There is a phenomenon trotting across the landscape of publishing, and it is the dog-book. (I blogged about this in my first post in December on my other blog.) Possibly the reason for so many in one year is the phenomenal success of Marley and Me.
Whatever the cause, it has emboldened me to try short fiction from the point of view of a dog. This is an illuminating mind-meld. We all can immediately imagine the amount of interest a dog has in food or the pleasures of chasing prey. But what then?
Dogs sleep a lot, and they dream. What do they dream of?
If ever you really study a dog, you will see all sorts of expressions cross his or her face. I think anxiety of one kind or another is fairly frequent. Just think of it--here's this wonderful hunting machine, capable of high intelligence as it interacts with its world, an individual, adult creature, and now it exists at the whim of an owner. An owner it didn't ask for, but still manages somehow to love depite the owner's necessary failings.
The owner is leaving. Will she return? The day is growing dark. Will they remember to feed me? I am thirsty and the toilets are closed (or perhaps the dog hasn't learned the availability of the eternal spring). I am a creature that NEEDS to smell many things, and I am confined to a closed house or apartment for endless hours. When will they take me for a walk? Well, you get the drift.
Love is clearly one of those emotions a dog feels, though. We were at a neighbor's house on New Year's Eve and one of the dogs--who has visited us several times on his wanderings around the neighborhood--spent much of the evening lying at, and sometimes on, my feet. He likes me, and I have no idea why.
Has that ever happened to you?
I don't know whether a story will coalesce out of my imaginings, but the seven pages I've written so far are the first fiction I've felt like writing for a couple of months. So, viva!