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Gerald’s Talking Dog Essay Contest 2014: First Place

BeerDog

Illustration © 2014, Peter DeVoe

By Lisa Wamsley

Gerald’s Talking Dog loves cherries. That’s all he talks about. In fact, I can’t get him to shut up. Gerald and I are trying to have a conversation, and his dog keeps interrupting. He’s starting to get on my nerves.

I ask Gerald, quietly, “Isn’t there any way to get him to stop talking?”
Gerald shakes his head. “Once he’s on a roll, he tends to be rather long winded. Sorry.”

The Talking Dog starts comparing cherry pie recipes. Homemade lattice crust versus crumb topping. Getting into the details, too. Like using ice water when making the crust. Or making sure to use unsalted English butter.

I grab a french fry, break it in half, toss it to the dog. Without missing a syllable, he snatches it from mid air and continues talking.

“Did you ever try dried cherries in homemade granola?” Talking Dog asks, swallowing the fry “It’s sublime. And how about chocolate covered cherries? I’ve never had them, because Gerald here says chocolate kills dogs. I think he’s just keeping them all for himself.”

He sniffs, turns his head away from Gerald.

I grab a few more fries, and hold them out to Dog. He takes them gently, starts to chew, then begins his next cherry story.

“Did I ever tell you about that time I got to visit a cherry orchard?” he asks, mouth full of potatoes.

I upped my game a bit, and broke off a piece of my hamburger. Maybe a nice juicy piece of beef would get him to be quiet, even just for a few minutes. Dog took the bite, but kept on reminiscing about the orchard. Ketchup on his lower lip, chewing openly. “It was wonderful. Like I was in Heaven. I could smell them, every last one of them. I swear I could smell the blossoms from the previous Spring!”

Gerald sat quietly this whole time. I suppose he was used to it. But I couldn’t take much more. I took a sip of my drink, and thought maybe Dog was thirsty. I poured a some of my drink into a dish, and gave it to the dog. When he lapped up his first drops of Stormcloud Brewing’s Cherry Rye Dubbel, the dog went silent.

He sat down.
“Good Boy,” I said.
He gave me his paw. I shook it.
His eyes slowly rose to meet mine.
“Well?” I ask. “What’d you think?”
He laid down, rolled over, showed me his belly.
Gerald’s Talking Dog had nothing more to say.

See all the winning submissions from current and past entries here.

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