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A Girl and Her Dog by Mark Bothum
published in Volume 2, Issue 4 on July 27, 1995


"That dog of yours is completely useless."

"He's a dog. What's he supposed to do? "

"Just look at him. What's he doing now? Is that legal? Wow, he's really going at it. Not in Texas. That's gotta be illegal in Texas."

"How many beers have you had? And I thought he was both of ours. You even picked him out. Said he was a li'l cutey. But geez, you're right, does he ever get tired of that?"

"I wouldn't. Hey, you realize he ain't got any thumbs? He'd be a lot more useful around here if he had thumbs. Maybe do some chores."

"You should quit drinking. I'll talk to the vet again tomorrow."

"You sure talk to the vet a lot, what's the deal?"

"We've got a lot of pets. Noticed?"

"Just the smell."

"Drop it."



"The vet says there's a Procedure."

"What's with the capital 'p'?"


"You capitalized 'procedure'."

"Well screw you! You put it in quotes!"

"I did not! Those aren't quotes! Those are...I forget. "

"Never mind. The vet says he can help us."

"Help us what? Are we moving again?"

"You're drunk. We're getting thumbs for the dog, remember?"

"Oh. Sure. Thumbs. Have we located a donor?"

"You need help. AA maybe. No donor, he's got a tail."

"Why use his? You've got plenty to spare."


"Jesus, he's got thumbs, and fingers. Kinda furry though."

"I talked to the vet. We decided that just a thumb would be pointless."

"You decided? No wonder it took the whole tail. What did this cost me?"

"Seventeen thousand dollars. And change."

"Seventeen thousand dollars? We had seventeen thousand dollars?"

"Well, no. I sold the boat."

"We had a boat?"

"Well kind of. It was your mother's boat. She died last week."

"My mother died? That's...and nobody told me?"

"Your sister called. You were drunk. I said you were at work."

"Thanks. I think. Why didn't you tell me?"

"About your mother?"

"No! Dammit, I loved that boat."

"Would you have sold it?"



DAY 27

"I taught him to pay the bills."

"Get outta here."

"Really! There's this extra cool Windows program.

"I'm sure. Bill Gates can't run Windows well, but our dog can?"

"It's really neat. Little icons flash when the bills are due."

"And the dog knows this?"

"Yes! See? The electric bill's due, and the little lightbulb comes on."


"Yeah. And the grocery store flashes this little doggy bone icon."

"This is getting really weird."

"It gets worse."

"Should I care about any of this?"

"Probably not."

DAY 41

"Hey! What's the deal? I just got home!"

"Oh. Uh, he drank all your beer."

"Pardon me?"

"The dog got into the fridge and drank all your beer, okay? I'm sorry."

"Where's he at now?"

"Sleeping it off on the bed. On my side."

"Why your side?"

"Because my side doesn't have vomit on it."

"My side of the bed has vomit on it?"


"Is that why I've been sleeping on the couch?"


DAY 55

"So how was your day?"

"It was great. They canceled my project. Yours?"

"The dog's been depressed lately, so I got him a pet."

"Our dog has a pet?

"Why not? I got him a cockatoo."

"What the hell's that? Is that legal, in Texas?"

"We're not in Texas, you idiot. But yes, it's legal."

"There's a little black dog in our backyard. I can see it from here."

"That's ours, did you happen to stop at the bar?"

"Maybe. He's digging up the flower bed, should I shoot him?"

"You really are an idiot. He's planting tomatoes."

"Dogs don't plant tomatoes, they piss on them. I was gonna do that."

"You were going to do what? Plant them or piss on them? And just when?"

"Oh. Nice. You know I'm overloaded. Gimme a break."

"Right. You've got 'action items' and 'tequila' on your daily planner."

"That's a fairly negative attitude. You may need counseling."

"Ninety five dollars an hour."

"Then again, you're probably fine."

DAY 72

"What's he doing on my computer?"

"Surfing the Net."

"Surfing the Net?"

"Surfing the Net."

"Surfing the Net?"

"Surfing the Net. You're almost making sense. Bar burn down?"

"What do you know about that?"

"Nothing. Directly."

"What about him?"

"Him? He's a dog. What could he know?"

"I think he stole my credit card."

"No, that was me. You weren't using it anyway."

"It was maxed!"

"The dog and I fixed that."

"Fixed? You can't do that. Wait. Did I save any money?"

"No. But between the two of us we got your limit increased."

"What about the interest rate?"

"What about it?"

DAY 98

"He screwed up some of my directories. What the hell is he doing?"

"You're the one said they went graphical 'so women could use it too'."

"I didn't get slapped for that one?"

"Check your right temple."

"Christ, that feels like a burn."

"Fireplace poker."

"You smacked me with a hot poker?"

"No, the dog did. He's getting a stronger grip."

"Why did he do that?"

"You're the one that had him neutered. He's very Equal Rights."

"He has political opinions?"

"No, not really. He just doesn't like you very much."

"But, I buy his food! I support his ass!"

"Well, not anymore. He has a separate account."

"Where did he get any money?"

"From me."

"Where did you get any money?"

"From you."

"Oh. Then I guess it's okay. Wait. Where did I get any money?"

"From your mother."

"I think I need a drink."

DAY 100

"Ms. Brown? Hello? Pick up if you're there...okay, well this message is just to tell you that we intend to continue the search for at least another week. If your husband's out there, we'll find him. We've got some of the best dogs on the West Coast involved. Although I must say, that dog you volunteered seems to be leading the pack around by it's nose. It's uncanny..."

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