Tag: canine

FP152 – Canine, Part 1 of 1

Welcome to Flash Pulp, episode one hundred and fifty-two.

Flash Pulp

Tonight we present, Canine, Part 1 of 1.

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Flash Pulp is an experiment in broadcasting fresh pulp stories in the modern age – three to ten minutes of fiction brought to you Monday, Wednesday and Friday evenings.

Tonight we present an airy consideration of companionship and danger.


Flash Pulp 152 – Canine, Part 1 of 1

Written by J.R.D. Skinner
Art and Narration by Opopanax
and Audio produced by Jessica May


Kar'WickThe wind through the branches cast a whistling that had both man and dog on edge.

Beside the small fire, the human gnawed at freshly singed deer-meat, occasionally throwing a scrap to the canine that lay at the fireside.

It had been a risk to delve into the wildwood alone, but the gambit had paid off, and now the challenge was in dragging back the heavy bounty.

Pulling his skins tight, the man lightened his load by another bite. The hound, its tail giving a slow wag, whimpered a request for more.

“Bah,” said the man, but, with consideration for his companion’s efforts in the chase, he tossed the mooch the now naked bone.

In response the beast lifted high its tail and let fly a wafting pungency which skirted the flames to fill the hunter’s nose.

Bedding down, the man left the dog to worry the marrow, and the long night’s watch.

* * *

The backstairs of the house, whose construction had only been completed a year previous, had already begun to show the dips and scratches of wear, and the indications of the servants’ passage had been further compounded by the nightly roaming of the bulldog generally known about the grounds as the Constable. Although it was often remarked by the lord of the manor that the Constable, like most men of the law, spent his days napping, it was little understood how seriously the animal took its nightly duties.

Not but two months into the occupation of the estate, a man of scarred visage and ill intent had come upon the south wing’s library window, scheming to wrestle it open and gain approach to the silverware displayed within.

It had been the loud, and extended, response by the Constable – who’d been at his regular patrol when he’d heard the burglar’s ham-fisted ministrations – which had denied the thief access.

This night, however, was calm. As the guardian left the recessed steps and trotted along the hall’s shadowed carpet, accompanied by the measured ticking of the grandfather clock, it determined it was a good opportunity for a brief rest.

Setting onto the plush rug, the dog’s relaxation was punctuated by the release of a brassy, gassy, note.

* * *

The woman under the crisp white duvet thrashed about in an attempt to silence Neil Young’s assessment regarding burning out or fading away, and, after a moment, her fingers finally quieted the blaring alarm clock.

The room smelled of dog fart.

“I don’t know why I put up with you,” she said to the hound, as it followed her to the washroom.

An hour’s preparation found the pair ready to leave the apartment, the animal with a bright pink ribbon in its hair, and the woman encased in a tidy suit and dark sunglasses.

They were a half-block from their destination when the rumbling began.

The beast, forgetting its generations of domestication, began to bay and howl, snapping at a threat the men and women on the streets had yet to perceive.

There was little it could do, however, to fend against the return of Kar’Wick, the Arachnid-God – still, it was some small consolation that its blind master would not see the glistening spinneret which would be their doom.


Flash Pulp is presented by http://skinner.fm, and is released under the Canadian Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.5 License.

Text and audio commentaries can be sent to skinner@skinner.fm, or the voicemail line at (206) 338-2792 – but be aware that it may appear in the FlashCast.

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Toss A Dog On It

http://www.flickr.com/photos/joeltelling/69492277/There was a time when dogs, humanity’s most widely kept animal, were maintained as something more than a couch-warmer. Our historical association is so old, we’re not even entirely sure why we named them what we did:

Due to the archaic structure of the word, the term dog may ultimately derive from the earliest layer of Proto-Indo-European vocabulary, reflecting the role of the dog as the earliest domesticated animal.


Interestingly, we’ve been chummy with canines so long, we (and by we, I mean humanity in general,) actually domesticated them multiple times, independently.

From the Canadian Museum Of Nature:

Genetic evidence suggests that Native Americans and Europeans domesticated dogs independently, and that North American pre-contact dogs were almost completely replaced by dogs that came over on European ships.


The earliest probable dog remains found in North America are about 8700 to 14 000 years old. These dogs were medium-sized and likely used in hunting. Dogs of this time-period and region are not very common.

  • 10 200 year-old remains were found in Colorado, U.S.A., at the Jones Miller site
  • 11 000 to 14 000 year-old remains were found in Wyoming, U.S.A., at the Agate Basin site
  • 8700 to 9300 year-old remains were found in Wyoming, U.S.A., at the Horner site.

Which, to my mind, leaves a question as to what these original North American dogs must have looked like. Something akin to Huskies is my best guess, but that’s derived entirely from the idea that they looked like the wolves common to the continent.

While some of the uses the mutts were put to were common between all peoples, it seems to me the North American breeds had some novel roles to play.
Dogwich found on Flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/toronjazul/1084010083/Again from the CMN:

  • they were draft animals in the plains as well as the high Arctic
  • they were bred for wool like sheep and their hair was used to make blankets
  • there were hairless dogs that were used as living hot-water bottles to ease achy joints
  • they were eaten
  • they were important in religion
  • they were buried in graveyards like people.

I love the idea that the people of history might have rubbed a chihuahua-analogue on their shoulder while complaining about a hard-day’s hunt.

That last item does concern me, however – the textbooks may say European disease wiped out millions of Native Americans when the tall ships landed, but I know better: I’ve seen/read Pet Sematary.
Church from Pet Sematary