Dogs: sharing our lives, ruining our furniture

Dog collage

There are bones in my living room. Bleached and processed cross-sections of bovine femur lay on the carpet. At any given moment, the sound of teeth can be heard scraping across these bones, wearing down the edges, reducing them to shards. It’s a primitive sound, one that has echoed back through time for many thousands of years when prehistoric wolves gnawed on the remains of that day’s kill.

Descendents of those wolves lie at my feet, having killed nothing that day other than time and a bowl of kibble. They are my loyal, docile, silly, rambunctious, trusted dogs. But when I give them a bone, I watch them gleefully devolve.

***

And so it ends. With an ode to the many dogs I have owned. From the top of the picture then counter-clockwise we have Nikita, Ripley (both no longer with me), Mathilda, and Dakota.

This is the last day of BlogShorts, a short-story writing challenge. Ten days, ten short stories, 110 words.  This year, we’re writing to the theme: The Dog Days of Summer. You can read all the sordid details here.

Be sure to read what dogs the other participants chose to write about:

Blogdramedy – think of me as the alpha dog

1pointperspective - circus dog (inside joke that’s not so inside if you go over and read his blog)

SteveBetz - in for a Penny, in for a pound (I AM good!)

Joe’s Musings - a bit of a scrappy scribbler

MC’s Whispers - speaks five languages (not including puppy-speak)

Shouts from the Abyss - he knows how to sit up and beg

H.E. Ellis - he likes pithy and, for some reason, Chevy Impalas

Lenore Diane - peanut butter & bananas sandwiches make her day

Odie: it takes a smart dog to act that dumb

It is a common misconception that I have limited mental faculties. Quite understandable. Most people only see me when I’m acting like the slobbering, bumbling–albeit loveable–scamp. This not the real me, but a carefully cultivated image I’ve crafted.

“Why?” you might ask. Well, put bluntly, it’s just simpler this way. The less that is expected of you, the more you are free to pursue your own interests. I’m an amateur ornithologist, for example. And the tangerine tabby never expects that it is I who is responsible for many of his foibles.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some rubber spiders I need to plant in a lasagna.

***

Hate dogs yet? Only one more day to go, folks.

This is day nine of BlogShorts, a short-story writing challenge. Ten days, ten short stories, 110 words.  This year, we’re writing to the theme: The Dog Days of Summer. You can read all the sordid details here.

Be sure to read what the other participants have in store for Odie:

Blogdramedy – think of me as the alpha dog

1pointperspective - circus dog (inside joke that’s not so inside if you go over and read his blog)

SteveBetz - in for a Penny, in for a pound (I AM good!)

Joe’s Musings - a bit of a scrappy scribbler

MC’s Whispers - speaks five languages (not including puppy-speak)

Shouts from the Abyss - he knows how to sit up and beg

H.E. Ellis - he likes pithy and, for some reason, Chevy Impalas

Lenore Diane - peanut butter & bananas sandwiches make her day

Astro: trying to stop this crazy thing

You’d think that once dogs evolved the ability to vocalize human words, albeit with a slight speech impediment, we’d gain a few rights. But that didn’t exactly happen.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like we want to vote or–shudder to think– get jobs, but we do have opinions about our lives.

Case in point, that whole business with Gottrockets. I ran away from him for many reasons—being named Tralfaz was only one of them. The whole trial business between Gottrockets and the Jestons could’ve been avoided if only they’d asked, “Where would you rather be, Astro?”

I’d have said, “Rit Rorge,” and it would have been settled.

***

This is day eight of BlogShorts, a short-story writing challenge. Ten days, ten short stories, 110 words.  This year, we’re writing to the theme: The Dog Days of Summer. You can read all the sordid details here.

Be sure to read what the other participants have in store for Astro:

Blogdramedy – think of me as the alpha dog

1pointperspective - circus dog (inside joke that’s not so inside if you go over and read his blog)

SteveBetz - in for a Penny, in for a pound (I AM good!)

Joe’s Musings - a bit of a scrappy scribbler

MC’s Whispers - speaks five languages (not including puppy-speak)

Shouts from the Abyss - he knows how to sit up and beg

H.E. Ellis - he likes pithy and, for some reason, Chevy Impalas

Lenore Diane - peanut butter & bananas sandwiches make her day

Frank: doin’ time on planet Earth

The tan Pug paced the concrete floor, grumbling under his breath. It was a small kennel, but his stubby legs made the trip from the back wall to the barred door longer than for most dogs.

“This is freakin’ ridiculous,” he said to no one in particular. “When I get outta here, I’m gonna have that goon’s badge.”

He pressed his flat face against the bars, but his head was too wide to wedge in between.

“Expired tags my ass,” he growled. “I’m not even a real dog you animals!” His plea echoed off the walls.

“Hey,” said a rough voice from the next kennel. “Everyone’s innocent in prison, man.”

***

In case you don’t remember, Frank was an alien in Men In Black who just happened to look like a Pug dog. Yeah, I had to Google it to refresh my memory.

This is day seven of BlogShorts, a short-story writing challenge. Ten days, ten short stories, 110 words.  This year, we’re writing to the theme: The Dog Days of Summer. You can read all the sordid details here.

Be sure to read what the other participants have in store for Frank:

Blogdramedy – think of me as the alpha dog

1pointperspective - circus dog (inside joke that’s not so inside if you go over and read his blog)

SteveBetz - in for a Penny, in for a pound (I AM good!)

Joe’s Musings - a bit of a scrappy scribbler

MC’s Whispers - speaks five languages (not including puppy-speak)

Shouts from the Abyss - he knows how to sit up and beg

H.E. Ellis - he likes pithy and, for some reason, Chevy Impalas

Lenore Diane - peanut butter & bananas sandwiches make her day

Snoopy: his drinking problem is complicated

For a dog, he knew a lot of words. Adjectives, verbs, nouns, multi-syllabled and hyphenated, homophones and synonyms. He couldn’t speak any of them, of course, but that was no matter because he let his trusty typewriter vocalize what he physically could not.

But now his typewriter was as mute as he. His paws hovered and twitched above the keys, but no words would come. It was like a connection had been cut, a plug pulled, and his once lively narrative was dead. Flat-lined. Beeeeeep.

He remembered a bottle of whiskey stashed in his doghouse, then a realization hit him and he wailed. To open the bottle, he needed thumbs.

***

This is day six of BlogShorts, a short-story writing challenge. Ten days, ten short stories, 110 words.  This year, we’re writing to the theme: The Dog Days of Summer. You can read all the sordid details here.

Be sure to read what the other participants have in store for Snoopy:

Blogdramedy – think of me as the alpha dog

1pointperspective - circus dog (inside joke that’s not so inside if you go over and read his blog)

SteveBetz - in for a Penny, in for a pound (I AM good!)

Joe’s Musings - a bit of a scrappy scribbler

MC’s Whispers - speaks five languages (not including puppy-speak)

Shouts from the Abyss - he knows how to sit up and beg

H.E. Ellis - he likes pithy and, for some reason, Chevy Impalas

Lenore Diane - peanut butter & bananas sandwiches make her day

Eddie Crane: even dogs can suffer from first world problems

The white and brown terrier slumped in the worn chair and wondered if it was possible to die of boredom. The humans were away and, judging by the extra long walk that morning, they would probably be gone for a while.

Jumping from the chair, the terrier walked around the apartment, turning his nose up at his well-chewed toys. He wandered over to the window and looked down on the city street below. From out of an alley limped a scraggly dog with protruding hip bones who cowered away from the throngs of humans.

The terrier returned to his chair with a bone. There were worse things than being bored.

***

This is day five of BlogShorts, a short-story writing challenge. Ten days, ten short stories, 110 words.  This year, we’re writing to the theme: The Dog Days of Summer. You can read all the sordid details here.

Be sure to read what the other participants have in store for Eddie:

Blogdramedy – think of me as the alpha dog

1pointperspective - circus dog (inside joke that’s not so inside if you go over and read his blog)

SteveBetz - in for a Penny, in for a pound (I AM good!)

Joe’s Musings - a bit of a scrappy scribbler

MC’s Whispers - speaks five languages (not including puppy-speak)

Shouts from the Abyss - he knows how to sit up and beg

H.E. Ellis - he likes pithy and, for some reason, Chevy Impalas

Lenore Diane - peanut butter & bananas sandwiches make her day

Fluffy: three-headed hounds from hell need love too

Four massive paws twitch, black claws scraping across the cold stone floor. Three pairs of eyes roll beneath closed lids and one of the snouts huffs and releases a short, soft bark.

What dreams fill the heads of such a rare creature? Guarding an ancient treasure? Chasing dragons through a dark, misty forest? Ripping nosy children limb from limb while they scream in terror?

A gray mouse scuttles around the corner and the beast wakes with a snort. Seeing that there is no threat, the heads regard each other with weary eyes and, with a collective sigh, settle back down to sleep.

A three-headed dog dreams only of being alone.

***

This is day four of BlogShorts, a short-story writing challenge. Ten days, ten short stories, 110 words.  This year, we’re writing to the theme: The Dog Days of Summer. You can read all the sordid details here.

Be sure to read what the other participants have in store for Fluffy:

Blogdramedy – think of me as the alpha dog

1pointperspective - circus dog (inside joke that’s not so inside if you go over and read his blog)

SteveBetz - in for a Penny, in for a pound (I AM good!)

Joe’s Musings - a bit of a scrappy scribbler

MC’s Whispers - speaks five languages (not including puppy-speak)

Shouts from the Abyss - he knows how to sit up and beg

H.E. Ellis - he likes pithy and, for some reason, Chevy Impalas

Lenore Diane - peanut butter & bananas sandwiches make her day

Lassie: even dogs can be enablers

The boy’s cries echoed up from the darkness. The collie pawed at the earth at the lip of the old well, then gave an encouraging bark before dashing off in the direction of the farmhouse. The loyal dog sprinted through the fields in a mad dash to get help for the boy.

Again.

The collie skidded to a stop. How many times had she saved him just this week? That brat was a walking disaster. At least while trapped in the well he couldn’t get in any more trouble.

She spotted a squirrel and bounded after it. It was time to act like a dog and not a damn babysitter.

***

This is day three of BlogShorts, a short-story writing challenge. Ten days, ten short stories, 110 words.  This year, we’re writing to the theme: The Dog Days of Summer. You can read all the sordid details here.

Be sure to read what trouble the other participants have gotten Lassie into:

Blogdramedy – think of me as the alpha dog

1pointperspective - circus dog (inside joke that’s not so inside if you go over and read his blog)

SteveBetz - in for a Penny, in for a pound (I AM good!)

Joe’s Musings - a bit of a scrappy scribbler

Jtailele’s Blog - the unknown element

MC’s Whispers - speaks five languages (not including puppy-speak)

Shouts from the Abyss - he knows how to sit up and beg

H.E. Ellis - he likes pithy and, for some reason, Chevy Impalas

Lenore Diane - peanut butter & bananas sandwiches make her day

Toto: the only one who didn’t need any dang wizard

toto

“I bless the rains down in Africa!”

After the medals and certificates and confirmations of personal strengths that, in hindsight, should have been self-evident, there were the hugs. And then there were a few tears and some more hugs and the infamous “I’ll miss you most of all.” A girl, two animated humanoid creatures, and a three hundred pound feline could make a good-bye last longer than a severe storm warning in tornado alley.

It was all too long for one little terrier to hold his business any longer.

The group looked down at the small puddle and the girl quickly picked up her dog. She gave an uneasy laugh as she began clicking her heels together.

***

Toto knows how to break up a party. That’s one little dog who already had tons of brains, heart, and nerve.

This is day two of BlogShorts, a short-story writing challenge. Ten days, ten short stories, 110 words.  This year, we’re writing to the theme: The Dog Days of Summer. You can read all the sordid details here.

Be sure to read what tricks the other participants have taught Toto:

Blogdramedy – think of me as the alpha dog

1pointperspective - circus dog (inside joke that’s not so inside if you go over and read his blog)

SteveBetz - in for a Penny, in for a pound (I AM good!)

Joe’s Musings - a bit of a scrappy scribbler

Jtailele’s Blog - the unknown element

MC’s Whispers - speaks five languages (not including puppy-speak)

Shouts from the Abyss - he knows how to sit up and beg

H.E. Ellis - he likes pithy and, for some reason, Chevy Impalas

Lenore Diane - peanut butter & bananas sandwiches make her day

Cujo: it was the Trenton’s fault for owning a Pinto

Cujo

Damn rabbit.
Don’t know what made me think I could catch the bugger. Something in the air today, maybe, made me feel like a pup again. Now I just feel like a fool, a fool with a swollen snout and a pounding head.
Who knew bats had such sharp teeth? And I thought they lived in caves, not in rabbit holes.
Why does my head hurt so bad?
This shade is nice, under the porch. The cool dirt is soothing.
I could burrow here. Like a bat. Underground. Bury the pain. Sleep in the cool earth.
Maybe when I wake up, after the sun sets, I’ll be able to fly.

***

Yowza. That one kinda brought the room down, didn’t it? I always felt so sorry for poor Cujo. He wasn’t a bad dog, he was just sick. If he existed in a comic book universe, being bitten by that bat would have turned him into a superhero. I’d like to read that story.

You may have come here expecting a zombie (although rabies kinda turns its victims into zombies of sorts but that’s a discussion for another time), but I have run out of steam on that project. Not to say that my zombie friends are gone forever, they’re just taking a break. Marinating, if you will.

In an effort to bust my writing rut, I decided to take part in yet another one of BlogDramedy’s writing challenges. How she continues to talk me into these things, I’ll never know. She must be a witch or something.

This challenge has simple rules: 10 days, 10 dogs, 110 words. You can read all the sordid details here.

Be sure to read what the other participants have in store for poor, doomed Cujo:

Blogdramedy – think of me as the alpha dog

1pointperspective - circus dog (inside joke that’s not so inside if you go over and read his blog)

SteveBetz - in for a Penny, in for a pound (I AM good!)

Joe’s Musings - a bit of a scrappy scribbler

Jtailele’s Blog - the unknown element

MC’s Whispers - speaks five languages (not including puppy-speak)

Shouts from the Abyss - he knows how to sit up and beg

H.E. Ellis - he likes pithy and, for some reason, Chevy Impalas

Lenore Diane - peanut butter & bananas sandwiches make her day

Random trivia: My middle name is the same as the last name of Cujo’s owners.