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Nothing can stop this Twitter hero from petting the dog

Tristan Cooper is the hero we need right now. Cooper is the mad genius behind the Twitter accounts chronicling his efforts to check out what's behind every waterfall and, more importantly, to pet every dog in video games. He's a man with a singular question that should resonate with every dog lover in the gaming world: "Can You Pet The Dog?"

While you sadly cannot pet every single dog in video games, that hasn't stopped him from trying and posting wholesome videos of his interactions with dogs and other animals. Thankfully, yes, you can pet your horse in Red Dead Redemption 2. And as it turns out, this little crusade of Cooper's has inspired a few video game designers to create dog-petting conundrums of their very own.

Lair of the Clockwork God is a recently released puzzle-platforming game from creators Dan Marshall and Ben Ward, who designed it specifically to parody certain longstanding gaming mechanics. In addition to the fourth wall-breaking humor and absurdist plot, Marshall and Ward also included a challenge fit for Tristan Cooper, the king of petting digital puppers.

In Lair of the Clockwork God, players will come across a dog that is so cute that you'd be a monster to not want to immediately pet its little head. Although, the game gives you an option to "Pet" the animal, the main character will give excuse after excuse as to why they shouldn't

As seen in the clip posted to Can You Pet The Dog?, the reasons the game gives you for not petting the dog are pretty hilarious, honestly. These include the flat-out refusal of "No way am I petting a strange dog," as well as the significantly more aggressive, "Who the hell would touch a dog? It's not mine. I receive no benefit from touching this animal whatsoever." Listen: unless they have allergies, everyone benefits from petting a dog.

The game will even point out that petting the dog serves no tactical purpose. Nothing is unlocked by petting the dog, there's no special achievement for doing so, and no puzzles will be solved. Then again, we don't pet dogs in real life for our own personal gain. We just want those sweet, sweet snuggles.

It takes multiple attempts at selecting the "Pet" option, but after several refusals, the protagonist will relent and give the dog a pat on the head. It's a really funny moment that feels entirely earned by Cooper. And it turns out that this is precisely what the creators of Lair of the Clockwork God had in mind.

Dan Marshall recently shared Cooper's clip of the dog being pet, along with a hilarious confession. Marshall wrote, "I'm actually quite angry about this because the dog, and the convoluted difficulty in petting the dog, was *entirely* put in the game with the specific intention of trolling @CanYouPetTheDog into declaring you could not pet the dog. And...he just...he tweeted it out."

In other words, Dan Marshall and Ben Ward were aware of Cooper's Twitter account and purposefully put this long drawn-out sequence in the game just to troll him. According to Cooper, he was alerted to this little easter egg by one of his followers. He then requested a review code for the game specifically to prove Marshall and Ward wrong so he could post it to his account. Basically, this was the ultimate wholesome clap back. We need to add dogs to some other unsolved video game mysteries, just to get Cooper on the case.

As Cooper wrote in his reply to Marshall's post, "I respect the effort put into your ploy, but if you put a pettable dog in your game, you can be sure I will sniff it out."

It's really a testament to Cooper's dedication to petting every good boy in the land. And honestly, we're all better for it. Recently, Cooper put together a thread on Twitter of some of his favorite animal interactions in video games. He tweeted to his fans, "If you need a distraction, I have compiled a thread containing dozens of wholesome interactions with dogs and other animals in video games. Be well, stay safe and have a good weekend."

The response was very positive, with some folks thanking Cooper for putting together something so feel-good for his followers. Others joined in on the action, with one user informing Cooper of all of the possible animal interactions in Uncharted 4 and Uncharted: The Lost Legacy. 

Much like the friendship between Doom and Animal Crossing fans, it seems like this is the kind of positivity we need right now. As Cooper once told Slate, "It is comforting to know that so many others share my views when it comes to the importance of pettable dogs in video games." Kudos to Cooper and all the cuddly animals in the gaming world.