Dog Star on SampleSunday

“Dog Star” is a story I wrote for the Southern Indiana Writers’ anthology NOVEL INGREDIENTS, where every story was accompanied by a recipe. It was inspired by the very real recipezine WORLD WIDE RECIPES from Joe Barkson. In fact, the story also appeared serially in the recipezine, which made me very happy.

I subsequently included it in my collection LONNIE, ME AND THE HOUND OF HELL.

Dog Star – excerpt

by Marian Allen

I’ll begin with the dogs–in medias Rex, as it were. There were two of us–three, if you count Sparkle–four, if you count the puppy–but there were two of us on the scene.

Direct your attention, if you will, to Fiona. Cairn Terrier, twenty pounds of dark intensity, muscles and nerves of steel, wrapped in yards of gray shag. Observe her gleaming eyeteeth, her glittering eye. Do not attempt to extract that plastic action figurine from between her paws. She is not cuddling it, and she will not welcome your intervention. Fiona is my elder by three years, and I am five.

My name is Cyrano. I am, to an observable degree, Irish Setter. To her credit, Fiona, who is pedigreed and papered, purchased from a licensed breeder, has never made me feel my unmapped lineage.

The third dog in this adventure, the one we’ve never met, is a black Labrador retriever called Sparkle. Sparkle is the editor of “Sparkle’s Bark,” a newsletter to which I subscribe over the World Wide Woof. Every night, she sends out an issue filled with jokes, tips, and recipes.

Here’s my favorite of Sparkle’s recipes: Find a human who’s eating a sandwich–road workers, construction workers, or kids are best–and sit where they can see you. Don’t make a sound or a move, just watch them eat. If desired, cock your head and prick up your ears if they look at you, or you may move your eyes or your head to follow the sandwich as it moves to and from the human’s mouth. Before the sandwich is half gone, the human will either give you a piece of the sandwich or, ideally, remove one slice of bread and toss it to you.

I have personally tried this recipe many times, and I have never known it to fail.

So, when we found the Thing in the woods, it was only natural that I appealed to Sparkle for advice.


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A WRITING PROMPT FOR YOU: A character finds a Thing in the woods.



I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but now live in the woods in southern Indiana. Though I only write fiction, I love to read non-fiction. The more I learn about this world, the more fantastic I see it is.

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One thought on “Dog Star on SampleSunday

  1. Jane

    February 23, 2014 at 10:19am

    Nice doggy! Here, have a sandwich!

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
  2. Jo

    February 24, 2014 at 1:19am

    Going to try that recipe in the sandwich shop in town. 😀

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
    • Author

      Marian Allen

      February 24, 2014 at 7:53am

      LOL! I’m not sure it works for adult humans. I know it works for children. 😀

      Permalink  ⋅ Reply
  3. Millie Fraser

    March 12, 2014 at 1:49am

    It is quite interesting when we mingle dog and human. I am a person from the east and it is quite unusual for us.

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
    • Author

      Marian Allen

      March 12, 2014 at 8:01am

      Now, that’s interesting to me, Millie. Where in the east are you from? You don’t have dogs as pets there? Do you have pets? What kind? Do you have dogs there at all? You’ve got my writer’s curiosity piqued! 🙂

      Permalink  ⋅ Reply

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