Mindy Hardwick's Blog

Author Mindy Hardwick Muses about Writing

Fall on the Coast: A Dog’s View

on March 14, 2020

A few weeks ago my story, “Fall on the Coast: A Dog’s View” was selected as one of the readings for the Cannon Beach Library Writer’s Celebration. The story is about a fall day in Cannon Beach told from the point of view of my cocker spaniel, Stormy. The story is an excerpt from my work in progress, World is a Sniff. Enjoy!

Fall on the Coast: A Dog’s View

In the middle of the night, I smell them. The dark and dank scent. I cuddle against my Human in the pillows and covers. I lift my head and stare toward the bedroom window. They are out there. The creatures who smell.

Elk.

I bury my nose against my Human and I only smell her.

In her sleepy state, she pets me. “Shhh…Stormy,” she says my name. “It’s okay.” I snuggle closer to her.  

In the morning, I leap out of bed. I retrieve my Human’s slippers and she serves my breakfast. My Human and I meet up with my dog pals on the coffee shop porch. Muffin and bagel crumbs land on the floor. My dog pals and I bump against each other in the dash for crumbs under the tables.

After coffee, my Human works on her computer and I snuggle beside her on the chair. After a while, I get bored. I use my best pleading whine and she clips on my leash. On our walk, I smell the dank and dark creatures. They are at the top of our hill. I lunge toward them.  Most turn away but one stares at me. Slowly, it takes a step toward me.

My Human tightens my leash. We run down the hill to the park. The scent of elk is all around us.

We pass by the creek. When we are far enough onto the beach, my Human slips off my leash. She throws my ball and my feet dance on the sand. When I get tired, we walk home. The dank, dark smell is gone.

That afternoon, the man in the big truck comes to the door. He hands my Human a box and like always, there is a treat for me. I wiggle and wiggle. I love the man in the big truck.

After dinner, my Human and I meet my dog pals at the end of the street for a beach walk. I am not as fast as I once was, and two beach walks a day is a lot for me now. My dog pals try to get me to play chase, but I can’t always keep up.  

Beach walking Humans always have treats. I like to walk by their sides. I whine a little until a treat finds its way out of a bag and into my mouth. Getting old on the beach isn’t so bad.

After the sun sets, Humans and dogs walk down the hill.  

I smell them again.

The dark, dank creatures.

They are close. 

Very close.

One of my dog pals is off leash. She dashes into the trees. The twigs snap. The dark, dank creatures are everywhere. My dog pal barks at them. She barks and barks.

Her Human calls to her. But she doesn’t come.

The elk lifts his leg to smoosh my dog pal.

The Humans all go silent.

I smell it.

Fear.  

And, then, I hear.

My Human is calling. A high-pitched voice that she learned at our puppy training classes. The Trainer Human told her to use that call if I ever ran into the road. She told her I would stop and come back immediately.

It works for elk too.

Suddenly, my dog pal runs out of the bushes and toward the Humans.

The dark, dank creatures clomp into the woods. Their scent lingers in the air.   

I am happy to walk back to the cottage. At bedtime, I snuggle next to my Human. 

Tonight, the dark, dank creatures do not pass by my house.


2 responses to “Fall on the Coast: A Dog’s View

  1. Susan Lampe, author "Parsing the Dragon: A Memoir" says:

    Great story and like the voice of Stormy which comes through so well. Also the photos are great!! Susan Lampe

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