Monday, June 22, 2015


A whine, soft but high-pitched enough to show a complaint.
            I look over to where my mutt, Amber, a German shepherd and Labrador mix, is lying down, in my direct line of sight.  Her soulful eyes are staring at me.  Is she admonishing me?
            Stupid dog.  She is always interrupting my train of thought.  Okay, where was I…and I am back in my world, engrossed once more in my writing.  I remember the exact dialogue I want to write for this scene; I expand it a bit more.  One or two words that had escaped me pop up in my brain, and I trudge on.
            Another whine.  This time, louder.  My dog is next to her water bowl.  She looks down at the empty bowl and up at me.  Her eyes are almost accusing—you are ignoring me again, they seem to say.
            Yes.  Yes, I am.
            Writing with Amber around is both a challenge and an experience.
            You see, my stupid dog is my alarm.  My you-need-a-break reminder.  You-need-a-life reminder.  And she will do anything to remind me she is there, that she needs my attention, requires my affection, and demands my time.  She will whine, go to the table and pluck my used tissue to chew on in order to force me to stop and grab the thing before she swallows it.  She’ll sit next to me and complain, quite insistently, that she is hungry.  Amber even butts her head beneath my elbow and forces her head between my typing fingers and the computer keyboard when I am ignoring her completely.  When I am pacing, trying to get a scene clear in my head, she will thread through my legs as if it were a game.  She tripped me once doing that, and I landed flat on my butt…ergo the moniker “Stupid dog.”   She will bark to get my attention, bang on the outside door to be let in.  She is annoying to the point of complete exasperation.
            But I love her dearly.
            Despite those moments, Amber is my loving companion.  She will lie down patiently next to me for hours on end, alert, looking toward the front door to make sure no stupid rabbits, squirrels, or birds interrupt me.  She growls when strangers pass by.  She will lovingly lick my feet when I start cussing because I can’t get the scene right or words simply don’t come out of my brain.  She will lie down with her head on my feet, or under the table near me, so I can pet her absentmindedly from time to time.  She will put her head on my lap when I get upset, comforting me.  When my husband arrives from work, she waits until he is inside and has greeted me before she leaves my side.  It’s almost as if she is thinking, “Okay, my duty is done.”
            She is my third child.  My loving, human-like child.  My annoying child.
            Speaking of which, I’ve got to go.  She is sitting by the door, her whine insistent.  I have already had my breakfast, so has Amber.  I have had my potty break.  She hasn’t.  Amber comes back to me, nudges me, and walks to the back door.  She stares.
“Okay, stupid dog.  I’m coming.”

The Princess Guardian of the Home -- Amber

Originally posted on February 13, 2015 at The Write Pet in Melissa Snarks's The Snarkology website.  She hosts writers with pets stories.  Go to:

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