Sunday, February 13, 2022

For the Love of a Dog - Free Ebook 2/14th-18th

Since these posts are showing examples of love, one can hardly leave out the special love between humans and their pets. Mixed Bag 2: Supersized is packed full of short stories which were published somewhere and sometime in the past 14 years. Here's a sample to get you started. Hey! It's free. What have you got to lose?

A Good, Honest Dog
Originally published in WildChild Publishing

We walked down the concrete path with chainlink cells on both sides. Shouting to make ourselves heard over the cacophony of barking, yipping, and howling, we examined the inmates of this canine prison.

I looked into one cell and a stocky black and brown pup, only a few months old, sat up and begged. No barks, yips, or howls from her, just a pair of pleading brown eyes. “This one,” I said without hesitation. We paid her bail, signed all the papers and took her home–our new dog.

We named our darling puppy Loki after the Norse god of mischief. No matter that she was female, since most people don’t know the Vikings’ mythology. We resisted calling her Heinz 57, although we couldn’t quite figure out her breeding. A bit of springer, a dab of spaniel, maybe those short legs told of a rogue dachshund? In any case, she became our loving dog and we her loving parents. Her short legs and chunky body, while cute as could be, wreaked havoc on her fetching skills. Toss the frisbee, then wait...and wait. When she caught up with the already grounded disk, she spent a few minutes examining the surrounding area for stray scents. She loved to play fetch, but often forgot that her role was to return the object to the tosser.

Walking her on a leash was not easy, as her nose led us back and forth on a chase for fading scents. What she lacked in physical skills, she made up for with a nose inherited from some obscure ancestor who must have hunted for a living.

As she aged, she grew too fat and I kicked myself for not exercising her more often. I always had some excuse or other–work, kids, sheer laziness. Besides, I thought, the prednisone the vet prescribed for flea allergies caused her weight gain.

In her tenth year, her hips started to pain her. She loved to sleep on the old sofa, long ago claimed as her own, but she couldn’t jump up anymore. She’d walk over to it, then turn her head and look at me with her pleading eyes. “Oh, okay,” I’d sigh and go lift her bottom up as she scrabbled with her front legs to gain her throne.

Our vet loved her, or at least she said she did. I think our vet loved every dog that walked, or was dragged, through the door. Nevertheless, I’ll always remember her saying, “You know, Loki’s just a good, honest dog.” That was our Loki, a good, honest dog.

In her thirteenth year, the vet found a tumor in her belly. “She’ll be okay for a while. They don’t grow very fast.”

* * * For the Rest of the Story, Get the Free Ebook 2/14-2/18 * * *

This story and a bunch more are all available in "Mixed Bag 2: Supersized." The book is free on Amazon from February 14th - 18th. One whole week of free reading if you haven't got a date.

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