Best Dog | Flash Fiction | Chicago Reader

Best Dog 

Flash Fiction 2018

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RACHAL DUGGAN
  • Rachal Duggan

My dog is the best dog. He's well trained, and he likes to cuddle, but there's other things, too. Like the other day, I took him for a walk, and some asshole called me something he shouldn't have. My dog killed the man by breathing a thick stream of blue fire. He didn't even bark. When he was done, he tugged at the leash because he wanted to smell some other dog's pee.

Another time, I brought my dog with me when I was visiting my boyfriend (now fiancé), who lived in D.C. While my boyfriend was at work, my dog and I went on a long walk, sticking to some of the less crowded streets. Because I can't resist my dog's cute face—and because normally he's well behaved—I let him lead me for a while. He seemed to know exactly where to go, since we'd get to a corner and he'd know which direction to turn, no pause-and-sniff needed. Turned out, there was a bird, a giant one that had escaped from a corporate lab, flying in the area. It didn't kill anyone, but a lot of people got hurt (and even more people were covered in shit). My dog knew that bird was coming, and he had led me away from it so we didn't get hurt or shit on. Later that afternoon, I was able to see my then-boyfriend-now-fiancé birdshit-free.

Earlier, before I met my fiancé, I was seeing this guy. (My dog never liked him.) He was maybe less sentimental than other guys I would date, but at the time, he seemed like he had a good head on his shoulders (whatever that means). About a month into the relationship, I was about to go on my laptop, and I saw that my dog had hacked the guy's Facebook page. His little puppy paws were typing a status update, one letter at a time. Before I could stop him, my dog posted as if he were this guy, "I'm a rapist."

I find out later, the guy was a rapist. A few years earlier, he had assaulted a woman while she was asleep. He said he thought it was consensual. When I saw it on the news, I realized I didn't like that guy that much after all.

Usually at the end of the day, I'll plop into bed, and my dog will jump on the bed after me. Sometimes, he'll transform. When he does, the room glows soft white. In a moment that feels calm and warm, a hundred eyes appear on his body, and each of those eyes is looking at me, telling me that it's going to be OK.

He falls asleep with his tummy in the air. When he wakes up, he stretches, gets up, and shakes off the sleep. He loves eating early in the morning, so I go to his dish and feed him. He devours his food, then runs to his rope, and we play tug-of-war.   v

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