Well, I still haven’t told you about the white dog. / by Terry Greene Sterling

The white dog as a puppy.

The white dog as a puppy.

Well, I still haven’t told you about the white dog.

He’s a writer’s dog, a Golden Retriever, the kind they call English Cream.

Sometimes, after a few hours of writing, I feel wrung out, depleted, incapable of productive thought. When that happens, the white dog knows. He steps in.  He bays. He wants to go outside. He wants to dig holes in the flower beds. He wants to chase a lizard. Whatever. He won’t leave me be until I move out of the writing room and open the door to the garden.

Beyond that, he inspires six-word novels.

  • Napping near my chair, he twitches.

  • A curious nose, clawed by rodents.

  • He swallows a wasp, and wonders.

He’s a Golden Retriever. Often distracted. Always obedient if food is involved.

He was born in Arizona. His soft coat is redolent of the desert. And chlorine, sometimes. On hot days, he lies on the swimming pool steps, lifts his head, sniffs the air for white-wing dove with his savvy nose.  

The white dog is brave. He does not fear thunder, fireworks, strangers, or coyotes.

He sleeps behind my office chair when I write.  He watches snippets of the Westminster Dog Show on TV. He eats carrots. And paper from the recycling bin.

He doesn’t cotton to manicures.

But then neither do I.