The Story Behind “28” by Zach Bryan and How His Courageous Dog Named Boston Inspired It

Zach Bryan released his highly anticipated album The Great American Bar Scene on July 4, and recently took to social media to answer fan questions about the project. One fan asked how the song “28” came about, and Bryan answered with the inspiration for the track.

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The lyrics evoke images of Boston, Brooklyn, crowded bars, and a tear-streaked face, as well as feelings of relief, love, and endurance. The inspiration could have been Bryan’s girlfriend, Brianna, with the lines, Took twenty-eight years of blood pumping through me / To get to this evening with you. However, Bryan clarified that he actually wrote the song after his dog went through emergency surgery.

“Boston, our puppy was going into surgery, and I told Brianna, ‘How lucky are we?’ to have had a puppy so beautiful, and she came out of it just fine; I wrote it the next day because I felt like the luckiest man on the planet,” Bryan explained.

How lucky are we is a recurring line in the chorus, where Zach Bryan sings, How lucky are we? / It’s been a hell of a week, but we’re all grown now / There’s smoke seeping out of the bar down the street / But we’re home somehow.

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Zach Bryan Wrote a Song That Highlights Things He’s Thankful For After His Dog Survived Emergency Surgery

There’s a strong sense of relief throughout the song, which Bryan and Brianna most definitely felt when their dog came out of surgery, as anyone would. We’re home somehow paints that picture of the aftermath of a traumatic event, being home and reflecting.

Overall, “28” is a thankful song, showcasing a kind of relief that only comes after surviving something potentially devastating. Zach Bryan shared his experience of being grateful to have had such a beautiful dog when he didn’t know if she would survive. He made it seem like he was preparing himself so that if she didn’t make it, he would remember her as a beautiful puppy who made his life richer for being in it.

However, Boston the dog made it out alive and well, so the song is not shadowed by grief. There is only rejoicing in her healthy recovery and that strong sense of relief and gratitude. “28” is a song for the aftermath of trauma, but it’s also for the event itself, when you don’t know what the outcome could be. There comes a moment when you have to sit back and tell yourself, “How lucky I’ve been to be on this Earth with so many wonders.” No matter what happens, be thankful for what you’ve been able to experience.

Featured Image by Keith Griner/Getty Images

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