Writers and Their Pets: Sherrie Flick

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The ‘Writers and Their Pets’ series began with my own desire to celebrate my dog Sally, and over the coming months I will also invite other writers to share with the rest of us the details of their lives with beloved pets. —Ladette Randolph, Editor-in-Chief

SherrieBubsXmasEve2011Blu was born on July 3, 2006, and he is a good boy.

It just so happens that my birthday is also July 3rd, but we are bonded over much more than that. Blu is a Yorkshire Terrier and he is my first dog. Before he came into my life I was a confirmed cat person but all that changed.

I had never wanted a dog, and I didn’t want this one. When he arrived at our house, Blu was no bigger than a guinea pig and I wondered how he would ever be able to go up and down the stairs. The first walk we took him on, he couldn’t make it up onto the curb by himself.

The rule was that I was not responsible for this puppy. The other rules were: No sweaters. No toys. Well, just a couple toys. But no sweaters!

My step-daughter Sage had wanted the puppy. She had recently come to live with us at age 15 and was heading into a difficult time in her life. We thought the puppy would help ease the transition. Soon, that difficult time sent her away from us again.

I remember the moment when my husband and I, swimming in sadness and confusion, looked down and there was this tiny, tiny dog standing on its little legs in the middle of our kitchen floor, looking at us looking at him. I remember saying, “Oh right. We have a dog.”

Soon, I was throwing tiny twigs to the tiny guy, teaching him to fetch as he hopped like a bunny maneuvering the grass in our yard. Soon, he saw my lap as home. Soon I bought him sweaters. Of course I did. And treats.

Now he is a whopping 9 pounds, and we are co-dependent Cancerians, spending our days together writing and chewing on bones. When I say sit, he sits. When I say no, he sometimes listens. When I say, give me a kiss. He does. Every time. Without hesitation. When I say Bubby, he looks at me with all the hope in the world and then he barks his head off.

Sherrie Flick is the author of the flash fiction chapbook I Call This Flirting (Flume) and the novel Reconsidering Happiness (Bison Books). Her flash fiction appears in many anthologies including Norton’s Flash Fiction Forward and New Sudden Fiction. Her stories have appeared in journals such as North American Review, Ploughshares, Quarterly West, Northwest Review, Prairie Schooner, Puerto del Sol, and Booth. She has received grants and fellowships from Sewanee Writers’ Conference, and the Ucross Foundation,