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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: The Family Pet (05/15/08)

TITLE: Rugger
By Don Beers



He looked more like a dust mop than a Pekinese, which is why my wife named him “Rugger”, he’s never far enough from the floor to be a real dog, but lying down he’s an adorable rug.

Our daughters cat is half again Ruggers size and it’s not until Cali’s claws, like a furry fistful of switchblades, are sunk into his flat nose that he is reminded of his rightful place in our home. To his credit, he learned quickly and the cat couldn’t be more pleased with his academic progress.

I’m not one to spoil too many of the creatures in my home. If the kids are thirsty; they know where the kitchen is. If they’re hungry “make a sandwich until Mom gets home” are 7 memorized words given to promote their self sufficiency around the house. Besides, Rugger’s on my lap and I don’t want to disturb him & certainly not for a child who can open the refrigerator.

Rugger isn’t spoiled. Shortly after he’d decided to grace our home with his puppy presence, I discovered that the shape of his head is an obstacle; neither his food bowl nor water bowl will grant him passage. But, just because I hand feed him and let him drink from the bathroom sink doesn’t mean that he gets preferential treatment.

Ruggers’ ancestors were, by Chinese law, the property of royalty. Any commoner found to have the “lion head” in their possession were immediately executed and the dog was taken to the palace. How Rugger knows this is beyond me. His throne, my former recliner, is the “mane” thing.

“Rug-a-bug”, my pet name for him, up until two days ago had been adorned with the usual Pekinese fur, both in length and color. Now that warmer weather has come, he made a royal decree that he be allowed to leave unnecessary hair all over the house. There were times there was “more dog” on the floor than there was on the dog.

Well, in light of that, my wife also made a royal decree that Rugger no longer be able to shed his excess attire at will. So, she did the most ungodly thing imaginable and violated Rugger’s free will. She shaved him, and I mean she really shaved him.

He’s got a new look and although it will take some getting used to, I like it. Now, he’s not a “rug” anymore, at least not until it grows out again.

“How did you get him to hold still?” My tone of voice reflected my awe when I realized that my petite bride had literally held down the famed “lion dog” and had shorn the king of our jungle.

“It took 4 hot dogs, but I got it done.” The mighty huntress replied.
“He looks like a Q-tip with legs.” My critique of her hair stylist abilities.
“Yeah, well, at least now he’s not a ‘flea condo’ and my Swiffer will be happier.” She defended.
“True. But now he doesn’t look like a rug. I know! We’ll call him ‘mat’.” I suggested.

Why Matthew, our son, is opposed to the name change is beyond me.

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This article has been read 569 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Yvonne Blake 05/22/08
I think Rugger is spoiled, but I'll take your word for it. I like the line, "it took 4 hotdogs". That's how I clip my dog, too.
cute story
terri tiffany05/23/08
This story flowed really well! But when you reached the dialogue at the end, it got abit jumpy--could be the switch. THe lines were wonderful but perhaps the tags after them could be reworked some. Just a thought but up to that-- it was terrific!!! You are a good writer and I bet you move up quickly!!
Judy Doyle 05/23/08
Not spoiled? HAHA! I enjoyed the article. We had to have our dog shorn, too. Looked real strange - almost naked. Thanks for sharing.
Marlene Austin05/27/08
Delightful story. And, no pet owner ever SPOILS their pet - they just COME to us that way. :)
Beckie Stewart05/27/08
You use great description in your writing.
Holly Westefeld05/28/08
ROFL! You had me chuckling throughout with your wry tone. I, too, suspect you may not remain in Level 1 for long.
Helen Murray05/28/08
Thoroughly enjoyable read. Thanks
May Flowers05/29/08
Congratulations on your win! Cute story and cute dog...and obviously not spoiled in the least. :-)
Betsy Markman05/29/08
Great stuff overall! There were some errors of grammar and punctuation, but the overall "feel" of the story was so great that it was easy to overlook them. I love the owner's attitude of denial about spoiling the dog, and the "Q-Tip with legs," and the "More dog on the floor than on the dog." Great visuals.
Joshua Janoski05/29/08
Congratulations on placing 24th overall with this entry, Don!