Tag Archives: short story

Our furry friends #6

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Today’s author is Sebnem E. Sanders, a native of Istanbul, Turkey, who lives on the Eastern shores of the Southern Aegean. Her pet memories revolve around two mischievous dogs.

Sebnem donated a short story to our latest anthology, Paws and Claws, featuring not dogs, but a pair of Red Kites.

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Champagne and Caviar

Champagne and Caviar were two male Golden Cocker Spaniel puppies that we adopted when they were eight weeks old. Out of a litter of eight, we chose the best looking male. Then my husband said, “We should also get this naughty one.” He was not as handsome as his brother, but his mischievous eyes mirrored his intelligence. We had only planned to get one, but returned home with two.
Our house in Singapore had a big garden with a separate quarter for servants. We gave the puppies one of the free rooms to spend the night in, until they were house trained. During the day they ran along the vast grounds, getting up to all kinds of mischief. Frightening the Malay postman who hated dogs, their favourite game. They chased his bike, barking after him. He would throw the letters on the doorstep and cycle away, while the puppies opened them on the lawn and read them before we did. A mayhem of torn envelopes and half chewed postcards awaited for us to solve the jigsaw puzzle if we didn’t rush to collect the mail before they did.
Then, things started disappearing. Bahari, the gardener’s brush, my cigarette packs and lighter, combs, hair clips, and other small items. The leader of mischief was Caviar, the naughty one. Champagne did as he was told and followed his brother. As the number of missing items increased, we discovered their den behind the patch of daisies surrounding a tall, flamboyant tree. Some things were recovered, others completely useless, chewed, torn and damaged.
They loved to crunch on ice-cubes, eat apples and salad droppings on the kitchen floor. Grapes were the hardest fruit for them to deal with as they couldn’t figure out how to bite them. Due to the tropical climate, the house was surrounded by narrow canals, covered with iron grids, for discharging rainwater. Caviar managed to find a gap he could fit through and Champagne naturally followed him. At the end of the shallow drain, despair set in when they discovered there was no way they could turn around. In panic, they started barking. We ran to their rescue, trying to find a way of lifting the iron grids. Caviar worked it out, pushed his brother back with his bum, and kept pushing until Champagne figured out how to go backwards towards the other end of the canal. My husband lifted them through the gap, and made sure to cover it to avoid another catastrophe.
That year there were no orchids decorating our patio. They pulled the stems and roots from the perforated pots and laid them out on the tiles with great pride.
An intercom connection to their room provided contact to check up on them from upstairs. They recognized our voice and communicated with us in their language.

Sadly, we didn’t know we would be leaving Singapore for Hong Kong, eight months later. During our visit to the island, I looked for flats that accepted dogs. There weren’t too many among the available ones. But the biggest setback was the quarantine period of six months. How could I leave two eight-month-old puppies in confinement for such a long time? They were used to their freedom, running around the big garden, receiving love and attention all the time.
I visited the Hong Kong kennels, saw the cages where the dogs were kept, and returned to the hotel with tears in my eyes. No, I couldn’t do this to my beloved dogs. It would be unfair to put them through such torture.

On my return to Singapore, I spread the word around. A friend said she could keep them in her house until she found a good home for them. Our last month together was a time of unconditional love and devotion. We swam, went on walks, watched TV and cuddled each other constantly.
The day the packers came, the puppies watched them from behind the glass patio doors, all day, without leaving the spot. I think they understood.
We dropped them at our friend’s house a couple of days later and bid farewell. It was very sad. I cried all the way to Hong Kong, and more during the following days and months.
My friend found two Americans who wanted to adopt them and lived next door to each other. Though the puppies had different homes, they shared the same garden in the complex. I was delighted to hear about this and to know they could still play together.
Two years later, one of the families moved to Indonesia, and they were separated. It has been many years since I left Champagne and Caviar in Singapore, but the memories are still fresh in my mind.

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Come in. We’re open.

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That’s right, Cake & Quill are open for submissions for our next – as yet untitled – anthologies. As the two collections that went before, Gifts from the Dark and Hearts & Other Dead Things, they will be themed anthologies, open-966315_640with the proceeds going to an appropriate charity. Currently, our focus is on animals – protection, rights, rescue – so send us your sweet and cuddly, your fluffy and furry, your claws and teeth.

What you need to know before submitting:

We accept submissions from all over the world, as long as they’re written in English (UK or US spelling, be consistent) and the writer is at least 18 years old.

Every genre is welcome, fiction or non-fiction, as long as it fits the theme, though there’s a high probability we’ll pass if it’s erotica. Poetry, flash fiction, short stories, even a short novella is welcome. Maximum is 10k words.

We are a democracy. This means that everyone who contributes to an anthology gets a say in the final publication. Every writer reads every contribution, and there will be honest, mutual critique. If you don’t appreciate hearing another writer’s thoughts on your work, please don’t submit. And we’ll expect you to share some of the work load as well, especially marketing-wise.

The proceeds of all our books go to charity, and our editor, cover designer, organizer, writers, all work pro bono. Which means you won’t get paid (unless pictures of cake count as payment, in which case you might get rich). You’ll retain all the rights to your work. You can always publish it somewhere else.

How to submit:

Send an e-mail with your name and a brief outline of your submission to cakeandquill (at) fantasymail (dot) de. Don’t worry – we’re all writers here. We won’t judge you on your ability to sell yourself or write a synopsis. We just want to make sure you’re serious. We’ll send you a link to the project’s Facebook group, so you can join the fun. Yes, you’ll have to have a Facebook account. Sorry ’bout that, but we’ve found it the easiest way to get everybody involved and share all the necessary information within the group.

You have an awesome story but it doesn’t fit the current theme:

We have a few more projects lined up. Send your e-mail regardless, and we’ll let you know if what you have might fit somewhere else. Or maybe you want to suggest a theme? You know a charity you want us to help? Go ahead, and let us know.