live or lead a dog's life
- a very unhappy and unpleasant life
- a miserable, unhappy existence
- to lead a drab or boring life
1. Mark's been leading a dog's life since he was fired from the job.
2. He's been living a dog's life since his wife left him.
3. Poor Richard really leads a dog's life.
4. I've been working so hard. I'm tired of living a dog's life.
5. I've got to go to the market, then cook a meal, then pick Davis up from the airport - it's a dog's life.
This Idiomatic expression was first recorded in a 16th-century manuscript and alludes to the miserable subservient existence of dogs during this era. By the 1660s there was a proverb: "It's a dog's life, hunger and ease."