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Friday, April 8, 2011

WOOF: Dog Tails - Bubba and Me

“Bubba, this is the last time,” I bellowed as the big dog jumped to the table, grabbed a biscuit and bolted away.

He ran into a large clay pot.

“Darn you,” I say sliding to the floor and sobbing amidst the broken earthenware.

I didn’t want to be here, alone and hurting this much. And I didn’t want to be dealing with this demon dog.

Two years ago, my husband had lugged home a large carton. “A surprise for you," Arnie announced as a filthy dog sprang from the box, onto our new white sofa.

When Arnie was around, Bubba was Mr. Nice Dog. But it was hate from the beginning between me and the dog.

I tolerated Bubba only because Arnie loved him. Each evening, as the clock chimed seven, the beast plopped down on the area rug in the front hall, to await Arnie's homecoming.

One evening Bubba waited. The clock chimed seven, then eight, then nine. Finally the doorbell rang. A policeman stood in my doorway twisting his hat. There had been an accident. Arnie was dead.

Friends and family came and went. Someone took Bubba. I don’t remember much about the next few weeks. Until, one day, the doorbell rang and Bubba was back.

He took up his vigil in the front hall, getting up only to eat, or be let out in the fenced-in yard I shared with my neighbor. I only kept the ungrateful mutt because Arnie had loved him so much.

One day, darkness came before I realized that Bubba hadn't scratched at the door to be let back in. I called. No Bubba. I tried to switch on the back light then remembered, the electricity had been disconnected because lights were being installed around my neighbor’s new in-ground pool. No, it couldn't be! Bubba hated water!

I grabbed a flashlight and approached the water. The terrified dog hung by his paws onto the edge of the pool.

I hauled Bubba from the cold water, dragged the shivering dog back into the house and wrapped him in the nearest thing I could find: my favorite afghan - the last present Arnie had given me.

Almost a year had passed since Arnie died, yet each night Bubba faithfully took up his vigil when the bell chimed seven. Tonight, he left my side, started toward the front hall, and then hesitated. Turning, he looked me in the eye and came back to my chair to settle at my feet.

Carren Strock
Author of:
Married Women Who Love Women
A Writer's Journey: What to Know Before, During, and After Writing a Book

For more Dog Tails, Buy WOOF: Women Only Over Fifty!

Submission guidelines for:
"Dog Tails:
Stories About Women & Their Best Tail-Wagging Friends”

How to tell your story:
Whether your special canine buddy is still with you or not, we’re looking for nonfiction stories told in first person with action, dialogue and an emotional pivotal ending. Make readers laugh, cry, get chills!

How not to tell your story:
Stories should not be political in nature or preachy. We want original, unpublished stories that are 400 words or less.

How to submit your story:
A Word document e-mailed to
(Remember to save a copy for yourself!)

How to submit your picture:
Jpeg or Gif submitted to

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