Sharon Lynn’s short stories have been featured in multiple anthologies, the most recent being the Malice Domestic Anthology, Murder Most Theatrical. You can find out more about her here, see her books here, and read her last post here.
As anyone who has seen my social media the last couple of months will know, I was gifted with a puppy this year! A half border collie/half mini-Aussie bundle of inexhaustible energy. And with him comes new things I say.
The number one phrase I never thought I would utter: “Get the puppy outof the dishwasher.”
The phrase I never thought I would say 4,367 times is “Don’t eat that.”
I understand that the puppy is exploring the world with his mouth, but honestly, does he have to sample everything?
The answer to that question is yes. Yes, he does. As I settle in to write, he is suddenly standing by the door. The behavior must be rewarded. We live in a condo tower, and potty training is a challenge. He needs to go out. Down the elevator, out the door, across the pool patio, down another flight of steps, and he can release. Good puppy!
Since we’re down here, we may as well go for a walk. He snaps up magenta bougainvillea flowers like popcorn. “Don’t eat that.”
He’s magically picked something up without my notice and is rolling it around in his mouth. I look. It’s a rock. He’s happy as Larry, like the rock is the best thing in the world. “Don’t eat that.”
We pass a beautiful oleander bush full of pink blooms. Every part of it is poisonous. Apocryphally, bees that collect its nectar make mildly toxic honey. Maybe I could put that in a story. His mouth opens, and I drag him away. “Please, please, please don’t eat that!”
We make it back upstairs. All is quiet. The puppy seems content to sleep in a corner. As I finally get another paragraph written, I hear a slow, rhythmic grinding. I check the puppy. The adorable little angel has his sharp teeth hooked over the toe board and is gnawing a hole in it.
“Don’t eat that.”
I take him to the storage locker to get wood putty and paint. He picks up heaven knows what off the elevator floor. There was nothing on the floor to pick up! But there must have been something. “Don’t eat that,” I sigh, trading what I find is tape for a dog biscuit.
We return. I fix the wall. I put the puppy in his kennel, where he sleeps like the sweetest creature on earth. Settling on the couch, I open my laptop, fingers poised to finish my latest story. I promptly fall asleep.
Jerking awake in a panic, I check the clock. It’s been an hour and a half, and the puppy will need to go out in again in thirty minutes —just enough time for a relaxing cup of yogurt. Quick as a viper, paws are on the counter, teeth snatching the empty container. “Don’t,” I yell as he zooms out of the kitchen. “Eat,” I continue as he tackles himself enthusiastically and zooms to a bedroom. “That,” I finish as he makes the entire circuit once more.
We go out. With the innocence of a newborn, he snatches a bulb from the landscaping. “Don’t eat that.” Jaws tighten. “It’s not yours.” Head turns away, but the eyes remain on me. “Someone took pains to plant that.” I tug, he bites it in half.
As he finishes his business, he finds a palm frond. Palm fronds are the best. Even better than rocks. My plea is half-hearted because he’s so darn cute. “Don’t eat that.”
Are there wonderful things that keep you from your work? Let me know what they are!