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There once was a dog who wandered the streets.  He was a kindly dog who did not have a home.

Sometimes, he would see families at the park playing with their dogs.  How he wished he were one of those dogs.  After a time, he decided that he would try to befriend one of the children that played in the park.  He was overcome with excitement and haphazardly ran toward a child while yelling "Hello!" over and over again.  He had almost reached the child when, suddenly, he felt a sharp pain in his side.  A man had kicked him causing him to yelp in pain.  He never went back to the park again.

Despite that incident, it did not deter him from trying to find someone who wanted him.  The dog promised himself that if he should ever find someone to love him, he would return that love a hundredfold.

One rainy morning, as he was searching for food, he happened to come across a pet store.  Inside, he saw dozens of people milling about with beaming smiles on all their faces.  He noticed that all the dogs were just mere puppies barely weaned from their mothers.  Not only that, they were all well groomed and clean.

The dog knew he could not do anything about his age.  Winter was fast approaching and it would be his fifth time through the bitter season.  As for his cleanliness, he had an idea.  He found a large puddle and rolled in it bathing himself in the process.  With a quick shake, he dried himself off the best he could.  The dog trotted over to the pet store and sat right in front of the door, full of confidence, hoping someone would take notice.

People did take notice as they left the store, but not in the way he had hoped.  Most of the people seemed scared of him, while others gave him a look of disgust.  His confidence was slowly crushed by the continuous rejection of the people who passed by him.  Not one of them gave him any sign of encouragement.  As time went by, he began feeling foolish and hurt.  How could he have thought that by simply rolling around in a puddle he could be as presentable as the puppies inside?  The dog kept thinking how stupid and ugly he must have looked.  He was finally chased off by the shop keeper who had a broom in his hand.

He looked back at the pet store, for one last time, and wondered why these people would spend money on a dog when he would have gladly given them his love for free.  He would never understand that.

Once again, he wandered the streets.  It began to rain a little harder and the dog started to sneeze.  He was utterly demoralized and confused.  Why did no one want him?  In his heart, he knew he was a good dog and if he could just be given a chance, he could prove that beyond a shadow of a doubt.

Night was falling and the chill in the air forced the dog to seek out shelter.  As he was making his way to an abandoned building he normally slept in,  he heard a woman screaming.  Driven mostly by curiosity, he ran over to where the scream had come from.  The dog saw a young lady, who looked as if she were throwing out some trash, cornered by a rat in an alley way, but it was no normal rat.  It had sharp teeth, beady little black eyes, grey fur, and was very, very large.  He had run into one early on in his life and knew that it was very mean and very nasty.  Regardless, the dog charged the over-sized rat and barked fiercely at it.  The rat hissed and snapped its teeth at him.  He dodged to the side and bit the rat on its long, thick tail.  It let out a high pitched shriek and sped away into the shadows of the alley.  

The dog let out a low growl then barked once.  Satisfied that the rat was gone, he turned to see if the young lady was okay.  She had her hands over her mouth and her eyes were still wide with fright, but other than that, she seemed unharmed and that was enough for him.  With pride swelling in his chest, and a sense of accomplishment, he went to leave.  

Before he had a chance to, he saw the woman crouch down, patting her thighs with her hands.  The dog knew she meant for him to come to her.  He had seen that signal many times down at the park, but never in his life had someone called him over before.  His heart was pounding wildly as he kept his head down and ever so slowly went to her.  It was then that the most wonderful thing in the world had happened.  

The young lady wrapped her arms around the dog and hugged him tightly.  She whispered some words into his ears and, although he did not understand what she was saying, he knew from the tone of her voice that they were kind words.  The dog wept.

After a time, the woman released her embrace, stood up, and smiled at him.  He danced around in circles and barked playfully at her.  She laughed and said a few words while motioning him to stay.  The dog was more than happy to comply and waited for her as she stepped into her apartment building.  

A few moments later, the young lady re-appeared with her hands behind her back.  Wondering what she was hiding, the dog sat and cocked his head to one side.  She removed her hands from hiding and presented him with a sandwich; not one that was partially eaten, not one that was moldy and old, but a whole one that was just made...for him.  He took the food gently from her hands then wolfed it down hungrily.  It was the most delicious thing he had ever eaten.  Once done, he licked her hands to thank her.  

She let out a sad sigh and patted the dog on his head.  He saw her point at him then back to her apartment building while shaking her head.  He understood.  He was not allowed to live inside and would be an outdoor dog which suited him just fine.  He barked once and wagged his tail at the kind woman to let her know he understood.  She smiled once more at him and waved goodbye as she went back inside her home for the evening.

The dog decided to spend the night in the alleyway instead of the abandoned building he had originally planned on.  He knocked over an empty, plastic garbage can and crawled inside it.  With a smile in his heart, he slowly closed his eyes and looked forward to seeing the woman in the morning.  He would be the best dog in the whole world.  His loyalty to her would be second to none and he would protect her from any and all harm.  

For once in his life he felt wanted, needed... and one day, maybe, just maybe, even loved.
One day.

The following is for :iconthewrittenrevolution:
Critique [link]

Hi! Just wanted to say thank you for taking time to read my story. =)

As for feedback and criticism, I appreciate any and all!
Personally, I just mainly want to know if you enjoyed reading it.
Did it maintain your interest all the way through? Was it too slow at any point?
What did you like or dislike about this story?
Also, I hope it made you feel something inside.
Grammatically, I'm not the strongest, so if you see any mistakes, please feel free to say so. =D

Well, I hope you liked it and thanks again for reading it. =)
Add a Comment:
 
:iconja-mes:
Ja-mes Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
Hello. So very nice to read such a lovely story on Deviant! I've only been around for a day, and most of it has been either existential or dark. Neither of which are bad, but I like happy endings a lot. Yours was very moving, and I look forward to reading more of the same!

Anyway, I enjoyed reading this piece very much. Relatively simple language describes an easily accessible story and a very lovable main character that is easy to empathize with. The story, although fairly rudimentary, moves well - I didn't give up on it until the end, which, I admit, I regretted coming to!

I do not notice any grammatical errors (a big deal on the internet!).

I don't really dislike any aspect of this story as such. I think there could have been more description of settings and characters, but it would be difficult to do that and maintain the innocence of the piece upheld by such a simple writing style. So I'll keep my mouth shut on that point!

All in all, excellent. Keep up the good work!
Reply
:iconlaugh-till-you-bleed:
Thank you very kindly! I'm really glad you like reading it. =)
Reply
:iconja-mes:
Ja-mes Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
Ja-mes 'likes' this.
Reply
:iconshelby-jojewelry:
Shelby-JoJewelry Featured By Owner Sep 11, 2011  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
It's a seriously sweet story. I definitely got all teary-eyed also! *sarah-chan and I are holding an auction to help out with PetLuv like Talty said :] We were touched about this story about a kitten that had been abused and they tried helping it. Unfortunately, the kitten had to be put down after a serious bout of seizures, but they gave the kitten the love and attention it deserved while it was alive.
It makes me happy to hear about people who care about animals. Good job on this, it's seriously sweet and I'm glad I got to read it. :]
Reply
:iconlaugh-till-you-bleed:
I'm sorry to hear about the kitten, but you're right. At least it was loved in the end.

Thank you for your kind words. Really appreciate it. =)
Reply
:iconshelby-jojewelry:
Shelby-JoJewelry Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2011  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
No problem :]
Reply
:iconbluecurse60:
bluecurse60 Featured By Owner Sep 10, 2011
I have to say that I thought you were going to take the Old Yeller or Sad-Dead-Dog story at one point but was very relieved to see that there was a happy ending in there somewhere. It kept my interest very well and mostly in part due to the first part of my comment. If anyone else has told you about your comma use you may want ti looked at but as for me personally it wasn't distracting from the story. So I hope that helped some and good job. Just pay attention to people's advice on grammar and you should do just fine.
Reply
:iconlaugh-till-you-bleed:
Sweet! Thank you for taking the time to read it and for your critiques and kind comments. =)

I'm gonna have to study up on commas. XD
Reply
:icontalty:
Talty Featured By Owner Sep 8, 2011   Artisan Crafter
This is beautiful and it made me teary. I feel strongly about this story because I rescue cats and I hep dogs whenever I can, so I related to a lot of things you described. I like the way it's written and I think that it has a strong message. I would love to see it in a pet adoption campaign, I'm sure it would convince many.

I'm sorry I can't give you more feedback about the grammatical and literary aspects, I'm not a writer. But as a reader, I liked it a lot and it made me feel anxious, sad, excited and hopeful.
Reply
:iconlaugh-till-you-bleed:
Laugh-Till-You-Bleed Featured By Owner Sep 8, 2011
Thank you so much for your heartfelt words! Truly!

I love dogs myself, so I felt like writing something like this. They are so loyal and loving. =D

As for your idea for putting it in a campaign, I LOVE IT!

If you have any connections or anything to an adoption organization, I would be more than happy to submit the story to them!

Thank you so much for taking the time to read my story and for your kind words. It means a lot. :hug:
Reply
:icontalty:
Talty Featured By Owner Sep 9, 2011   Artisan Crafter
You are welcome! I thought that at least I could give you an idea of what I felt while reading your story.

Well I live in Mexico and I know of a few campaigns here, but none in the US. My friends *Shelby-JoJewelry and *sarah-chan are into animal rights and they were organizing an auction to raise money for PetLuv, but they're more about "fixing" than adopting. I'm sure any of them would be more than happy to help you find an organization, they're very nice and they like to help animals.
Reply
:iconlaugh-till-you-bleed:
Ooh, thank you so much! I will definitely give them a try!

Also, I think you are doing a wonderful thing by helping animals. You're awesome! =D
Reply
:icontalty:
Talty Featured By Owner Sep 10, 2011   Artisan Crafter
Thank you! You are awesome too :D
Reply
:icondailylitdeviations:
DailyLitDeviations Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2011
Your wonderful literary work has been chosen to be featured by DLD (Daily Literature Deviations) and has been selected as our Pick of the Day. It is featured in a news article here: [link] and on our main page.

Keep writing and keep creating.
Reply
:iconlaugh-till-you-bleed:
Oh WOW!! Thank you so, so, SOOO much! =D
You made my night! Shoot, you've probably made my day tomorrow as well! Haha!!
Wheeeeee!
*Does a back flip*
Reply
:iconohmistermagazine:
ohmistermagazine Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2011  Student Writer
Firstly, I have to admit that the plotline is a bit overdone - lonely, unloved animal finds a human to love it. Also, your climax with the rat seemed unlikely - how often does a young woman encounter a giant rat in an alley, gets rescued by a dog, and subsequently takes it home to keep?

But having an overdone plotline is not necessarily bad. By putting a new spin on an old idea, you show your own creativity and can excel at something that is difficult to do. One way for you to this - and also address another problem I noticed - is to show, not tell.

Let me explain. One of the strongest aspects of your story is the emphasis on the dog's emotions. Loneliness is something that everyone can relate to, but, when reading through, I didn't feel anything, primarily because you TOLD me how the dog felt. For example, As time went by, he began feeling foolish and hurt. You could instead SHOW the dog feeling foolish and hurt. etc.

Another way to evoke emotion is to make the protagonist relatable. If the reader can relate to him/her, then whatever happens will feel more personal. The easiest way to create a relatable character is to give him/her a definite personality. Right now, the dog's personality does not really shine through. All you have now is plot - there's no real characterization.

On a more minor note, you use the word "dog" a lot, especially at the beginning. Since the dog is the only real character for a while, using the pronoun "him" a little more won't hurt.

Lastly, the title is a cliche. Try picking a title that has to do with the theme or idea you're trying to portray.

You have good bones here - definitely focus on the show vs tell aspect, and the story will improve greatly.

:heart: Esso~
Reply
:iconlaugh-till-you-bleed:
Wow! This is the most thorough critique I've ever had! Thank you for taking the time to do so and reading my story. =D

As for the "rat", I was hoping that people would get the fact that it was a possum. XD I figured from the dog's point of view it would look like an overgrown rat. =P I'll either give more hints or just say, flat out, it's a possum to clarify.

I'll change up the pronouns a bit more. =)

Oh, as for the show vs. tell, how do I show the dog feeling foolish and hurt? Any examples or hints would be appreciated!

As for the title, I'm a sucker for cliches. XD Sorry about that. =P

Thanks again for everything! I'll make some minor changes now. =)

And, yes, I love emoticons! XD
Reply
:iconohmistermagazine:
ohmistermagazine Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2011  Student Writer
No problem! ^^ hope I could help.

On the show vs. tell - the easiest way I can explain it is to, instead of saying he feels some way, have him act like it. Since he's a dog, maybe say, "His ears drooped" etc. Or even mention his thoughts, ie. "He thought about the countless times he had been ignored before." Things like that. Just demonstrate through his actions and thoughts how he feels, instead of stating it outright.

Heh... cliches definitely aren't my thing. But, then again, I'm not the god of literature or anything XD

emoticons are the best. word.
Reply
:iconlaugh-till-you-bleed:
Laugh-Till-You-Bleed Featured By Owner Sep 4, 2011
Ooh! I really like the ears drooping thing. So through his body language. I like that alot! Thank you. =)

High five on emoticons!!! :highfive:
Reply
:iconohmistermagazine:
ohmistermagazine Featured By Owner Sep 4, 2011  Student Writer
No problem at all~ ^^

woop woop! :highfive:
Reply
:iconstevecook23:
stevecook23 Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2011
Ok; I can't participate in the Critique thing, it's time I sorted that out and got a subscription so that I can start adding my own stuff to here. Anyway.

I enjoyed your story a great deal; the dog as a character is well written, although given human characteristics. I'm glad that it came through for the dog in the end; It was how I thought it would pan out, because that's how stories 'go'. That's no bad thing; it shows how well-written it was that it was still interesting.

I didn't spot any errors, spelling-wise or grammatically; all-in-all, a good read :) Thank you!
Reply
:iconlaugh-till-you-bleed:
Thank you for taking the time to read it and critique it! =D
It makes me very happy to hear you enjoyed it. =)
Reply
:iconmeerkat14:
meerkat14 Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2011
b'awwe this was awesome, it made me smile :) it was never too slow, i loved the simplicity - it really sounded as though the dog was narrating - and i didn't notice any grammatical errors.
Reply
:iconlaugh-till-you-bleed:
Yay! Thank you so much for reading it and for your kind words! =D
I'm so happy you liked it! =)
Reply
:iconwakip:
WaKip Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2011   Writer
Oh my god Q_Q made me almost teary. Absolutely beautiful story, and from an unexpected outlook, its not often you hear these kind of stories from a dogs view, especially humanized. This was a wonderful read :)
Reply
:iconlaugh-till-you-bleed:
Aww, thank you so much!
Yeah, I figured even dogs needed someone to translate what they thought. =P
I'm so happy to hear you liked reading it. =)
Reply
:iconfelice173:
Felice173 Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
Fantastic story, I absolutely love it!
Reply
:iconlaugh-till-you-bleed:
Aw, thank you very much! =D
Reply
:iconfelice173:
Felice173 Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
Gladly :D
Reply
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