|What is Gracie thinking?|
If she could talk, she'd be the Gracie Allen to Gus's George Burns. At the Mansion, for instance, an exchange like this would be perfectly plausible:
Gus: I presume the bedrooms are upstairs.
Gracie: Yes, except when you're upstairs. Then they're on the same floor.
~ * ~
There's the Blue Heeler, Peregrine, that belongs to Nadia's mom (from Mandy Nicol's stories). Loyal and affectionate Peregrine. Like Nadia says in the January story, Thorns:
I wonder what Mum will call her next dog. She'll have to work hard to beat Peregrine.
|Dead ringer for Persephone.|
(Image borrowed from here.)
But an original name and species is the only thing she has in common with Peregrine. She might've come from the pound, but she's a spoiled brat with a fully developed sense of entitlement. (She reminds Nadia of her sister Celeste, but that's something to tackle on F--families--day.)
~ * ~
Stella, an Akita-Shepherd-Ridgeback mix (best guess, without precluding other ingredients), belongs to Rachel, a single woman living in San Francisco and the creation of Teresa Burns Gunther. Rachel's struggling this year: she's been turned down for a promotion because, according to her boss (and we all know how much they know) she lacks people skills, so she's made some powerful resolutions--with hilarious results. She's one of my favorite 2014 protagonists. San Francisco has something to do with that (me and SFO go way back), but Stella cinched it. Or, rather, Rachel's attitude about Stella:
She's the sweetest dog in the world, a little territorial, but as a single woman in San Francisco I like that she's watching my back. [...] I get that some people are afraid of dogs; they say they have good reasons, but in my opinion they're missing an important chromosome in their DNA. Stella's the only person I can count on.People Skills, by Teresa Burns Gunther, 2014 January Vol. 1Yes, Rachel, yes!
There's trouble brewing, though, and I'm afraid that before the year is out Rachel might have to face some harsh realities about Stella. And her size. And her behavior.
Want to know more about Rachel, Stella, and their creator?
~ * ~
|A white standard Poodle.|
Gary Percesepe has a beautifully poignant story this year (I suspect most of his writing is beautifully poignant), and once I read the January story, Breakable, I knew this story cycle would break my heart. I just didn't expect it to happen so soon.
It's a very recent ex, you see. Just in January our narrator moved out.My ex calls. It's about the dog of the family. Dylan is dying, she explains. There are decisions to make.
Dylan, A Love Story, by Gary Percesepe, 2014 February Vol. 2
When I asked her to marry me, Savannah asked one thing: that I never abandon her. We lasted across four decades. Dylan is the last dog we had together.Dylan, A Love Story, by Gary Percesepe, 2014 February Vol. 2
More about Dylan and Gary's stories here.
~ * ~
|His real name is Vasco. |
He's an actual rescue--
found in the streets,
emaciated and sick,
and rescued by CARF
right here in Curaçao.
Luis Villalobos isn't a poet; he's a lawyer, a tax planning specialist. But he had a memorable English literature teacher in high school. Years later, having moved to Curaçao (and regretting it), and taken in a stray, a monster of a dog--unlike Stella, his parentage is harder to pinpoint, but there's Great Dane in there--the lines from T.S. Eliot resurfaced.
Creatively challenged as he is, he'd planned to call the dog Guy. Then, for reasons he doesn't think about much, a fragment of poetry started looping in his head as he drove to the vet that first time. Let us go then, you and I / When the evening is spread out against the sky.
The Chablis and Sushi Miracle, by Guilie Castillo-Oriard, 2014 February Vol. 2
There's also a insistent Chihuahua that saves a life at a liquor store:
(More about Len's brilliant writing here. He also blogs here. Must-follow. Seriously. He's a fantastic writer.)I feel like punching him. I feel like strangling him with his turban and watching that pretty skin of his turn blue, then purple, but there's a woman in line behind me whose Chihuahua keeps trying to hump my leg.Trail's End, by Len Kuntz, 2014 March Vol. 3
And speaking of purple...
In Margaret's own words (from this interview): "My story is about a guy named Ned, which sounds pretty boring, until you actually meet him and you learn that he's all sorts of messed up."Purple and floppy-eared beagles bounding through fields of pure plaid, with a pale clock bleeding from the sky, melting with the solid blocks of ice Ned thinks are clouds.Dreaming, by Margaret Bingel, 2014 March Vol. 3
And dreams of purple beagles. Of course.
Thanks for reading (an extra-long post--again. sorry), and I hope you've enjoyed meeting the cast. Tomorrow we're off to Endings--because every ending is a beginning. No, it's not just blatant optimism; lots of stories start with endings--and many end with beginnings.