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The Dogs Go Too
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I might be a writer, but I’m also a man with a truck and two dogs. I’m a man who gets in that truck and forgets about all the horseshit and remembers what his soul is made of. When I pull on a soft pair of beat-up jeans and roll up my sleeves, the person I want to be appears. No illusions. No metaphors. I am sitting right here in this truck. So when I show up at your house, don’t be surprised that up in the front seat, sitting like a person (because she is, dammit), licking the salt off french fries and spitting out the potato, Blue is right there beside me. She always has been. In a few short months, Zuppa will be right up to speed. But I’ve got a back seat and they’ll make room. They know you’re worth it. They know you’ll come around.
 
I’ll give up cheeseburgers and cokes. I’ll quit sneaking cigarettes and lay off the booze. I’ll even trade in my pick-up for something that runs on corn oil as long as it plays bluegrass and has room for two big-hearted dogs. Two dogs and you. I’ll do just about anything to see you lick whipped cream off your lips and smile wide across the table at a man like me. A man who might be a writer. A man who might be a writer who looks like me and who has two dogs who go wherever he goes (including one hypothetical library).
Please understand. Please don’t fight it.
 
Because when I’ve finally convinced you to join me on this journey, when we’ve come to that happy middle ground where everyone gets enough of what they need and learns to let go of what they don’t, and when you show me again that knock-out smile and when I’m finally convinced that it is really meant for me, well, I’m sorry, my dear sweet girl, but the dogs go, too.
 
And maybe we’ll get them into the library, one day. Or maybe not. Maybe that’s just going to be a part of our process. Let the dogs have time out, then get some reading and writing done. But you’ll be allowed, sweet girl. They would never close a door on you.

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This article first appeared in The Bark,
Issue 56: Sept/Oct 2009
Murray Dunlap's fiction has appeared in Virginia Quarterly Review. murraydunlapwriter.blogspot.com

Photo courtesy of the author

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