Animal: Weekly Discover Challenge and 99 Word Flash Fiction: Big Brown Dog


© irene waters 2016

The bond between dog and master is strong and this goes back through the ages. The dog is the only animal that has been domesticated that has altered its behaviour by developing a bark, in its effort to communicate with his human owner. It never ceases to amaze me at just how many barks a dog can have and how I can understand the different meanings of each one. Conversely my dogs understand many of the words I use and where words may fail them they know my body language inside out. Mutual joy is gained by both dog and human as walks, play, training and simply being by your side strengthens the bonds that join man and dog.


© irene waters 2016

So although I may laugh when Muffin plays dead and sigh inwardly at the clean up that inevitably has to follow


© irene waters 2016

the reality of the death of your friend is as personal, heart felt and sad as when you lose a someone close to you. Let’s face it – the dog has been part of your family life for many years and the love you have for them is deep in your heart. I have found that the way they die heavily impacts on you. Since my husband and I have been married we have lost three dogs and have one that is heading quickly down the path of old age.

Our first dog together, Mungo, was my husband’s first dog. He was a  delightful gentle German Shepherd that helped many people overcome their fear of dogs.


© irene waters 2016

Roger was never going to be ready for his death which happened at home, but the vet did not want us to hold him as he died which left us with regrets.


© irene waters 2016

Our second dog Jerry was my shadow and much more protective of us. He missed Mungo keenly and became unwell about a year later. The vet diagnosed pancreatic cancer which, he told us, with immediate surgery could be a cure. Our biggest regret was agreeing to let him operate. Jerry’s look of desperation as he was led away continues to haunt us today. We’d betrayed that bond between us. He had ultimate trust in us and we had let him down. We didn’t see him alive again.


© irene waters 2016

Our third dog Zac had a beautiful death. He was a rescue dog  that had come to us with so many problems yet had survived despite them all. When his time came he put his head on my lap, Roger and Bundy said goodbye and as the vet gave him the injection he snuggled in, happy to be with me and happy to be leaving his problems behind. Although we grieved we rejoice at the life he had with us and that we didn’t break the bond between us in a way that we felt uncomfortable with.

Unlike family and friends you can get another dog to fill that part of your heart. When I was in my twenties I read a book about dog ownership and a chapter on losing your friend suggested that the greatest compliment you can give to the one that has passed is to, as soon as possible, bring another dog into the family. This will let him know that the time spent with him was so wonderful that you are prepared to let another into your heart. I have lived with this philosophy ever since and come to believe it even more so when the last cat we had, although we loved her dearly, our experience was that of terror and we have had no desire since to bring another cat into our lives.

I had written this post and only had the photos to add when I read that Charli had lost Grenny. her beautiful big brown dog. Her pain was now and raw and I knew how that felt. I couldn’t post this the same day and would on posting would like to pay tribute to all our dogs whose bond with us has been broken physically but in our hearts they live on. Her flash fiction prompt for this week is to write a story about a Big Brown Dog

October 5, 2016 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about a Big Brown Dog. I just want to read Big Brown Dog stories this week. I know dogs arn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but you can write about that, too. Keep it happy, write something funny, surprising or tender. Thank you.

Respond by October 11, 2016 to be included in the compilation. Rules are here. All writers are welcome!

Big Brown Dog

“His food looks better than mine. Besides which, I’ve eaten all mine.” The big brown dog moved his head tentatively towards his siblings bowl, pulling it back as he saw bared teeth accompanied by an angry growl.

“I want his.” The big brown dog let out a ‘someone’s at the door’ bark and raced to the front door. His sibling followed, not knowing what he was barking at but definitely not going to let the side down. The big brown dog passed him as he returned to the food bowls, quickly wolfing down his brother’s meal before being seen.

This post is in response to the weekly Discover Challenge and 99 Word Flash Fiction

About Irene Waters 19 Writer Memoirist

I began my working career as a reluctant potato peeler whilst waiting to commence my training as a student nurse. On completion I worked mainly in intensive care/coronary care; finishing my hospital career as clinical nurse educator in intensive care. A life changing period as a resort owner/manager on the island of Tanna in Vanuatu was followed by recovery time as a farmer at Bucca Wauka. Having discovered I was no farmer and vowing never again to own an animal bigger than myself I took on the Barrington General Store. Here we also ran a five star restaurant. Working the shop of a day 7am - 6pm followed by the restaurant until late was surprisingly more stressful than Tanna. On the sale we decided to retire and renovate our house with the help of a builder friend. Now believing we knew everything about building we set to constructing our own house. Just finished a coal mine decided to set up in our backyard. Definitely time to retire we moved to Queensland. I had been writing a manuscript for some time. In the desire to complete this I enrolled in a post grad certificate in creative Industries which I completed 2013. I followed this by doing a Master of Arts by research graduating in 2017. Now I live to write and write to live.
This entry was posted in Daily Post prompt and challenges, Dogs, fiction, flash fiction, Memoir, photography, Weekly Discover Challenge and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Animal: Weekly Discover Challenge and 99 Word Flash Fiction: Big Brown Dog

  1. I’m a dog lover too, though we currently don’t have one. Your tribute to dogs is very touching, Irene. Reminds me of their loyalty, devotion, and friendlness.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Without any expectation in return apart from you letting them love you unconditionally.
      How is your shoulder going?


      • Actually a dislocated elbow, torn ligament and nerve, plus fractures on ulna and humerus – doc calls it a Terrible Triad. Would be funny except it’s rather terrifying how much damage there is. So, healing but very slowly. Can’t drive for another month or more, and though I’m diligent about the therapy routine 4 times a day, I’m very worried about truly regaining the use of my arm. Thanks for asking.

        Liked by 1 person

      • That sounds dreadful Sharon. Like me you are probably finding just how much you use that arm normally. I am amazed at the number of things I did with my feet other than walking. In some respects they were other hands and I’m still close to my origins. With your diligence you are bound to have good results and hopefully will regain full use of your arm. Sending you healing vibes.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Big Brown Dog « Carrot Ranch Communications

  3. Annecdotist says:

    Fascinating that you’d already drafted this post when Charli posted her dog’s obituary – sometimes the blogosphere throws up similar themes in different places.
    I also didn’t know that dogs had developed the bark through their interaction with humans. I wonder what your big brown dog’s siblings are going to do next to get even.


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