Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Writing prompt:

One day you wake up to find your dog/cat waiting for you at the side of your bed, sitting on your briefcase. Cocking its head, it tells you, in perfect English, that you won’t be going to work today. Why won’t your pet let you go to work, and what happens?

  1. 1st revision: 29 October 2010

“Hans, what are you doing sitting on my laptop bag?” I blurt out loud on a reflex, perfectly aware that my loving and devoted German Shepherd probably would not understand a word of what I had just said. 

The huge furry pooch just kept on staring at me, panting noisily with his tongue jutting out and his eyes looking directly into mine. That cute look. Dogs always give this ridiculously cute look that somehow ends up convincing you to give them what they want.

“Off boy, off!” I command Hans in my most stern voice.

Only that I am not good at giving commands, and the reaction I solicit from the canine is merely a momentary pause in his panting, during which he cocks his head to one side and continues to gaze at me in a somewhat wise looking way.

As I sit up and attempt to reach out my hand to pull the laptop bag up from beneath the weight of my stubborn pet, an unfamiliar voice suddenly says to me, “You’re not going to work today, Susanna.”

Puzzled at the existence of this voice, I look up quickly and scan the entire bedroom. As far as I remembered, it was only me and the furball that were here.

“Who’s there?” I squeak tentatively.

I feel the wet nose of my dog nudging my elbow.

“It’s me, silly,” comes the voice again, and this time I turn my attention to Hans and realise that it is in fact him that is speaking.

I shrink back slightly, retreating towards the other side of my bed. I must be dreaming. My dog is speaking English to me.

“You can talk,” I utter incredulously.

“Dogs aren’t that dumb you know,” comes the voice again, and this time I note that the words really were coming straight from the mutt’s lips.

Hmm. Why hadn’t I noticed this before? I own a talking dog.

 “Since when do you talk?”

“Since you’ve been ignoring me over the last few months and my only entertainment has been the evening news. They speak pretty good English in their broadcasts, you know.”

I felt a tinge of guilt growing the moment I heard him say that. Well, yes, I was sort of guilty for having sidelined Hans lately. What could I do? Life was throwing all sorts of nonsense at me, and I was trying my hardest to deal with it. The last thing I had on my mind was making sure my dog was well entertained. I fed him and gave him a comfy place to stay, didn’t I? Surely petting him several times each day should cover it?

Yet, based on the current feedback I was hearing, apparently it was not.

But hey, I’m the owner here, aren’t I?

I crossed my arms impatiently.

“Alright, mutt, so you can speak English. And why should that be such a good reason for you to stop me from going to work?”

“Because,” Hans replies calmly, “I know things you don’t know.”

“Like what?” I mutter in disbelief. “Would you get on with it? I’m going to be late.”

“You don’t understand, do you?” Hans growls and bares his teeth to me.

“Well make me understand then.”

“Take me for a walk and let me lead you. I’ll show you what I mean.”

“Whatever for– ”

“Trust me,” Hans reassures me, and grabs my left arm in his mouth whilst he drags me out of bed.

I groan, but comply. They say German Shepherds are a clever lot. I suppose I’m about to find out just how true that is.

* Continued here: Doggonemad part 2