The Dog Shakes

Nearly three years ago I wrote a flash fiction story about a dog with “issues” and sent it around to a few journals. It was rejected many times. Then in June this year I attended a small press trade show in an Ottawa community centre and found Common Deer Press.  Their submission guidelines for the Short Tail section of their website said this,

We tend to prefer work that might be literary if it weren’t so genre….

and I thought “Hmm. Maybe Nelson would like to live here.”

Without further ado, here it is – The Dog Shakes

edited by Emily Stewart. Thank you, Common Deer Press for giving Nelson a home.

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27 thoughts on “The Dog Shakes

  1. What a great metaphor of a story. And poor Nelson–I feel I know him. And, in a segue to real life, our dog ADORES it when we walk her together, so much so that I feel guilty for not doing it more often–this little act can bring so much joy into the world.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My goodness, Susanne, I’m so happy that Common Deer Press published this piece – it’s perfect! My face was going through various contortions, and sometimes I chuckled aloud, or nodded at the frank, yet nuanced way you made things plain. I really admire how you crafted this piece.💖

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the kind comments, Leslie. I always feel kind of off-kilter when a piece makes its way out of my computer into the big, wide world. I’m pleased – and relieved – that Nelson and his family are being warmly received.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. There is justice in the world, after all. Nelson was extremely deserving of a proper home and I am thrilled that, even though you had to wait quite awhile, you found the perfect one. It’s a great story – the tandem telling of musing about divorce and shying from it on account of a shaking pooch is perfectly handled right down to the moment when we realise that Vic’s voice is the root of the problem. Bravo, m’dame – I loved it 🍾

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh my gosh, love it! So clever. I’m not sure who Vic is but you just described my husband’s behavior at every grocery store. I learned this is called “Woo” in StrengthFinders: Winning others over. They want everyone to hear what they are thinking. Such a great story. I’m glad it got published. Bravo!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Truth be told I often behave like Vic in the grocery store checkout line mostly out of boredom. But there’s a guy I observed in our ‘hood who chats with everyone in the produce section even to the point of offering cooking advice. People are so fun to watch. Thanks for reading the story!


    • Hi MEL, You have a French Bulldog? Have I missed pictures of this adorable pet? One of our neighbours has a French Bulldog and he is the sweetest natured little guy. He never retaliates or escalates when our small, wooly mutt goes nuts at him. Thanks for reading the story. It, of course, bears no resemblance to anyone I know or my husband and dog!

      Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve never heard that expression before, Hilary but it’s so apt. I truly appreciate that you dropped in and read the story. Hope the garden redesign is going well – or maybe you’ve finished it and are enjoying reading a good book in your new garden.


  5. Well aren’t you fabulous? Love the language and the mood here, suspecting the ending all along, but then, for a brief time, thought maybe the opposite would happen and the couple would grow closer in communion over the dog’s bowels. Bit like people think a baby will mend their relationship, hm? I think it worked out just right.

    Liked by 1 person

"The river flows both ways." (Margaret Laurence)

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