All Dogs go to Heaven by Jan

All Dogs go to Heaven by Jan # La Société Protectrice des Animaux, or SPA, is located in the dodgy industrial part of Rennes and about 25 minutes by bus from my apartment. I work there as a volunteer over the weekends. My duties consist of walking the dogs and manning the reception. I always...

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12 days ago

As I read your story, I am sitting on my couch. I have a husky on one side. She was a rescue dog. I have a beagle on the other. They are both sound asleep and snoring.

Nice writing, Jan.

1 month ago

Hi Jan,

What a thoroughly enjoyable read.
You capture the essence of the relationship between man and his best friend.

I agree with Cheryl, you leave the story in a most unfortunate place.
On reflection, there may be parts that could have been sacrificed to bring the story to a more fitting end. But like all things, this can be fixed.

A few things to ponder:

Look for repetitions especially “she” and “her”.
In one paragraph you have “her condition … her in her cage … for her. … exposed her belly … spoke to her …”

You have a fair amount of adverbs. Re read them all again asking if they really help or hinder the delivery of your story.

There is a lot in your story. If you stick to the relationship, rather than the man’s personal pursuits, you might salvage the word count to deliver a more fitting ending.

I do love some of your lines … “… the white ball of fluff reached the tarred road”

Thank you for sharing.
Keep Writing.

Cheers,
Paul

Member
1 month ago

I enjoyed reading your story, Jan, except for the ending which was so sad. I also got my dog from the shelter and she has become my best friend. Thank you for sharing.

Member
1 month ago

Oh, no! I don’t have a pet but this breaks my heart. Can I hope for a happy ending in the continuation?
I love the tone of the story. It just flowed with such warmth and affection, it was beautiful. I loved it until the very end. But, sigh, I’ll wait for the next installment.

Member
1 month ago

oh you terrible man! You made me cry. Excuse any typos as I cannot see the screen clearly through tears. This sounds like the first chapter of a book I would definitely read. (In between bouts of crying).
I can only imagine that you are a dog lover – either that or you are a master of imagination (or maybe both).
I loved the way you included your previous stories in this tale (though you don’t need to have read your previous stories to make sense of it as it stands alone too).
One thing that bothered me from a pedantic point of view is the floppy ears becoming erect. A Labrador would never have erect ears regardless of the stimulus. Erect ears are what a German Shepherd has. An alert Labrador would have ‘alert ears’ that lift higher and be almost rigid but still hang down – if that makes sense.
Oh boy – now I have to wait SUCH a long time to see where this is going.

Member
1 month ago

Oh my word, Jan! I am in tears as I write this, not having anticipated this ending, though I suppose I ought to have, given the title. Your story really touched my heart, as it felt like you were sharing a slice of your own life, volunteering at the SPA, finding and rescuing Rivkha. I love how you talk with her (I do that with my own Mazey dog), showing how aspects of your life interweave into your short stories. And even if this is not truly autobiographical, it was personal and emotionally moving and I loved it. Well done!

Member
1 month ago

Jan! What did you do to me? I actually yelled out, “oh Jan!” just as I finished the story. I’m with Cheryl–I’m left hanging, not knowing what to think and making up a happy ending before I go to bed!! I loved the self reflection in the piece and how you let us know about your inspiration for the wonderful sci-fi tale that you’ve been weaving. I am hoping that Rivkha will become a fixture in our MC’s life and not return to the kennel. I liked the “olfactory map”-I’ve never heard that term, and it is quite descriptive.
The summary of the writer’s work and the emphasis of the deep connection between souls was informative…I didn’t think of that before when I read your ongoing saga but I see that now-so I found it helpful. I did find myself wanting to know a little more about the doctor friend who has been treating patients with COVID. I enjoyed the little moments with Rivkha and how they brought a sense of peace and normalcy after weeks of lockdown.
This was a particularly well described sentiment about handling the stress of lockdown: “These are the moments that matter – where we can stand in witness to the fact that a single act of kindness, however small, has the potential to light up all the stars in the sky.”

A shining slice of life story that was very enjoyable to read. If you continued this memoir, it would be a lot of fun to read!

Member
1 month ago

Hey Jan and goes it? This was a change up from your ongoing sagas but it retained a lot of your signature tunes in the writing. Great dialogue, and plenty of sensitivity, to start. I really felt the ‘permission’ your narrator gave to Rivkha in ‘…I know you’re going to pull through, but I understand if you don’t want to.’ I also wondered about the ‘fiction’ classification, as it felt like you speaking about you at quite a few levels. Really dramatic ending, we are left to hope the little white dog survived the impact, and that Rivkha also not hurt. Well done with this and regards, Seyi

Member
1 month ago

Hi Jan, Ja, I think Jane is right – there’s a fine line here between what is real and what is fiction. I suppose that’s true for all that we end up writing, not so?
I love how you answered the comments and critiques on your last-month’s story here so subtly by weaving it into the one-sided conversations with Rikvha. And it seems Rikvha is going to have to learn to love the viola, because she’s going to be hearing a lot of three-octave scales in real life…
Another thing I relished: “harvesting of good intentions that had been cultivated during the many weeks locked up inside.”
That really resonated with me. I’ve had so many conversations with friends these last weeks about the good habits and the turns for the better that lockdown had orchestrated.

Member
1 month ago

Hi Jan. What a touching story. You do say fiction but it seemed a bit like it linked into your life:) As a reformed dog lover (since getting a puppy 9 months ago) I could really relate to this story. The terrible anguish of that little white ball of fluff and its brutal ending…..
I am glad you are going to continue on with this story. I really enjoyed it.

Two very tiny edits:

She led with her head down and then up to looked ahead and back at me, willing me to let her off the leash. – head down and then up to look ahead

We walked through a shaded forest next to the canal where tall Ash and Oaks trees flanked the gravel path – tall Ash and Oak trees

Thanks for sharing.

Member
1 month ago

Hi Jan,
Isn’t there a movie by the name – ‘All dogs go to heaven’? I don’t know why but this prompt has so far taken me lovely, holiday-spirited stories. This was such a beautiful yet bittersweet story. Dogs are a personal favourite when it comes to pets. I don’t own one but I really love the sight of one. Like all your stories, this had a warmth, a healing touch to it and the flow was really smooth. I like the autobiographical narration, it added a personal touch to the story. The end made my heart go heavy, but I sure hope the little canine went to heaven. A lovely read! Thank you for sharing!

Ohmygosh! An absolutely terrible place to leave the story! I felt so much through the whole piece and now I’m left with a pain in my heart…ugh. I must make up an ending to get through my day! lol