My novella, SHOW DOG SINGS THE BLUES, was nominated by the prestigious Dog Writers Association of America for Best Humor Book of 2011. The story is about a prissy, pampered Australian Shepherd named Talisman who is mistaken for a cowdog and has to work on a ranch for the day. Talisman has a very high opinion of herself, and some of her preconceived ideas are challenged during the course of her adventure. Please enjoy this fun scene, told from Talisman’s viewpoint:
* * *
Few humans knew that dogs understood people way more than they could imagine. We noticed every single word of their body language, smelled every emotion, and most of us knew exactly what they were saying. Just because we couldn’t respond with similar words, most humans considered us stupid and inferior. Except for the opposable thumb issue, we were quite an impressive species.
And, of course, some of us were more impressive than others.
While I was lying there pondering the amazing species that was canine, a feline invaded me. Much to my chagrin, I felt the little paws climb up onto my back, make the trek to my fluffy collar, and settle down right between my shoulder blades. Soon, the tiny trespasser was kneading, purring, and totally embarrassing me.
My nose told me that it was Little Blue Eyes.
What was I supposed to do now? If I stood up, she would fall—I didn’t want to hurt her. And she was so happy where she was.
Josh glanced over at us. “You gotta kitten on your back.”
Tell me something I don’t know.
His eyes darted beyond me. “Uh, oh.”
I had a feeling as to what was coming.
Sure enough, Siamese Mommy stalked right up to my head, delivered two well-aimed blows to my ear, put her two front feet up onto my back, grabbed Little Blue Eyes by the scruff, and stormed off.
Owww! I rubbed the place on my ear where her claws had snagged, then licked the blood off my paw.
It was worth the pain and indignation to see Josh smile. The event seemed to have snapped him out of his dark place.
“You’re a real interestin’ dog,” he said.
Oh, you don’t know the half of it. I could make you even happier if I could tell you about the time Val dressed me up as Xena: Warrior Princess for the Canine Costume Ball—I developed an interesting fan club as a result of that escapade. Then there’s the fact I have a crush on Ellen DeGeneres and like to imagine I’m her when I dance—I wear a darling little vest and a scarf that says CALL ME ELLEN. Then, of course, there are my many romantic misadventures full of forbidden love affairs and canine angst. People need entertainment to keep them away from the dark places, and I’m happy to oblige. Val was in show business and raised me to understand the value of it.
Unfortunately, Josh didn’t hear a word I said. He reached down to the floor, picked up a sizable slice of hoof, and threw it over to me. “Here’s a snack, girl.”
How insulting! I was a dog who ate organic kibble, not a dog who chowed down on dirty old horse hooves. I grimaced. I sniffed it. I turned up my lip in disgust. I touched it with my tongue. I nibbled on it. I liked it. I chewed it. I ate it. I hung my head in shame.
Later, I blamed the unfortunate incident on the fact that I had missed lunch.
Copyright © 2011 – Devin O’Branagan – All Rights Reserved
* * *
Please visit my website to read more excerpts. SHOW DOG SINGS THE BLUES may also be found in both print and eBook editions on Amazon. A portion of the proceeds from this book are donated to AussieRescue.org.
Devin O’Branagan is a bestselling author who writes novels about uncommon heroes. Her genres include young adult urban fantasy, paranormal thrillers, comic mysteries, and fiction about dogs and cats. She is a member of the Dog Writers Association of America, and many of her writing projects support animal rescue. Her books have been published by Simon & Schuster’s Pocket Books in English, Heyne Verlag in German, and Dogan Egmont in Turkish. All of her books are available in both print and eBook formats. Visit her website at DevinWrites.com.