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What’s the origin of the dog meme retweeted 1.8K times during Sunday’s Panthers game?

While the Carolina Panthers were busy losing to the Chicago Bears Sunday, a meme of a cartoon dog was retweeted 1,800 times. The tweet was posted by the Carolina Panthers’ official twitter account, showing the dog sitting in a burning room with a cup of coffee saying, “This is fine.”

The dog, wearing a tiny hat and sitting at a table, has huge, glazed-over eyes. He’s making no move to get out of harm’s way.

Where did that meme come from?

The “this is fine” dog first appeared in “On Fire,” a 2013 webcomic by artist KC Green, as part of his series Gunshow. The first two panels of the comic, as shared by the Carolina Panthers twitter account, first became popular as a meme when picked up by Reddit and Imgur in 2014.

As Chris Plante writes in The Verge, “The three-word phrase now doubles as shorthand for when a situation becomes so terrible our brains refuse to grapple with its severity.”

Green created the comic at a time when he was internally struggling and working with anti-depressants. He recognized that it’s common to deal with the feeling that you should still try to smile while your surroundings are burning down around you.

Panthers fans may have felt that Sunday when Ryan Kalil was replaced by Tyler Larsen due to his neck injury, or when Cam Newton ran an option play with Curtis Samuel, who fumbled. How about when they saw that Bears rookie quarterback, Mitchell Trubisky, only had four completions with just under five minutes left in the game, but yet the score still ended up 17-3?

Maybe fans are already trying to smile as the Panthers move on, 4-3, with their next game looming in Tampa next Sunday.

But what the Carolina Panthers tweet didn’t show was the rest of the cartoon strip: the six panels in which the dog with the hat is engulfed with flames and getting violently singed to the skin, bleeding while he drinks his coffee and says, “I’m okay with the events that are unfolding currently” and “that’s okay, things are going to be ok.” Then he melts.

Is that what it felt like to be a Panthers fan yesterday?

Photo: Jeff Siner/Charlotte Observer