Look at this teaser for a short story that just went up at tor.com:
“Dog” by Bruce McAllister is a chilling horror story about a young American couple who encounter dogs in Mexico very unlike any domesticated variety north of the border and what happens.
Uh, no. Count me out. Not touching it. But thank you so much for warning me! No, seriously, I appreciate knowing I should not read this story.
For example, Kij Johnson’s short story, “The evolution of trickster stories among the dogs of North Park after the Change.” I would have appreciated a warning on this one: DO NOT READ IF YOU ARE RACHEL NEUMEIER. Not that it’s not well written. And tying it into a kind of anthropological report format is so interesting and just my kind of thing! But sad, abandoned dogs are not for me.
That is worse than the dog dying. Usually.
“A Boy and His Dog” didn’t bother me. I could appreciate what Ellison was doing and awful stuff that doesn’t involve awfulness happening to the dog is fairly tolerable. But normally, these days, if the word “dog” is in the title, I’m pretty cautious about touching the story. I notice that Michael Swanwick’s story “The Dog Said Bow-Wow” is listed as one of Locus’s picks as Best Short Story of the 21st Century. But I sure wouldn’t read it unless someone who knows me gave me a thumbs-up.
Incidentally, Duranna Durgin has a wonderful real-life story about her beagles up at Book View Café today. Complete with adorable beagle pictures. She is making me feel guilty and neglectful as a trainer, I must say. My dogs all want me to do a ton more training with them even if it cuts into my writing schedule. I will be totally embarrassed if I don’t get around to putting at least one or two Rally titles on Ish this year. He loves training so much, and Rally is so easy, but I’ve done so little work with him. Well, soon the weather will warm up and we will have some fun times until the summer’s heat (and encroaching deadlines) drive me back to my air-conditioned living room and my laptop.
Gratuitous spaniel pic: Please can you stop typing and do something fun?