Write on Wednesday’s are a regular writing prompt feature from Julie’s Writing blog. You can see more about today’s prompt – Rescue Me, here.
Prompt: Write a story featuring a dog
If you’re writing for publication, it’s important to be aware of lead-times, (i.e. the time between when an editor says ‘yes’ to your story and the date the publication goes live). They can be long, so if you’re writing a seasonal story, you need to be submitting months in advance. That’s why today’s prompt is for October’s National Adopt A Shelter Dog month. Write your doggie story today and start pitching it now!
I have many paranoias. And one of them is getting bit or attacked by one or a bunch of stray dogs, while I go on my runs. I love dogs, pet dogs. Stray dogs on the other hand, are rebels. They have personality and have not been tamed. They have a mind of their own, I tell my dog loving friends. So every time I spot a stray dog or a bunch of them while I’m running, I slow down and start walking. That’s another strange thing I believe in. That if I walk, the dogs will not chase me or bite me. So I walk, and then I start running again. I know, my dog loving friends are either laughing hard at this moment or rolling their eyes at this ridiculousness.
So, like every morning, that morning, I was out on my run. But something different happened that day. I saw this scrawny little bundle of brown furred puppy just a bit ahead. Instinctively, I slowed down. Puppies are harmless, but their moms are fierce. Better not get too friendly with puppies. No eye contact – puppies love to play, if you make eye contact. So I start walking as planned and rehearsed. I’ve almost crossed him – I think it’s a him, should I check? I just make a sly tilt of my eyes to check and oh no! I’ve made eye contact with the black marble eyed puppy! Oh great, and now his little tail is wagging. I start to panic and look around for his mom, or dad, or siblings. I cant find any other dogs around. I start looking around for other passer’s by, who can save me, in case I get attacked by his mom..ahem.
“Go away! Shoo..dont follow me!”, Great, I’m talking to the pup.
He looks like a tired little fellow, maybe I can risk out running him. So I completely ignore him and start running as fast as I can. Three minutes later, I risk looking behind, and he’s not there. Whew, safe!
The next morning, alas! The little mongrel is there again, with his adorable black beady eyes and his wagging tail! He lets out a little yelp of excitement as he sees me walk and then I run past him like a bullet train, again. Saved.
The third morning, my dog loving friend, Pinki, decides to accompany me on my run, after hearing the mention of this adorable puppy. She also carries some bread for him. You’re just going to spoil him, I roll my eyes and think. As expected, he’s there, yelping and wagging his tail. We slow down and he has gone ballistic with excitement now. I, on the other hand, have started palpitating with nervousness. Hopefully my dog loving friend is a dog whisperer too and will save me from the ominous attack of the other nonexistent dogs.
“Yeah, go ahead, eat your bread, you little cartoon”, I tell him while pointing at my friend.
But he doesn’t even spare her a glance. And is circling around me and trying to jump up my legs!
My friend tries to show him the bread, but he doesn’t even look at her, all googly eyed at me.
“I think he’d like the bread from you, Prachi”, my friend Pinki says, with a mischievous smile. She knows how afraid I am of dogs and of my strange paranoia. Blast her.
I take the bread with a resigned sigh and break it into small pieces and hold out my hand, all the while praying that he picks only the bread and not my fingers! There’s a lot of wet feeling on my palm, for the few moments that I have my eyes closed and then I hear another yelp and a nudge from a wet nose on my legs. He ate it all! Umm, OK, that was unexpected. But I’ve tried my luck too far already, and so I look at my friend, who is grinning by now and tell her its time to continue the run. We leave the little pup behind.
On the fourth morning, I had the bits of bread with me. No friend. I was starting to feel a little brave. Yeah, not scared of a puppy, cough! Just as I was about to reach the spot where I meet him, a man on a bicycle starts following me and troubling me. I start to get really annoyed and am just about to yell at him, when suddenly, I see my little bag of fur growling at the man and trying to bite his pants off! His barking made the man wobble off his bike and fall down, which made me laugh and made him very angry. And just in that instant, the man got up and kicked the little puppy, hard and sent him whimpering.
I had not felt such raw emotion and anger build up in me in the longest time.
“THAT IS MY FRIEND! HOW DARE YOU!” I shriek.
I have lost all my calm now and I dive right onto the man, just as he turns to look at me with a mixture of surprise and shock. And in my anger and adrenaline rush, I am sitting on top of him and slapping him and abusing him for hurting my friend. Some passers by start milling about us and manage to rescue the man from my grip and after some time, the man and the crowd disperse, leaving me breathless and alone.
And right then, I hear that lovely, adorable, beautiful yelp. I look down at his big marble eyes and my own eyes moisten a little.
“You’re a brave guy, you know that? And you made me brave today, even if it wasn’t too much”, I say to him with a smile.
I find a pavement on the side of the road and sit down, to let him eat his treat after his valiant fight. I decide to call him Fury.
That was 4 years back. Fury has moved in with me and has seen me get married and have a baby. He and I still go on runs together every morning. I have still not let go of my paranoia of being bitten by stray dogs, but Fury helps a lot by barking at any dog or man who dare come even five feet near me. At least now I don’t have to slow down and walk when I see the strays. Fury and I love our morning jogs and breakfast by the roadside J Woof!