Writers and Their Dogs

At Bath Flash Fiction, a few winners have mentioned their dogs in interviews with me after their wins. So as we near the end of the October 2018 round of Bath Flash Fiction Award, judged by Nuala 0’Connor, we’re giving the winners’ dogs a spotlight. Dogs are inspirational and we know several other dog-loving flash fiction writers, whose dogs are essential to their writing lives.

Molia Dumbleton’s lovely dog, Huckle is pictured here  with Molia. Molia won third prize in the February 2018 round of Bath Flash Fiction Award judge by Tara L. Masih, with her flash ‘Why Shit is Still Like This Around Here and Probably Always Will Be‘  In my interview with her, I asked her if her dog was her muse. She said. “I think my only muse might be a deadline. Ha! But sadly, kind of true. I go for very, very long walks with my dog and those are pretty essential, just for energizing and de-cluttering the head.”

David Rhymes who lives in Spain won third prize in the June 2017 round of Bath Flash Fiction Award, judged by Meg Pokrass,  with his flash, ‘The Place We Live Before We Don’t’.  He also likes to go for long walks with his dog, to mull over his stories and get ideas. This is Callie, a mile out from his house 20kms from Pamplona.  A very characterful shot of her, we think.

Nicholas Cook’s  flash, The Peculiar Trajectory of Space Objects’  won second prize in the February 2017 round of Bath Flash Fiction Award judged by Kathy Fish. I asked him if his dog Jane featured in any of this fictions. He said she was finding her way into fictions and he also told us a bit more about her.  “I adopted her in September of 2016 from a rescue organization that I also volunteer at in Dallas. She was a stray so they don’t know how old she is. Most people think she’s old because of the grey in her face, but I say she’s distinguished. She’s part Saluki, which is the dog in Amy Hempel’s story ‘Nashville Gone to Ashes’. I reread this story recently and had forgotten it was the same kind of dog. Jane even lets me brush her teeth in the same way!”

I interviewed Amanda 0’Callaghan in June 2017 after her first prize win for ‘Tying Down the Boats,‘ a story which judge Meg Pokrass chose and which was subsequently selected by Amy Hempel for Best Small Fictions 2018. This micro is now published in that anthology as well as in our second anthology ‘The Lobsters Run Free‘.  In the interview, Amanda told us a little about her writing routine. “Because I live in the sub-tropics, the light is magnificent, so from where I sit I can look out my kitchen windows at a huge sky, which I love. My dog Dee Dee often lies nearby, watching me and egging me on in her quiet, doggie way.”

Last week,when I asked Amanda about including Dee Dee in this post, she told me that she had just died at the age of fourteen, which is very old for a greyhound. Amanda said Dee Dee always loved attention and she was happy to have her included in this post. She sent me the picture below, of her in her younger days. We have also included the picture of Dee Dee  sitting on her cushion, which was first posted in our interview last year.

It feels fitting to end  with these pictures of  her, a small tribute to a beloved dog companion.

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