Tag Archives: dogs

A Dog’s Tale #FlashFictionFriday

I used to spend a lot of time in the backyard, howling. What can I say? I was young and impulsive in those days.

However, Dave bought me this new collar, which, while it’s nice to look at, has an inherent flaw. It becomes terribly uncomfortable when I howl or announce the arrival of that vandal who shoves trash through the slot in our door. He seems to be targeting our house. Since I can no longer yell at him to go away, I nip at his fingers through the slot. But he’s crafty now and doesn’t get close enough for me to do any damage.

I’m not complaining, though. I’m no different than any other girl. I’m quite partial to jewelry, but more importantly, I’m a responsible man owner. Since Dave is my human, I always show my appreciation for his thoughtfulness, even though he has no idea what sort of collar I’d really like. It’s the thought that counts.

Caring for a pet human teaches a dog to be patient and adaptable. Humans have a compulsion to keep redecorating their nests, and no amount of scolding on your part will change it—it’s the way humans are. Sure, it’s annoying to discover they have changed things around just when you finally had things arranged the way you like it. But putting up with trivial annoyances is part of the job of owning a pet.

Dave is no different than any other human, and it’s one habit I’ve been unable to train him out of. I don’t think he understands that the new cover he puts on the sofa when he leaves is not comfy at all. It buzzes and zaps me, so I just give up trying to get comfortable and sleep on the floor.

Dave seldom puts me in the kennel when he’s gone, the way some humans do. Bonzo, the dachshund from next door, spends all day in his kennel, which his human bought specially for him. Bonzo doesn’t like it but is too polite to complain as it was a gift. And there again, it’s the thought that counts. I’m only asked to sleep in mine when Dave and that woman have a sleep-over.

It took a while, but I have Dave pretty well trained now. He’s loyal, and never forgets to feed me, and he has never once left me alone in the car on a hot day. It’s a good life.

I’m feeling sleepy now, so I’ll just go nap by the front door, and wait for the vandal. He shows up nearly every day just before noon. Today, if he’s careless, maybe I’ll finally draw blood, and he’ll stop throwing trash into our house.


The Dog’s Tale, © Connie J. Jasperson, 2017-2018

This little bit of flash fiction was inspired by the above photo, found on Wikimedia Commons and first appeared here Feb 03, 2017.

Image: Pomeranian, By Chunbin (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

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#FlashFictionFriday: The Dog’s Tale

I used to spend a lot of time in the backyard, howling. What can I say? I was young and impulsive in those days.

However, Dave bought me this new collar, which, while it’s really nice to look at, has an inherent flaw. It becomes terribly uncomfortable when I howl or announce the arrival of that vandal who shoves trash through the slot in our door. He seems to be targeting our house. Since I can no longer yell at him to go away, I nip at his fingers through the slot. But he’s crafty now and doesn’t get close enough for me to do any damage.

I’m not complaining, though. I’m no different than any other girl. I’m quite partial to jewelry, and since Dave is my human, I always show my appreciation for his thoughtfulness, even though he has no idea what sort of collar I’d really like. It’s the thought that counts.

However, I hope he understands that the new cover he puts on the sofa when he leaves is not very comfy at all. It buzzes and zaps me when I step on it, so I have to sleep on the floor. At least he doesn’t put me in the kennel when he’s gone, the way some humans do. Bonzo, the dachshund from next door, spends all day in his kennel. I’m only forced to sleep in mine when Dave and that woman have a sleep-over.

It took a while, but I have Dave trained pretty well now. He’s a considerate man, and never forgets to feed me, and he has never once left me alone in the car on a hot day. It’s a good life.

I’m feeling sleepy now, so I’ll just go nap by the front door, and wait for the vandal. He shows up nearly every day just before noon. Today, if he’s careless, maybe I’ll finally draw blood, and he’ll stop throwing trash into our house.

pomeranian-tb2


The Dog’s Tale, © Connie J. Jasperson, 2017

This little bit of flash fiction was inspired by the above photo, found on Wikimedia Commons.

Image: Pomeranian, By Chunbin (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

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Romeo, Where for art thou?

I’ve gained a dog.

I wasn’t looking for one, and I certainly didn’t need one.  I had a full day of editing planned, and was eager to get home and get to work.

I was driving down a rural road here in Thurston County, MacDuff Road.  It’s a 50 mph highway out in the middle of nowhere with few houses. It is known for its twists and turns and at one point crosses the main north-south train-tracks for the west-coast, which is a very busy set of tracks.

I waited for the long cargo train to go by and as soon as the crossing arms were raised I crossed the tracks and made the curve toward my little town.  As I came around the corner I saw what I thought was a puppy, running down the road, quite upset and distraught. I stopped and opened my passenger side door.  He wanted to jump in, but the car was too high, so I walked around the car and lifted him in.

He was not a puppy, but was a full-grown Wire-haired Dachshund.  He crawled into my lap, and we drove into town.

My town is quite small.  We have 1 vet, and they didn’t recognise him, but they gave me collar and leash for him and I bought a flea-pill for $19.99.  They also told me he needs to be neutered, and is about a year old.  He appears to be a purebred.

The vet’s assistant and I named him Romeo, because he loves everyone. We looked to see if he had a chip, and he didn’t, and then we posted his photo on the internet.  Then the gal at the vet’s told me MacDuff road is where a lot of people from Olympia and Rochester drive out to, just to abandon their pets when they can’t take them to a new house, or simply don’t want them any more.  “Usually they end up dead along that road,” she said. “He was lucky you saw him.”

Next we went to the Pet Supply store and although they didn’t recognise him either, they posted his picture.  I bought a crate, and other supplies, to the tune of $99.00.  That was after they donated a bag of kibbles to his upkeep.

Romeo is a sweet dog.  He takes grandma for a walk four times a day – or maybe he’s taking her for a drag, I don’t know.  I haven’t gotten this much exercise since my week babysitting Logan.

Not a lick of work was done yesterday, but many licks of love were received!

In only 24 hours we’ve settled into a sort of a routine, Romeo and I.   Today is saturday and I plan to put up a batch of marmalade, and then get down to the business of editing that wonderful MS which lurks in my office.

Having Romeo to force me outdoors for walkies can only help with clearing the cobwebs from my mind.  If someone does claim him, I think I will be sad.  I’ve become attached to the little guy!

In two weeks, if he hasn’t been claimed I will have him back to the vets for shots, and the dreaded neutering. We will have him licensed and ‘chipped’ so he won’t ever be a lost dog again.

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Lascaux Flash Fiction, Dogs and Truman Capote

The Lascaux Flash Fiction contest is well underway, and the entries are just awesome.  They give you an image and tell you have 250 words to make a story – and the stories people have submitted are simply awesome.  I’ve been entertained all weekend by reading the entries as they post them.  The Olympia Writers Group, of which I am a member, have so far turned in 3 entries.  Alison DeLuca has also turned in an entry.  You can read all these wonderful entries at http://www.lascauxflash.com and I highly recommend it!

It’s amazing to me that we are already in September. The summer went by so fast I hardly had time to enjoy it!  But when I look back at the calendar I realize we did have some wonderful moments, and we were with our family and friends much of the time, so even though summer is over all too quickly this year, it was awesome.  Now, I find myself gearing up for NaNoWriMo.

With Nano rapidly approaching, I’ve been putting together my outline of what I plan to write on this year.  Every year we gain new authors in our area, and we rarely lose any, unless they move out-of-town. Richard Bach, author of the amazing novella, Jonathan Livingston Seagull, said, “Never stop trying. “A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit.”  I know this to be true.

With the fall comes more writing seminars and classes. One of the first things we hear in writing classes or seminars, is that in a novel it’s all about the action. It’s about doing things. People don’t ‘begin’ to do things, they don’t ‘start’ to do things, they DO them.  But the concept is at first, hard to put into practice, because we get into storytelling mode, and the dog begins to bark, and the neighbors start to complain.

The dog danced back and forth with its chain stretched as far as it would go, barking loudly, telling the world an intruder had entered the yard. The glaring light from the window at the house next door was blocked by the ample figure of a woman in her nightdress.

“Shut that dog up, or I’m calling the cops again,” screamed the neighbor. “It’s too damned hot to sleep, and I don’t need that noise!”

The porch screen banged open and a small figure hurried down the steps . “Brutus,” called the girl, who looked to be about nine. “Here boy! Don’t worry Mrs. Stevens. I’ll get him to quiet down.”  The child dragged the reluctant dog into the house, saying, “Bad dog!  Don’t you know she wants to send you back to the pound?” The door slammed shut, and the yard was quiet again. After a few moments, Mrs. Stevens left her window, and the stray cat continued his jaunt through the yard.

Action is the heart of every story.  The dog didn’t start to bark, he barked loud and long. The neighbor didn’t begin to complain, she screamed as loudly as the dog.  The girl didn’t initiate dragging the dog back into the house, she did it.

Strong sentences intrigue and capture the reader.  Passive sentences lose the reader’s interest.

Part of why we slip into phrasing our sentences passively is rooted in our personal speech habits.  We say the dog began to bark, when we are telling our friends what happened. Our casual conversation is sprinkled with words and phrasing we shouldn’t use in our writing except in dialogue. After all, we want our dialogue to feel comfortable when it is read aloud.

I find it easiest to just let the words flow as they will when I am simply writing the story down, and I try not worry too much about phrasing during that crazy time. The tale at that point is the first, very rough draft.  At that stage, the most important thing is to simply get it out of your head and onto the paper.  Once that is done, it’s time to go through the ms on a paragraph by paragraph basis and tweak the weak sentences, making the story become in reality what it is in your mind’s eye. This is the second draft, where we wrangle the tale into a shape which a reader might want to ‘test-drive’ for us.  It may take more than two drafts to get a manuscript to that point; at least for me it frequently does.

Every author has a unique way of getting the work out and on to the paper, but every author then has to go through the second phase of the process, which involves both cutting out whole sections, and tweaking what remains until you can’t see the forest for the trees.  Truman Capote said, “Editing is as important as the writing. I believe more in the scissors than I do in the pencil.”

Capote died at the age of sixty having written one of the most highly acclaimed works of our time,  In Cold Blood.  He’s gone, but his words live on and when you look at his work, you can see he put his philosophy to practice.

I regularly read the works of other authors and when I am swept away by the power of their work, I ask myself what it is that makes their work a memorable experience. Each day as a writer is a journey, and everyday I learn something new about my craft.

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