Talking Dog

Your Writing Prompt:

Your kids have spent years asking you to get them a dog. You finally break down and get one, only to discover that this dog talks—but only to you. More interestingly, the dog loves to gossip about your kids and their lives. Write a scene where your dog rats out one of your kids for doing something they shouldn’t.

Post your response (500 words or fewer) in the comments below.

You might also like:

39 thoughts on “Talking Dog

  1. ebonstorm

    The Warden

    Got up to go to the can in the middle of the night. Damn prostate. I thought I heard someone clear their throat. Just getting off of a double, hallucination was a common side effect of sleep deprivation. I saw my son’s Rottweiler sitting in front of the stove.

    “Pardon me, do you have any Grey Poupon? I must have some for this sandwich.”

    Being a doctor, you have a clear sense of what is possible in the world and what isn’t, so I shook my head and went on to the bathroom. When I finished I came out to find the dog blocking the doorway.

    “Perhaps you didn’t hear me.”

    “No, no, I heard you. I simply don’t believe you’re talking, so I am going back to bed to get some sleep.”

    “You’re not even curious how I came by this roast beef sandwich?”

    “Roast Beef?” Stomach rumbled. “Okay, I’ll bite. Where did you get the sandwich?”

    “I feel so guilty telling you. Okay, you twisted my tail. The twins gave it to me. I was supposed to keep quiet while they went to the concert.”

    “The Metalhead concert? The one they were forbidden to attend?”

    “Not my job. I just wanted some mustard. I knew you would take care of me if I just asked.”

    “So when are they getting back?”

    “Uh, I can talk, but I still can’t tell time.”

    “Fine, let’s split that sandwich and wait. I’ll get the mustard.”

    “Did I mention that aromatic herb I’ve seen them smoking out back?”

    “No, tell me more.”

    And so he did. I discovered things about my sons, I wasn’t sure I wanted to know. As I closed up the mustard jar, the Rottweiler remarked, “Those thumbs are truly amazing. I heard you were a surgeon. Any chance I could have some thumbs?”

    “As a matter of fact, I have two sons who won’t be using theirs after tonight. You have four paws and they have four thumbs. Can you wash dishes?”

    “Sorry, my resume includes biting, barking, ear-hustling, crotch-sniffing and talking to you. Dishwashing not included.”

    “Just as well, they are going to need those thumbs for all the chores they will be doing.”

    “They’re coming.”

    “I don’t hear anything.”

    He cocks his head and rotates his ears. “Dog, remember?”

    I turned off the light in the kitchen and waited. They would have to pass me to get to their room. I could smell the concert all over them; the beer, marijuana and cigarettes. Ugh.

    “Evening, boys. Say hello to your new warden.”

    The dog barks at them, a series of sharp, staccato sounds.

    Looking at the boys, “He says you are going to like it here at our new facility. Go to your rooms and take a shower. Lawn mowing at 8:00 AM. Sharp.” I smiled at the dog, “Adding to your resume already…”

    The Warden © Thaddeus Howze 2012, All Rights Reserved

  2. Kathy

    “What a crappy day,” I muttered as I let myself in the front door. Of course, the first thing I saw was a quivering bundle of fur, though I noticed he was more restrained than usual.

    “Lydia,” he said, “you’re late.”

    Sighing, I closed the door and dropped my keys on the hall table. “I know,” I said, and irritation filled my voice. “I warned you I probably would be.”

    He sniffed, as if that was no excuse. I moved past him, and headed for the kitchen. I heard the click of his nails on the hardwood floor as he followed me. “It’s past dinner time,” he whined.

    “It’s only seven,” I said, opening the back door. “Go do your business and I’ll get your dinner.”

    “Thank you,” he said with great dignity, and ran out the door.

    I shook my head and moved to the pantry to get his food. I remembered his first day with us. My son Cody had begged for a dog for years, and I’d finally given in. We’d gone to the pound, me intent on getting a small, short haired dog. Cody, of course, had other ideas, and we ended up with Kip. Kip, even as a puppy, was a strange looking creature, being a mix of an Australian Shepherd and a Bull Mastiff. He had a huge head, with a thick cranium and massive jaw, and the short, stocky legs of the Mastiff. His whole body was sturdy and muscled, under all that Shepherd fur in mottled white, black and gray. His one blue eye and one gold eye looked somehow wrong in that wide Mastiff head. It wasn’t a blending of two very different breeds, more like he was pieced together, and awkwardly at that. But that hadn’t been the worst part.

    We’d brought him home, and Cody spent the rest of the day playing with the dog, never leaving him alone for an instant. At bedtime, there had been a battle. Cody wanted the dog to sleep with him, but I wasn’t having it. I finally got Cody to bed, and the dog followed me into the living room, where he collapsed onto his bed with a loud sigh. I was chuckling when I heard him say, “Thank you. Sweet kid, but that was bit too much togetherness.” I stared at the dog in shock as he yawned hugely, and settled his head on his paws, his eyes closing.

    The following day, after I’d convinced myself it hadn’t happened, he’d spoken to me as I cleaned up the breakfast dishes. Cody was in his room getting ready for church. Kip looked up at me and said clearly, “I prefer beef flavored food over chicken, if you don’t mind.”

    Now, all these years later, I was used to it. Kip could talk. But only to me. I’d been afraid I was losing it, had even taken psychological quizzes online in my quest to discover if I was nuts or not. I’d been forced to accept that he could talk, and I wasn’t crazy. But I’d never told anyone else, knowing they’d have no doubts on the subject.

    I let Kip back in, and expected him to go immediately to his food bowl. Instead, he sat down and looked at me, his head cocked to one side. “Rough day?” he asked.

    “Yeah,” I answered, opening the refrigerator door. I reached for the milk, only to discover it was empty. Cody had a bad habit of drinking from the carton, and putting it back even if it was empty. I sighed, annoyed, and reached for a coke instead.

    “Well, I’m sorry to hear you had a bad day, but I have something important to tell you.”

    I gave him an irritated scowl. “What, does the neighboring dog have the runs again? Did the Pomeranian down the street get out and get pregnant again?” Kip’s idea of important news and mine were usually very different.

    Kip managed to look annoyed at me, though how he accomplished it is beyond description. “No, this is about Cody,”

    “What about him?” Cody was sixteen now, with a driver’s license, a girlfriend, and a job, which is where he was now, or at least where he should be. He’d gotten secretive when he hit his teens. To give Kip credit, he’d been the one to alert me when Cody tried smoking and drinking, at fourteen. And he’d told me when Cody took money from my wallet, though I’d suspected Cody already. Who else? It was just Cody and I since his father took off for parts unknown when Cody was only four. Now, I braced myself, waiting to hear what Kip would tell me. It was going to be bad if he was putting off his already late dinner to tell me about it.

    Kip looked at me sympathetically. “He found your gun today, and took it to school.”

    My heart stopped. I began to shake, visions of Columbine flying through my imagination. That school was only a couple of hours away, and the impact of what happened there still reverberated. I put a shaking hand on counter to support myself. “Why?” I whispered. Not my son, I thought, over and over.

    “I don’t know,” Kip responded. “But he brought it home and it didn’t smell like it had been fired.”

    Kip was thorough with his report. At least I wasn’t about to hear about a shooting at school today. Just then, I heard the front door open and slam shut, and footsteps sounded in the hall.

    “Mom!” Cody called, and then he stepped into the kitchen.

    I turned furious eyes on him. “What were you doing with my gun?” I demanded.

    Cody’s face froze in shock. After a moment, he said, “What are you talking about?”

    “You took my gun to school today. Why?”

    Cody swallowed, and looked away. He shifted restlessly, then looked back at me. “What are you, psychic?”

    “Why, Cody?”

    He sighed. “I just wanted to show it to my friends.”

    “Do you have any idea how much trouble you’d be in you got caught with it? Or how dangerous that was? What if you’d accidentally shot yourself or a friend?” My voice was high and screechy, my words coming fast from anger and fear.

    Cody shuffled his feet and looked sheepish. “It wasn’t loaded,” he muttered.

    “That’s not the point!” I yelled. “Why, Cody? Why?”

    Cody shrugged, and refused to look at me. “I wanted a friend of mine to teach me how to use it. But he refused.”

    I stared at my handsome son. He was an inch taller than me now, with a full head of dark wavy hair and a toned, muscled body. Girls were all over him these days. He had so much going for him, so why this?

    “Why do you need to know how to use a gun, Cody?” I was calming down a bit, trying to get my emotions under control so I could get to the real story,

    After a long silence, he looked at me. “So I can protect you.”

    I gaped at him. Protect me? From what? “I don’t need protection. Why would you think I did?”

    His eyes took on an odd look, kind of sympathetic and old beyond his years. “Dad is back,” he said, watching me closely.

    Now an icy terror filled me. I heard Kip say “Ahhh,” in a voice full of understanding. He’d never met my husband, but I’d told him all about my miserable marriage.

    “He approached you?” I asked, my voice trembling.

    Cody nodded.

    Oh, my God, I thought. I listened in shock as Cody told me how his father approached him after school one day. He was trying to talk Cody into going away with him. Anger grew to smother out the fear. I wasn’t going to allow this to happen. I would take steps this time, to keep the creep away from both me and my son. As I led Cody out of the kitchen to go talk in the living room, I threw a look of gratitude at our odd dog. He was like a guardian angel, warning me of approaching disaster so I could take steps to prevent it,and I was grateful. Who knew a dog from the pound would have such a profound effect on our lives?

  3. smallPencil

    The sound still echoed in my ears. You know, like when someone memorable, perhaps that smokin’ secretary that never talks to you at work, actually gives you the time of day for once, and your brain just puts it on auto-repeat without asking you for permission? Maybe that is just me. But it was what my brain was doing now: Processing the memory again and again, trying to make sense of it, trying to fit it into my understanding of the real, but returning an error message, every time. I stared down at the shaggy, grey little thing that sat, tail wagging excitedly, at my feet. I stared down at the animal. The animal that had moved its mouth, and words, ENGLISH WORDS, had come out. Or so my memory kept trying to tell me. My mind argued fervently that it had to be wrong. There had to be a mistake.

    It moved its lips again. It was not the way a dog moves its lips. I knew what that looked like. This was different; terribly, horrifyingly different. They pursed, they came together, and they billowed out. They made complex (complex!) movements. More English words came out. I did not even hear them, this time. My mind rejected them. All I heard was a series of rumbling moans, like the sound you hear when you set the speed too slow on your video player. I was in shock.

    I watched as the floor came rising up to meet me. I saw my living room bounce up once, twice, and then settle flat. Now I saw it sitting sideways. The left side of my vision was my shag carpet, alone. Blackness started creeping into the edges of it. Was this the darkness that hovered around our reality? I wondered. Had this atrocity of the logical, this slap-to-the-face of the knowable, finally punched a hole in some unseen, protective barrier that kept our quaint, safe little reality apart from the things that dwelt beyond? Had I been brought somewhere? Had I been transported somewhere terrible? Somewhere true?

    The shaggy, slobbering little herald of darkness stood over me now. I smelled its rancid breath, felt its sharp teeth, as it placed its mouth over mine. Then its breath was inside of me; once, twice, three times. Now its head pressed against my chest. The darkness moved in. Soon, all I could see was a tiny speck of light. The only thing in it, the last thing I saw before the light went forever dark, was that tiny, slobbering herald of my doom.


  4. pstivers

    Earl approached the door with caution. He knew he was going to hear it again, as he had for the past week. That damn mutt his daughter just “had to have!”
    It started out lightly enough. He thought his brain was simply interpreting Max’s nuances for food and potty to something more easily understandable. He also thought his daughter heard pretty much the same thing. But then he began to hear whole sentences in the voice that he ascribed to Max. Every time he looked at him though all Max did was cock his head to one side or the other as if to emphasize, “Are you hearing me or not Earl?” With resignation Earl opened the door and stepped inside.
    “Earl! Earl! Thank God you’re home! We’ve got to talk, pronto!”
    Earl massaged his eyes with his thumb and forefinger to relieve the tension building, but also to postpone looking at Max.
    “I hate to tell you this Earl, but your daughter’s not a virgin. And that’s not the worst news! The guys she’s been sleeping with…”
    “Wait a minute” Earl broke in, “guys?” He looked at the dog. Max’s head cocked to the right. Earl sighed and turned to hang up his coat.
    “No time for that now! Listen! Her boyfriend was here after school. They started making those cool sounds that I can’t make anymore thanks to the clinic.” Max let out an uncharacteristic canine whimper, which was strangely comforting to Earl. Then, “But that’s not the worst of it.”
    Earl was getting impatient.
    “Her math tutor showed up, the boyfriend ditched, and the same sounds came out of the bedroom again!” Earl was beginning to come unhinged.
    “But that’s not the worst of it!” Max said again. “Afterwards, they started rummaging through your room and found your stash Earl!”
    Earl snapped, “She found my pot?”
    “Yeah! And they smoked the crap out of it! She passed out. But the tutor, he got all mesmerized with the goldfish and swore he could hear it talking to him.” Max recapped the surreal conversation the tutor had with the family goldfish, oddly ending it with, “Come on, seriously? Who has a conversation with a goldfish?”
    Unfortunately, that was still not the worst of it.
    Max continued. “Earl, the fish convinced the guy that if he were in the water too they could hear each other better. So he poured the fish in the toilet and stuck his head in there with him. It must’ve worked because he was talking to the fish all the way up until he took a breath in midsentence and drowned himself.”
    Earl’s head shot in Max’s direction. Head cocked to the left. Earl took off towards the bedroom where his daughter was passed out on the bed. In the bathroom, sure enough, was a boy on his knees at the toilet, head submerged, goldfish swimming around it nipping at the ear. This was undoubtedly the worst of it.

  5. LukeD

    “Jake pushed her.”
    The words hung in the air, waiting impatiently to crash to the ground at my feet. I was standing at the bottom of the stairs, staring directly into my son’s eyes. Outside the sun sweltered but a chill crept up my spine. The words were disembodied; my son’s lips hadn’t moved at all and they weren’t in his voice anyway.
    God, that voice.
    I shuddered. It sounded demonic wherever it came from, the words dripping with malevolence. A glint of light registered in my peripheral vision and I realized it was coming from the stark white of the dog’s fangs, menacing as the beast’s growl washed over them.
    Was I delusional? I still can’t say for sure, but my conclusion was that the dog said those three words to me. I theorized that the demon had decided to inhabit the dog’s body for a change, perhaps craving the ripe purity of a new victim after wasting my son’s soul.
    We had just gotten back from my wife’s funeral, the house barren, even calm, like the moments before a storm’s arrival. I told Jake to bring the dog outside and play in the sandbox for a while, not caring that he was still dressed in the tiny suit Olivia had bought for him to wear on Easter Sunday. I trudged up the stairs to our bedroom, sat on the bed. Olivia’s pearl necklace lay draped over her jewelry box, looking deceivingly like a smile full of brilliant white teeth. I thought of her wearing it, encircling her neck. And if I peered hard enough into that memory I could just make out those pearls dancing up and down in rhythm with her heartbeat as the blood pumped through her carotid arteries, delivering its life-sustaining payload of oxygen to its final destination, the brain. I sat there thinking of her, when she was alive. But mostly I cried.
    After some passage of time I heard the screen door slam. I twitched and rose off the bed, pulled almost magnetically to the foot of the stairs. I was confused because somehow Jake looked different, maybe older. And then I heard the words. He couldn’t have pushed her, though; he was playing in his room when she fell down the stairs. The dog’s growl escalated as his agitation increased. Something was going to happen, but I was powerless. I watched, from afar it seemed. The dog lunged at Jake, snapping his head back and forth, drawing rivers of blood from the boy’s neck. I screamed but the scene faded out of reach forever.
    When they found me, it was all questions, all the time. I told them what happened, but no one believed me. Yes, the dog spoke and yes he killed Jake. Yes, he told me that Jake pushed Olivia. Yes to all of it. And now they’re telling me I don’t even have a dog. Or a son. God, they’re so confused. And they keep calling me Jake.

  6. CeeC

    Bruce sat next to me on the deck at the back of our house. For once he was quiet, and that was fine with me. He knew I wasn’t in the mood to talk.
    Being his first owner who could hear him, and at the old dog age of 14, he has done nothing but share what was on his mind since he came to live with me and my family.
    But thankfully today, the day of my husbands funeral, he sensed I didn’t want to listen to what he had to say.

    He rested his wrinkly face on my black suit jacket, his eyes looked as sad as I felt. He looked so forlorn I forgot about the shambles my family was left in because of the accident and wanted nothing more than to make him feel better.

    “I know boy” I said quietly.

    “I’m going to miss him too.”

    He lifted his head and stared at me for a moment before replying.

    “Carol…” he said slowly, and I felt like I was getting the car crash phone call all over again. I didn’t feel good about what he was going to say.

    “You need to talk to Kate.”

    My 16 year old daughter, the love of her life taken from her 3 days ago, hasn’t budged from her room since.

    “I’ve tried….”

    “No Carol” Bruce interrupts me.

    “You have to. She thinks her father dying is her fault. She says she doesn’t want to live anymore.”

    The blood drained from my face

    “What? Why would she think that?”

    “Dan was headed out to get her ice cream.”

    My broken heart pieces shattered once more, my poor little girl.

    I just sat there looking at my dog.

    “Go” he said once more

    And I went to her.

  7. DCP186

    “Get up Mama. I gotta poo.” Anna’s brain went from the fog of sleep towards the familiar voice. He had his head resting on the side of Anna’s bed. “God, Puppy. Can’t you ever let me just wake up on my own. It’s Saturday. The kids are gone. What time is it anyway?” Anna tried to get her eyes to focus on the clock on her phone.

    “It’s 6:00. I sorry.”

    “No, you’re not. Never mind. I’m up.”

    Puppy put his huge paws on the side of Anna’s bed and hoisted himself up so he could rest his head on her chest. His love always made Anna smile. She stroked his head and kissed the top of his head. The affection made Puppy snuggle his head more into Anna’s chest.

    “Okay. Let’s go.” Anna said as she pushed him down and climbed out of bed.

    Puppy chattered nonstop while Anna washed her face, brushed her teeth, put on her workout clothes, made and ate her breakfast, and put on his leash for his morning walk. Anna was still sometimes surprised they now were dog owners.

    Anna’s boys – Michael age 14 and Brian age 11 – had made it their mission in life for the past three years to wear Anna down on the issue of getting a dog. Anna stood strong in her “no dog” stance until one night they showed Anna an ASPCA commercial. The one with a video montage of abused animals set to that sad song by the hippy chick singer whose name Anna could never recall. Anna did not know what was worse the horrors on the commerical or her kids’ mad manipulation skills. But just like that Anna realized that her reasons for not getting a dog held no justification to not helping an abused animal. So after meeting with several rescue organizations, Anna and the boys were the proud humans to a three year old, 95 pound, male, white American bulldog named Puppy. Within three hours of Puppy moving in, Anna discovered he could talk, and he spoke only to her. That was almost a year ago, and since that time Puppy had become he sweet boy and confidant. Anna loved him, early morning poo reports and all.

    The boys were at their Dad’s for the weekend so Anna had some much needed free time. Puppy knew free time meant Mama would take him an extra long walk. Anna always had a her first cup of morning coffee during Puppy’s walk. So off they went. Anna savoring her coffee while only half listening to Puppy. He had been blathering on and on about the digestive problems suffered by the German shepherd who had left the pile of poo Puppy had just spent several minutes smelling. When suddenly Puppy’s blathering caught Anna’s attention.

    “….so it was a nice surprise to have Michael and friends to play with three days last week? Anna snapped to full attention.

    “What did you say?”

    “I said that lately you have not been enjoying me as much as I think you should….”

    “Not that. The stuff about Michael.”

    “If I could finish, please. Since you have not been enjoying me lately it was a nice to have Michael and his friends home three days last week. Did you get me that as a gift?”

    “So Michael had friends over three days last week afterschool – right?”

    “Yea, afterschool….” and Anna started to calm down a little . .”and in the morning too.” Puppy added.

    “So you are saying that Michael skipped school three days last week?”

    “I did not see any skipping but he was home.”

    “Oh that boy is in so much trouble. I am going to ground him until he leaves for college.”

    “So Puppy got Michael in trouble Mama?”

    “Not exactly Puppy. He got himself in trouble. All you did was tell me.”

    “Oh. I sorry Mama.”

    “No, you’re not. You know Puppy, having you around to be my eyes is going to make it impossible for my kids to get away with anything. And to think, they were ones who made having you possible.” Anna smiled and kissed the top his head.

  8. Sapna

    “He meets his father every Saturday at Barnes and Noble,” says Mirza, my poodle. “His bigamist murderer father, I might add.”

    I clutch my heart and whisper, “How do you know that’s my ex-husband?”

    “I’ve seen that photo you keep in your bookshelf- the one you hide in your ‘Lonely Planet Guide’. I must say, I envy him for his piercings. And that Nepalese tattoo on his forehead. And that Guatemalan tattoo on his…”

    I hear the ‘Clang’ of a vessel fall and I’m falling too, as in a bad dream, spinning into oblivion. I’m falling down thirteen floors, I’m dying…

    I wake up in a private room at the Bellevue Hospital Centre. My nurse tries to convince me that I fainted in my kitchen from low blood pressure although I’m sure I fell out of the window. I argue vehemently.

    I’m awake for two hours before Safi walks in. Five years in jail haven’t done him much harm. He retains not only the pink scar on his wrist but also those cosy shoulders, biceps covered in tattoos, and his iron chest, which is hidden under a peach bush-shirt. Wild hair has grown over his lips and on his chin like bristles.

    He takes hesitant steps towards my bed. Wordlessly, he unbuttons his shirt and reveals the biggest tattoo on his chest- the outline of a red heart with black script: Aisha.

    I close my eyes and against my will, a tear rolls down.

    I want to hiss, “Why are you back?” Instead, I say, “Mirza can talk.”

    “Who is Mirza, my sweet?”

    “Zamil’s poodle!”

    “Aisha,” he sighs, “I heard about your road accident in Tokyo. Post-trauma hallucinations are normal…”

    I don’t hear the rest of his speech. My mind reels back to 1995, when I first met Safi. I’m the daughter of Jamal al Din, a real estate mogul in Upper East Side. Our family also owned a mid-sized travel agency. I started out as a tour guide and rose to managing director. Ours was not a conservative family and I never wore a burka. I spent my twenties in gusto rushing from Amazon to Alps. Until Abba discovered my secret marriage to a tattoo artist. After five years, he forgave me and funded for our apartment but then Safi got implicated in a lengthy court battle and was convicted for killing his lover, Rosa. I returned to Abba and Ammi with Zamil, my ten-month old son. I swore that Zamil should never meet Safi.

    “Why meet Zamil at Barnes and Noble?” I ask.

    “I introduced him to Mirza Ghalib. I want Zamil to be well read. I don’t want him to repeat his father’s mistakes.” I can feel the moisture in his eyes.

    “Zamil is very lonely, Aisha. You don’t understand how much he…”

    I want to listen but all I can think is- Am I going mad? Why did I hear Mirza talking? Was it a hangover, a hallucination or psychosis?

  9. Leagon

    “He’s lying,” Pierre said, head resting on his front paws as he watched his favorite soap opera – my life – unfold. I shot the dog a quick glance before turning back to my son.

    “What do you mean?”

    Pierre spoke first, “I mean that he looks like a kitten caught with the neighbor’s canary in his mouth.”
    Davie looked confused, but replied cooly. “I mean that my friends were doing it, and the smell probably stuck to me.”

    “Liar!” Pierre gasped. Of course, there was no audible gasp; there never was. I’d gotten accustomed to the fact that my Labrador-Pit Bull mix spoke fluent English, but it still made little sense to me that he never actually moved his mouth or made any noise. The words simply appeared in my head in his raspy and strangely flamboyant voice. “Pete, your little opossum here reeks of cigarettes and it’s not just his clothes. I don’t know why you people even have noses when they never work…”

    I studied my son. As the silence stretched, his right hand began fidgeting, fingers drumming on his thigh. “Are you sure?” I asked.

    Davie was quick to respond. “Yeah, Dad, I’m sure. I don’t understand why you’re acting like I did something wrong.”

    “Oh please, does a bear shit in the woods?” said Pierre, rising to his haunches. “Look, he’s even doing that wormy thing with his hands. What a terrible liar.”

    I sighed. “David, I know that you’re a good kid so I’m not gonna yell or threaten you… But I’m really disappointed. I’m disappointed that you would ignore all the things your mother and I have taught you and I’m very disappointed that you would come home and lie to my face like this. You’re better than this.”

    “Dad,” David’s face was all indignation, “are you serious, I’m not lying! I didn’t smoke anything. Paul had some friends around tha-…”

    A loud bark cut him off. Pierre had once condescendingly explained that barks and growls didn’t translate because I don’t speak dog, whatever that meant. This one had simply been a bark, and a particularly animalistic one at that. My dog sat upright and stone-faced staring directly at my son. Davie was visibly shocked and confused, staring back down at Pierre as if the dog was…well, as if he was speaking English.

    I broke the tension, “Davie, there’s honestly no use. I know you’re lying.”

    “Oh my lord! Dad, why don’t you trust me?” he said.

    The word “trust” punched me in the gut and for a second I wondered if Pierre’s nose was really enough evidence to convict my son with. How much of a difference could there really be between the smell of clothing smoke and lung smoke?

    I took a gamble. “You’re doing that thing with your hands, Davie.”

    Immediately, his hand froze. It was clear that he knew he was caught.

    The sound of Pierre grooming his privates was only drowned out by his wheezing laughter.

  10. Raeshel

    “Jan, Jan, Jan, Jan.”

    “What?” I groaned with my eyes closed trying to savor my last few moments of sleep. I pressed the side of my face deeper into my pillow. Silence. “What?” I asked again. I opened my eyes. My Parsons Russel Terrier was standing on his hind legs with both his front paws on the side bed rail so that his face was level with mine.

    “You won’t believe what our little Kingston did last night.” Our little Kingston referred to my 16 year old son who got a girlfriend and lost interest in the dog he creatively named Spot, months ago.

    “Oh please Spot, not right now, it’s 7am.”

    “7:02 and it’s Spotilius.”


    “Spotilius. I’ve changed my name, Spot was too . . .common.” He shook his head as if to shudder. I rolled my eyes. Not only did I find out that the dog I got to keep my kids out of my hair could talk and only talk to me, but he’s also a high maintenance sleuth with a false sense of importance.

    “Now where was I?” He continued, “Oh yes! After scouring through one hundred ‘l-o-ls’, fifty ‘t-t-y-ls’ and thirty ‘w-t-fs’, he really should watch his language you know, I finally hit the jackpot!

    “Spot, what are you talking about?”

    “It’s Spotilius and as I was saying, I found the smoking gun!,” He lowered his voice to a whisper, “The text read, ‘So much fun last night, I can’t believe we drank all that beer. I was so wasted.’” He then threw his head back in Southern Bell fashion, “Our little Kingston is drinking! Underage!”

    I sat up on my forearms and tried to make sense of it all. “Lols and ttyls? Wait a minute, you can read too?” I asked in irritated disbelief. It was bad enough I learned that he was a better decorator than me after I rearranged the living room on his advice, but now it seemed he was a more involved parent than me as well.

    Spot leaned back now seeming to stand a little taller.

    “Of course!” He snorted and then cocked his head to the side. “Did you think I was just a talking dog?”

  11. Deepthought0045

    I sat reading in my library in a big squishy brown leather chair. Enjoying the warmth of the fireplace in late August, the pages of my pleasure read turned slowly. I would say I was enjoying the peaceful solitude of the evening but I was in fact being kept company by a large bundle of grey hair that had taken up residence on the rug at my feet.

    The hair’s name was Dirk, and it was almost as big as a basketball player.

    The logs on the fire burned away with a merry crackle and somewhere down the hall a door slammed shut. Big footsteps hurriedly came down the hall, my son Jon passed by the doorway on his way out for the evening.

    “By Dad, thanks again’, he twirled a set of keys ’round his finger, “I’ll put some gas in it!”

    “Have fun,” I called at his retreating heels. The front door slammed at the end of the hall. “You know, he kind of reminds me of me at that age,” I joked, “Lots of enthusiasm.”

    “I love how naive you are Will,” muttered the big bundle of hair on the rug.

    “Did I ever mention that I don’t want to talk to you with other people in the house? It’s nothing personal, you know, I just don’t want people to get the’ –
    “Wrong idea.” The hair finished for me.
    “Exactly,” I chuckled. “Maybe I did mention it before.”
    “Can’t have them thinking you’re crazy,” the dog rumbled sarcastically.
    The clock on the mantle ticked.
    The wolfhound cocked a lazy eye at me through a wisp of long hair.
    I sighed, “So, why am I naive Dirk?”
    Dirk chuckled and yawned.
    “Nice cars attract nice girls, and Jon says the Mercedes is better for dates than his car.”
    I smiled behind my book. That sounds like something Jon would say.
    “I don’t see why that makes me naive. He’s 17, I kind of expect him to be going after girls. Besides, I’m feeling generous, Cabo did Leslie and me good, I’ll pass along my good mood.”

    Dirk made a noise like a shrug, “He also said he has to properly wine and dine them.”
    I turned the page in my book. “Oh?”
    “So have you checked the wet bar lately?”
    I closed my book, stood up, set the book on the table.
    “Naive… Thank you Dirk.” I strode out the library door.
    Generous good mood, that was a thing of the past.

  12. Tyger

    “She did it you know,” the dog said, tilting his head to the side and pointing into the bathroom with his nose.
    He was such an annoying creature, really, and I found myself staring at him with full contempt. I had been coerced into taking him in; pressured by the children and by what seemed to be all of pop-culture combined.

    They thought he was so cute as a pup in a box, so lovable and energetic. Of course they would feed him and he would stay small and cute forever. Instead, he grew large and did nothing all day but watch and make commentary about our lives, like the worst kind of sportscaster–incapable of playing the game but with endless ideas on how it should be played. Sometimes he would just sit in the corner of the kitchen and watch us, causing a great uneasiness to spread through the house.

    He was a scrawny dog now. His black fur, once shiny and soft, was matted and it hung down over his eyes in way that made him appear oblivious. I had resisted all suggestions to groom him. I wanted his eyes to be covered as much as possible. Still, even with the hair, there was little he missed.

    “Stop staring at me,” I said. “I can see what happened.”

    The floor of the bathroom was covered with tissue paper. It was piled nearly to the height of the toilet. If the three-year-old had actually done it, she had done fine work indeed. Fast work. Somehow, I still suspected the dog, and I wanted it to be him.

    “I’ll bet it was you, actually,” I said to the dog. “You’re the one who’s had all the time today to do nothing but evil.”

    “No, certainly not,” the dog replied. “Wouldn’t the paper be all wet if I had done it. I watched her do it. I saw it with my own eyes.”

    I hated it when he was logical, when he tried to reason with me. He was just an animal and yet he could draw me in with the slightest turn of phrase. He knew what he was doing, and the resentment I had for him was growing into an almost unbearable swell. I knew he would have to go away soon. I had already begun to wonder if it shouldn’t be in some horrible way.

  13. jody222

    “Star light, star bright, I wish I may, I wish I might,” Phillip said. His tongue was hanging out the side of his mouth again and I was surprised I was able to make out his words so clearly.
    “What are you wishing for?” I asked.
    “I’d love a ham sandwich,” Phillip said. He turned to look at me. His eyes sparkling as they caught the moonlight.
    “Too bad you gave up your wish on a sandwich,” I said and smiled as I put my plate on the ground. I’d only taken a few bites of my ham sandwich but was happy to give the rest to my friend.
    Phillip walked over and grabbed a mouthful of whole wheat, ham, cheese and mayo. Swallowing quickly my snack disappeared in less than thirty seconds.
    “Did you even taste it?” I said laughing.
    “Good as always,” Phillip said licking his chops. “Were you thinking of another?”
    “I wasn’t going to bother, but if you think you need one,” I said as I stood up and walked into the kitchen.
    “What’s got your tummy grumbling today?” I asked.
    Phillip followed me into the kitchen and sat next to my feet. He stared at the fridge as I prepared his meal on the counter above his head.
    “I shouldn’t tell you what Lila is doing, but you know I can’t help myself,” Phillip said sighing. For a golden lab he’s quite extraordinary.
    He’s the guardian of the house, our home and he’s the babysitter I had always hoped to have but certainly didn’t expect to get when I’d gone to the pound to pick out a puppy.
    Phillip can talk. But he chooses only to speak to me for some odd reason. At first I was sure I was going crazy but when life continued and I got used to his chatter I learned to accept it and together we watched over my two boys and my little girl.
    Somedays I thought Ben, my late husband must have sent Phillip to me. Being a single mom is not an easy job.
    “What is Lila up to now?” I asked casually.
    “She’s a sweet one, but she’s clever,” Phillip said.
    “Oh dear, it starts that way does it?” I said.
    “She’s got the Olsen boys fluttering about her,” Phillip said.
    “She does. I know,” I said. “Little girls are only women in smaller shoes.”
    “Well, she’s talked one boy, the youngest, into kissing her in front of his older brother to make him jealous,” Phillip said. He tilted his head back to see my expression.
    “Well isn’t the older Olsen boy too old for Lila?” I asked. I couldn’t quite remember how old the boys were now.
    “Depends,” Phillip said. “Are we talking dog years or human years?”
    “Human years,” I said. I nudged Phillip with my foot. “Your sandwich is ready.”
    “I don’t think he’s too old for her,” Phillip stood up and followed me back out onto the deck. We sat in the quiet for a few minutes taking in the warm still night around us.
    “She shouldn’t be playing mind games,” I said.
    “She’s only doing what comes naturally,” Phillip said.
    “I’m thinking you didn’t really want this sandwich after all,” I said.
    “Sorry, didn’t mean it,” Phillip said. He turned his pearly canine’s in my direction, his grin a bit grotesque as it stretched his lips over his fangs.
    “Here,” I said holding the plate out from where I sat, “take it.”
    “Thank you,” Phillip said.
    “I guess I will have a talk with Lila,” I said. “But can you do something for me Phil?”
    “Anything,” Phillip said through a mouthful.
    “If that older Olsen boy shows up here…maybe take a bite outta his britches for me,” I said. We both laughed.
    “I can do that,” Phillip said.
    Chuckling I put my feet up on the other chair in front of me and closed my eyes. Feeling the solid foundation of home around me.

      1. linfady

        Some nice discussion. Count how many times you wrote “Phillip said” and “I said.” How many of them could you omit? Maybe you could show their discussion without most of them?

  14. Rachel

    Joan returns from her Saturday morning Zumba class and looks around the house upon entering. Not too shabby she says aloud as she walks into the kitchen noting each room she passes is reflective of her families’ hasty exit for their respective days activities.

    “I’m home!” She calls out just in case to the quiet of the house. “Anyone?”

    She opens the fridge to grab a bottle of water and remembers the puppy. Oh crap she thinks as she runs to the mudroom. Oliver is sitting soundless and regal in his crate while looking up through the ventilation slats. He’s just as cute as the day they brought him home ten months before.

    “Poor baaaby!” Joan exclaims as she unlatches the door and he walks out stretching each leg as he moves with his little Pomeranian yawn.

    “Come on Ollie, come on baby.” Joan says to him as she makes her way to the door leading to the backyard. “Outside.” She holds the door open for him to go out and just as he gets to the frame, he stops to release a widening puddle that glistens from the outside sun.

    “Oliver!” She yells at him with frustration and rubs his nose in it. “ Bad boy, bad dog!!”

    She rises to grab paper towels from the holder above the washing machine while thinking about how much the kids had wanted and begged for him. Of course, she was the one to take care and clean up after him. Suddenly she stops and stares as Oliver sits up while cocking his head side to side.

    “I really hate when you do that.” Oliver states matter of factly.

    Joan stands stunned with the towels still in her hand as Oliver wipes a paw to his nose.

    “I couldn’t hold it anymore and then you want to rub my face in it? Gross!” He says bringing his snout up haughtily.

    “I’m sorry?” Joan replies meekly.

    “I was in there forever and diin’t know when anyone would come get me. I heard you calling out and knew you would hurry cuz they don’t care.”

    Joan is now strangely aware that she isn’t afraid and bends down to take him outside so he could finish his business. Oliver jumps up on the pool lounge where Joan is waiting for him and rests his chin on her lap.

    “I don’t like when you watch me potty too.” He says still hurt.

    “You know, your puppies pee out the windows and you don’t rub their faces in it, I at least try to go outside.” He now boasts very childlike.

    “Oh Oliver, my big boy. I didn’t realize. I am truly sorry”

    “They put me in a box and slide me down the stairs, which is scary.” His eyes bulge, as the busybody in him grows excited. “They make me wait to potty and eat when only your home”

    “Reeeally” Joan says with collaborative triumph. “I think we are going to make a great team Ollie.”

  15. A Lady 2

    “Listen there’s something you need to know…”

    “Oh my God!” Sandy exclaims, slamming her body back deeper into the cushions of the recliner, “you, you can talk!”

    Stuttered speech and expletives where charging through her head like an angry literary stampede.

    “Um, yes” Rufus reluctantly states, “like I said, there’s something…”

    “What the hell is in these girl scout cookies?” Sandy croaked out tossing the box and remnants on the nearby couch.

    Rufus eyed them temptingly.

    “So does that mean you’re done with them?”

    Ropes of saliva liquidized instantly.

    “Can he…?” Sandy shifted her eyes to the body of a snoring Winston, the other family basset.

    “Sensitive soul that he is, no, he’s limited to typical doggie things. Eating trash, pooping, sleeping, eating trash…” Rufus’ statement trailed off as he considered the lump in the corner.

    “Are you God?” the befuddled owner asked, perching herself higher up the back of the recliner and away from Rufus.

    “Um, no, Rufus”

    “Because if you are…”

    “Why in God’s name would you think I’m…God?”

    If Rufus had eyebrows one would be raised in question.

    “Moses, burning bush, God spoke to him, you’re the burning bush aren’t you?”

    “Um, no sweetheart the only burning bush around here is your kid’s.” Rufus sucked in his jowls and stared at her pointedly.


    “There’s a good girl…you, not Maggie.”

    “Burning bush…” realization began to creep in her eyes.

    “Ointments’ in the shoe box in her closet.” Rufus stating more or less to the carpet, “Found it while I was looking for a shoe.”

    Now it was Sandy’s turn to raise her eyebrow in question.

    “Hey, I might be a talking dog, but I still like the feel of leather on the ol’ gums.” Rufus ran his tongue along his K-9s. “Took me a week to feel clean again, no matter how much I scrubbed my nose on the carpet.

    Rufus shuddered in disgust.

    “So I have a germaphobic talking dog.” Sandy said in disbelief, “Than who drinks out of the…”


    “Screw this.” Sandy exclaims as she jumped out of the chair, “I’ll deal with you later.”

    Sandy stubbed her shoe on the doorjamb and turned around as if suddenly remembering something.

    “How is it that you can talk?” the glossy paint of the molding felt cool against her hand as she stood there holding breath she didn’t know she was holding.

    “Spider bite” Rufus states for lack of a better explanation.

    “A what?!”

    “Jeesh woman, it’s a…nothing…Maggie”

    “Right” Sandy trips over herself as she dashes up the stairs to her unsuspecting daughter.

  16. Natalie

    The house was peaceful; a classic Wednesday afternoon in September. Husband at work, kids at school. Kitchen clean, counters and living room both freed from the mischellaneous objects lying around that can only be explained by two teenagers. Ah. These are the afternoons a busy mother desires and craves. A peaceful house, just for a few hours. To stay clean and quiet, just for a few hours.

    It was in these stolen afternoon hours that I would usually paint in the sunroom. The scratch of my old bristly-haired brushes against the canvas was the most controllable and relaxing sound I could think of. There in the sunroom, with my easel and my sweet afternoon sun. Those were the days, more rejuvinating than even the best of naps.

    Then we got Basil.

    What is Basil, you may ask? Basil is a plant, yes. But he is also our recently acquired Australian Shepherd mix. Mixed with…who knows what. A homeless human, probably. Firework shy; he somehow ended up in our private, fenced-in backyard after all the fourth of July festivities this summer. My son actually found him the next morning, curled up in the hydrangeas. He was a mess. For being from such a gorgeous breed, he had a strange, messy air about him. If he were a human; he’d be dredlocked and “organic”, with a few liberal phrases to rant about I’m sure. Of course my son loved him immediately, and I couldn’t argue that we had gone dog-less for quite a while. But this dog? Really? Sigh. Why my son named him Basil, I can only guess. Probably for simple lack of a better word but he must have been thinking of food as well, considering that is our most used herb when cooking.

    Basil settled in quickly and quietly, sleeping in my son’s room and moving about the house as if he had been there for years. I have to admit, I didn’t mind his company. Though he still looked like a war veteran gone hippie, his presence was nice. He was calm, especially for an Australian Shepherd mix, and watchful.

    I had gotten used to his company in the afternoons; he being lazy while I painted or did things around the house. It was strange, but I almost felt like he was observing everything I did, with an intelligent eye. He would stare at my canvas with me while I sat back and thought about colors, and detail. He would squint his eyes a little bit even, like I did sometimes.

    That Wednesday afternoon, Basil came into the sunroom where I was painting, per our usual routine. He hopped up onto the ottoman and curled into a neat ball, sighing as he found his spot. I was standing, brush in hand, staring at my half-painted canvas, stuck on the current acrylic project before me.

    “You might want to take a break from it, if you have no idea what you want to do next.”

    I swung around wildly, looking for the man’s voice that just spoke.

    “…What?? Who’s there? Where are you??” I was more than confused.

    “Sigh. Over here, on the ottoman. I’ve been here every day for almost two months now.”

    I just stared.

    Basil was looking at me with patient eyes, but he was clearly a little irritated.

    “Don’t get me wrong, I really like this one. I like that you’re doing this painting as a panoramic, I don’t think I’ve seen one of yours like that before. Also, the landscape you’ve chosen is just beautiful. Greece, is it? For your friend, whatshername, I remember her talking about it here one day. Oh, she’ll just love it. But you’ve obviously reached a tough point, you’ve been standing there for at least half an hour that I’ve noticed. You should put it down, maybe do something else for a little while. You’ll only get more frustrated if you keep standing there, staring your canvas down.”

    I kept staring at him. Maybe my blood sugar was low.

    “Oh, and I have to tell you, I mean, I’ve been itching to talk so I might as well, that your son smokes pot.”

    “What? No he doesn’t, I would know.” Even if my blood sugar was low, I had to address this.

    “Well… he does. Sorry.” He didn’t seem very sorry.

    “And how would you know this? You’re a dog.” It came out a little more incredulously than intended.

    “I would know this…because I’ve seen it. He does it in his room. He blows the smoke right into my face. I’m an AUSTRALIAN SHEPHERD mix, come’on, since when are those dogs calm??”

    He had a good point.

  17. BadTongue

    Sitting on the front porch watching the sun go down with my dog used to be one of my favorite things to do in the world. Now it seems almost more exhausting at times than really any other part of the day. Today, Jake was telling me all about the cars that went by our house. This was typical of him considering he is a dog.

    “Blue Corvette. That’s nice! I would totally chase that.” Irritating as ever.

    “I would have thought that with the ability to talk you would have become a little bit smarter.”

    He looked towards me. He was a medium sized Golden Retriever that could have passed off as any other normal dog except for some reason i was able to hear him speak. “You know John, dogs are supposed to be man’s best friend. You aren’t making this very easy for me.”

    “Since when were dogs so sarcastic? Whatever happened to ‘loyal’ or ‘quiet’ for that matter?”

    The dog began laughing, which seemed seriously odd. Almost nightmarish in a sense. Ever since he started speaking to me, i had been drinking more and more alcohol as of late, trying to blame this obscure occurrence on valid substance. It wasn’t exactly working well, and it was beginning to affect my family life.

    “Hey! Hey, John!” To make it worse, the dog had a habit of constantly ‘talking’.

    “What! What do you want from me!” I turned towards Jake to find he had a ball in his mouth. “You want to play fetch now, huh?” The idea of getting rid of the dog was extremely tempting, but the wife and kids would never be okay with it. The dog nodded its head.

    “Fwogh mwuh bagh!”

    “Don’t talk with your mouth full.”

    “THROW MY BALL!!” He spit out the tennis ball. The dog looked as if he was barking, except words were coming out. Never had i realized exactly how demanding canines were until a couple months ago.

    “Alright, fine-”


    Silently, I mumbled curses to myself. Best to wear him out some so he goes to sleep. Maybe then i could get some peace and quiet. Chucking the tennis ball across the yard, i can see Jake sprint after it and through some of the garden, wrecking some of my wife’s favorite flowers. “Jeez…”

    I tried to just close my eyes and drift off into an alternate reality. One that seemed way more realistic than the one i was in now. When i opened my eyes. Jake was sitting back on the front porch with a bag in his mouth.

    “What’s that Jake?”

    “Muhrf.” Not exactly the smartest dog.

    “Give it here, buddy.” The bag looked like it was full of white crystals. It was ziploc of course. “What…”

    “Meth,” the dog repeated, confident in his duty as a pet, “I found it. It smells like your wife.”

    Your palm found its way to your forehead almost immediately. What!? There’s no way your wife was a junkie! It just wasn’t possible. Maybe she was selling it? No.


    “What? You know I’m right.”

  18. TristansMind

    “Hey Tom, hey Tommy! Tommy Tommy! Hey!” repeated Buck.
    “Shut up Buck, please for God’s sake, just shut up for once! Just be a normal dog and just, just, sit there!” I yelled.

    I then resumed watching the television and once I glanced over to Buck his ears droop down and stares at me with large wide eyes. He wants me to love him again, to pet him and not be angry with him anymore. I submit and proceeded to rub his head in which he thoroughly enjoyed.

    “Oh yes, yes! Love me! Wait, wait, rub me under my chin, do it please! Oh man, yes. Oh I love it!” Buck exclaimed.

    This has always been disturbing to me, so I always try to ignore his, uhm, his enjoyment.

    “Oh man, this is so great, so much better than Jake! Oh ye- What, wait, why’d you stop?”
    “Who’s Jake, Buck?” I commanded.
    “Oh Jake, oh yes, Jake is Chrissy’s friend who comes over around uhm, I don’t know, before you come home almost every day! He’s nice, I like him a lot. He rubs my belly each time I bark when he comes over. I guess I should stop barking since I know him now, but it’s almost like a game! Oh I love games. We should play that game Tommy!”

    My eyes are wide and my heart started to race with thoughts. My parental instincts start to kick in.

    “No I will not. Chrissy. MY Chrissy, Buck, is only 15 years old. Why is there a boy coming over every day? Why Buck? What do they do?”
    “Oh I don’t know, she usually kicks me out of the room after a while. She usually just laughs and howls, but I thought that was silly, no one was blowing my whistle. For her to howl is silly, I don’t know, maybe it was a project in school about dogs! Ha ha, that’s just silly. He also howls a little bit, but it was more li-”
    “Shut up Buck!” I shouted.

    My rage is becoming out of hand and Chrissy isn’t home right now. Perhaps confronting her would make her assume I’m skipping work and watching her like some paranoid father. No I can’t let a young teenager lose trust in her father. I know what to do.

    “Hey Buck. Do me a favor buddy. Next time Jake comes over, I want you to bite him as hard as you can on his hands and butt. Keep doing it until he leaves the house please. I know he’s your friend, but if you do this, I’ll be sure to pet you and rub your belly everyday! Everyday until you can’t take it anymore! Sound good buddy?”
    “Oh yes, yes that sounds amazing, oh yes! I love you Tommy, this is too good to be true, oh man!” He exclaims.

    I started to beam and think of the coming events. In the meanwhile I pat and rub Buck’s head and he continues his rants of enjoyment. Then suddenly he starts coughing and gagging. I ask him what’s the problem and he just keeps coughing until finally he just throws up. Something reflects the sunlight in the vomit.

    “Oh I forgot I ate that! Hm, but where is the chew toy?” Buck wondered.

    I looked closely and it seems to be a corner of some foil with the letters ‘TROJ’ on it.

    “Oh well, I’ll just wait until you walk me Tommy!”

    I hate you Buck.

  19. claud seal

    “Did you know Jeff pees in the corner of the back yard fence?”
    “No, I didn’t,” my mouth said without giving it a second thought. Then my brain engaged, the boys are in the back yard, and Sandra is shopping. So who’s talking?
    I looked up from the newspaper and there sat Butch, our new dog. His steady gaze was unnerving. “And that’s not all they do when you and your wife aren’t looking,” dog lips said.
    Gotcha, I thought. Your lips moved. The higher pitched voice came from the DOG’S MOUTH! Yeah, I thought. He’s talking, to me, a dog, is talking to me. Brain said, “there’s NO WAY a dog is talking to ME!”
    “All right,” I addressed Butch, “I’ll play along with you.” Something’s going wrong with my imagination. “What are they doing right now?”
    “One moment,” Butch replied, and trotted to the back door and quickly returned. “They’re using their BB Guns to shoot at butterflies. The BBs are hitting the neighbor’s window behind your house.”
    “I don’t believe this.” I said as I jumped up and ran to the back door. Sure enough, both of my sons are shooting at butterflies hovering around flowers, and I could barely see BBs flying into my neighbor’s glass splintered window.
    I was halfway out the door when Butch said, “Excuse me while I go out and take a pee. Your toilets are too high for me to use. We can talk later, if you like. And, I have some things I would like to tell your wife, too when she gets home…in private.”
    I’m thinking, boys, you may be getting a new dog to replace Butch, VERY SOON!

  20. Nathan Albro

    I felt I could have been in any one of several Dean Koontz books as my Golden sat next to me on the front porch; we were discussing the comings and goings of the local suburbanites. When we first got Barron he was a disastrously cute bundle of joy that mauled most of the furniture to death and it wasn’t until nearly three years later that he began to talk. Not in the obnoxiously cute way that owners get their dog’s to make sounds that mimic “I love you” or “mama”. Barron talked in English with a British accent and only to me. I’ve come to accept this.

    Barron eyed Mrs. Harris as she jogged along the sidewalk. “I’ve heard that she’s been having an affair with Davidson down the street,” said Barron. Mrs. Harris was jogging at a slow methodical pace to make sure that all the guys would notice. “She’s a rather attractive woman, fit, and how well she fills out that sports bra. Just look at the shape of those …”

    “Barron! I’m not interested in discussing Mrs. Harris. Mindy is all I need and I don’t need to have an image of some other woman jogging in my mind.”

    Barron lay on the floor and looked up at me with his brown dog eyes. “My apologize Master. I did not mean to suggest that you and your wife would ever…well, you know.”

    “It’s alright. Good boy,” I said while patting Barron’s head. He wagged his tail.

    “That would be the best for the kids anyway. I’m sure the two of you need all the help you can get raising those little devils.” Barron sat back up and turned towards me. “Sarah is turning into an extraordinary young woman. She has the eyes of all the young gentlemen. In fact, just this last weekend she went on a date.”

    I gave Barron a curious look.

    “She has you fooled now, doesn’t she? You know how she was supposed to go to a church slumber party last Saturday? She didn’t. I saw her walk down the street wearing a jacket to cover up her little cute outfit and wait for her date to pick her up.”

    “How do you know these things?” I asked.

    “I heard her talking on the phone one night. Told her friend Amanda that she was going on a date and that she fooled you and Mindy. Tricked you into thinking that she was going to an all girls slumber party at the church.” Barron circled three times before finding a comfortable position on the floor. “Don’t worry too much. She ended staying the night with Amanda.”

    “I’m not worried. Amanda’s mom told us what happened.” I scratched behind Barron’s ear. “It happens that church is starting a city renovation project and they need volunteers. Sarah has the next three weeks of her summer vacation free and gladly volunteered herself – after mom and I had a conversation with her about her slumber party.”

    1. Sapna

      I liked this story the best- it is complete in itself and both Barron and his master are memorable characters. Look foward to reading more of your work; I thoroughly enjoyed it.

  21. CompactDragon

    This being my first posting I would like to apologize for the missed “like” instead of “lick” – …reaches out to lick my hand…” I thought of, wrote, and posted in about five minutes time. Guess I should re-re-recheck… 🙂

    And, I had no idea the bogus (thankfully!) link would be turned into a link! Anyone know how to prevent that??

    1. Nathan Albro

      I’m not sure if there is a way to prevent the URL from showing up as a link. However, since the link was in dialog you could do something like “Check out Sarah’s profile SexySarahNM01 at Hidingteens dot com.” I assume the dog, Scrapper, isn’t literally saying “htpp://” anyway.

      1. CompactDragon

        For the record: My submission just had http://www... – but you are correct, and even more so, “Check out sexy sarah n m zero one at w w w hiding teens dot com.”

        Thanks for your feedback. 🙂

        – CD

  22. CompactDragon

    Finally! I’m sitting down to get some more writing done…and in walks Scrapper.

    “Hi Scrapper. What’s up, buddy?”

    Being the highly intelligent mutt that he is, Scrapper sits with the patient look of a monk. But the facial expression gives him away – he has something to tell me. Looking around pointedly at the door then back at me, Scrapper sighs.

    “Well close the door if it is that important.” Sometimes I wish we’d gone with a cat.

    Scrapper casually gets up, walks to the edge of the door, and pushes it to closing. As the door swings, he even turns and bumps it with his hip to speed up the closing process. Now I wished I’d closed it myself. After the click signals the door is completely shut Scrapper returns to his previous position next to me. Looking up with eyebrows raised, Scrapper says, “Remember the rule about having any on-line sites you were not aware of…?”

    This is the umpteenth conversation I’ve had with Scrapper. It wasn’t until after about the tenth that I didn’t need a shot of whiskey or zanex in order to make it through the conversation. Scrapper’s vocabulary was amazing – after you get past the whole MY DOG TALKS part…

    “Yes.” My mind is steeled for whatever comes next.

    “Check out” Scrapper finally drops the monk act and pants like a normal dog knowing it makes him look as though he is laughing. He even wags his tail and reaches out to like my hand before going to the door, opening it (thanks to the lever-type handles he explained many moons ago he needed) and leaves with a backward glance, his expression, “Sorry…sucks to be you.”

    Sarah, my 16 year old, had started acting rebellious of late. The URL Scrapper gave me actually told me more than I wanted to know. With shaking hands I type in the link that will most likely change my life. Sometimes I wonder if our desire for faster web speeds is wise. I hit enter. When the page opens…

    …I promptly faint.

    – – f i n i – –

  23. SkSarah

    Being a single parent is never easy. Long days at work trying to pay the bills that keep them fed and clothed. And we have a dog – a german shepard that my kids begged and begged to get. “Oh we’ll take such good care of him!” they swore. “We’ll feed him and take him on long walks and give him baths and life will be great!” That lasted almost a full month. Now in addition to 3 kids I have a dog the size of small horse constantly underfoot, needing to be fed and cleaned up after.

    When I got home from work the house was a disaster. My 16 year old was locked in her bedroom with her music blaring, yakking on the phone and ignoring me. My 14 year old left a note on the fridge that he was hanging out at a friend’s tonight and the 8 year old had trashed the kitchen with some sort of chemistry experiment.

    I settled into my favorite easy chair with Sam the dog underfoot as usual. “Bills, bills, bills” I said out loud to no one in particular as I flipped through the mail. To my surprise a voice responded, “Ha! Those are the least of YOUR problems lady!” I started and looked around the room. “Hello?” I called out. No answer. If someone was there surely Sam would let me know, but he just sat there with his tongue lolling out and a big doggy grin on his face. “You know what Sam? I think I’m losing my mind. I’m hearing voices and talking to a dog.”

    “Yeah under most circumstances that’s pretty crazy” said Sam. That’s right. I said “said SAM.” The dog friggin talked! I jumped out of my chair and spun around. “This isn’t funny kids!” I shouted and looked back at Sam. “Relax” he said. “A talking dog is the least of your worries.” That was the second time he’d said something about the least of my worries.

    “Ok” I said. “If I’m losing my mind then let’s ride the crazy train all the way to the station. What SHOULD I be worried about then?”

    Sam grinned. “Well, Jenna has been inviting her boyfriend over after school. That girl could teach me a thing or 2 about doggystyle! And Tim is hanging out with friends tonight – smoking pot. And Jake has been suspended from school for beating up other kids and stealing lunch money. Oh, and you cleaned up his bomb making experiment in the kitchen earlier.”

    I sat back down in my overstuffed chair, barely able to breathe. I wonder if it would be possible to keep the dog and drop the kids off at a shelter?

    1. CompactDragon

      Well done! I’m so glad I didn’t read yours prior to writing mine…I think I would have been tempted to go with the dropping off the kids. LOL. Maybe that should be a writing prompt. 😉

  24. Writergurl

    I wake up and stretch out like a reverse cat arching my back while bringing my knees up. Luckily I’m low enough in the bed to have my arms above my head. It feels good. I relax my body and after a few minutes I realize the house is quiet, too quiet for a Saturday morning. Husband is gone. Kids are gone as well. Lucky me I smile and think until I hit the floor tripping over Beagle the Beagle getting out of bed. He acts unscathed. My elbow hurts.

    He blinks.

    “What?” I snap.

    “Well, good morning to you too.”

    I really want to slap some sense into this dog. His sarcasm is a bit much after my tumble to the floor because of him. I roll my eyes, get up and continue to my destination able to close the door before he reaches it.

    “Why didn’t someone take him?” I say out loud.

    “I can hear you. As a warning, I am right outside the door.”

    “Figures,” I utter.

    Who would believe me if I told them Beagle talks? Who would they lock up me or him? Yeah, right. It would be off to the Looney Bin for me. And, he would continue living his life until his next victim arrived.

    I flush, open the door, there he stands.

    “Well, at least you’re standing this time.” I walk past him.

    “I thought it would be kind of me to save you the second trip to Carpets-Ville.

    You irritating little bastard. I roll my eyes at him and if I didn’t know any better, I would say he is smirking. Although he could be, he is talking.

    “I’m going for coffee. Did anyone walk you before they left?” I grab my latest read hoping he will get the hint that I really wish not to talk right now. He never does.

    “Funny you should ask. Your second born son did.”

    My second born son has a name.

    I continue down the stairs remaining calm feeling like the crazy lady with the talking dog.

    “We need to talk about him.”

    I turn to realize he waited until I was at a point on the staircase where we would be eye to eye before he spoke that.

    Smart Dog, I would never say this out loud; he is also a bit arrogant.

    “Alexander gambles.”

    “What did you say?”

    His expression says, I didn’t stutter, you heard me. I continue on to the kitchen as if I did not see or hear him.

    “What, you don’t believe me?” He has the nerve to sound annoyed.

    “I don’t believe you’re here in the kitchen talking to me.”

    “And, he seems to have a problem. I have witnessed this on more that one occasion.”

    Arms folded, I stare at Beagle in disbelief.

    The kitchen door closes, I jump and turn. Alexander is standing there smiling dressed in new jeans, a new authentic Raiders jersey, and the latest Nike’s.

    Nothing I bought.

    Beagle walks away.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.