But on those days when Noodle is ready, his fans will surely be watching his every move closely — make no bones about it.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Rachel Treisman (she/her) is a writer and editor for the Morning Edition live blog, which she helped launch in early 2021.