stories about, for, with, to dogs
Parable of the sixty ninth Dog by anonymous
No-one on the committee was quite sure how or when it started, but it so aggrieved them, with such an ever-expanding quantum of embarrassment each year, that whenever Canine #69 was introduced for the talent pageant, an increasingly boorish crowd took it upon themselves to whoop and holler and fall about laughing in an altogether immature and unfittingly abstract way at the mere mention of the euphemistic number. And so it was decided by the venerable committee on the occasion of the Northanger Dog Show’s bicentenary that no competing pooch would be thenceforth assigned such a controversial number as #69. So of course when Canine #68 and Canine #70 inevitably tumbled onto the stage at the Bicentennial Talent Showcase, so determinedly locked in throes of mutual fellatio that even after a thorough spray with the nearest fire hose they still had to be separated by a quick-thinking dog wrangler who, by means of lasso, subdued Brandy (Canine #68), a Bichon Frise, by her hindquarters with a retractable lead, and dragged her away from Chad (Canine #70), a Brussels Griffon who continued to thrust his bright red dog penis forth as he gave chase on hindquarters, hop-stepping across the stage in a series of obscene and increasingly desperate pelvic motions accompanied by a series of equally obscene and increasingly desperate whinnies while Brandy, who the wrangler initially assumed was madly nuzzling her hindquarters in an attempt to free herself from the makeshift lasso, in fact performed an enthusiastic display of autocunnilingus (which was not, according to the official programme, her registered talent) causing Chad to hop penis-first towards her even more determinedly, the pitch and frequency of his yelps moving towards crescendo at which point the emcee intervened by attempting to scoop up Chad, unfortunately at the exact moment of completion, and slipped dramatically on the tiny silver dollar of outpouring in the middle of the stage … Well, suffice to say no-one in the audience was laughing in anything like an abstract way, least of all at the unutterable number’s dirty allusion.
Off Leash Dog Beach by Mitchell Welch
A young woman in ethical, oriental-botanical yoga leggings climbs to the ridgeback of the southern break wall, desperately scanning the foreshore for a Maltese terrier out there somewhere making the most of the municipal council’s off-leash pilot program, a mandated test run before the final ratification of a new Management of Dogs in Public Places Policy that designates this approximately 800m of coastline as leash-free.
“Sandy!” she yelps, shielding her eyes from the sun. “Sandy!”
A slightly older woman, her pregnant belly shining like a Christmas bauble beneath her bright metallic dress, rinses out a water dish and bangs on it percussively with a chew toy, hope shining in her eyes. “Rusty, come!”
A man in multi-pocketed cargo shorts carries a delicate sack of turds along the boardwalk. Rather than holding it in the customary fashion, by making a kind of rope handle from the plastic bag’s flappy end, he carries the leavings in his palm as if it was a velvet pouch of gold krugerrands. This behaviour is a trait common to purebred dog owners, and to the owners of dogs named ‘Princess’, though not all dogs called ‘Princess’ are purebred.
The shits of less-conscientious dog owners’ dogs Dalmatian-spot the picnicking lawn between the boardwalk and the last row of dunes. Barefooted children play high stakes frisbee amongst the fly-ridden land mines. Each and every nugget petrifying in the sun does so suspended in a constellation of invisible olfactory data whose rich veins of meaning are reduced to mere malodour on the primitive membranes of human sensation. The wheel of a pram rolls a sausage string of droppings pancake-flat with all the characteristic indifference of a vehicle piloted by the new parents of a happy and healthy child.
And under the jetty, far beyond the southern break wall, at the furthest reach of a sophisticated chemical trail, the salt-blurred smudge of a figure. One whose broad-brimmed hat overshadows the manifold disfigurements of what his specialists call ‘the craniofacial mass’, whose long sleeves cover wafer-like skin, whose pockets are filled with butter-and-bacon flavoured treats he orders online, and who is making the acquaintance of leash-free dog after leash-free dog, good boys and girls all whose human names he’ll never need or want to learn. Who under the jetty, in the cool promise of its shade, in a flurry of communicative tongues, rubs the warm, anonymous bellies, feels the wet sand between his toes, and composes in his mind, in third person, a brief submission in support of the policy currently under review.
Haggard Bulldog by Joseph Zaresky
How long can a bulldog keep up its grimace?
For the sake of my beautiful mistress
I played the brute; I had to look
like I would eat your leg up
in a chic, adorable kind of way.
My role was to repel and to attract.
As we did the main drag along the shops
and the esplanade, me running
to keep up with her, I was the compact
and fierce embodiment of her sexual power
which she could unleash or hold back
with a movement of her little finger.
Ah! Was it not clear to me that at bottom
I was there to underline her invulnerability?
I was the prop for her image of a carefree
fashionable person who could never be hurt.
Like a faithful creature I let the hurts
that inevitably came fall on me.
All her disappointments and her miseries
I chomped up like a sink disposal. I offered
my own delicate back for her to dump on.
I terrified the anxieties that bestared her.
A bulldog isn’t a stone! Is there any wonder
my face is fallen, and my eyes don’t bulge any more?