Book Excerpt : ‘DOGS DON’T SEND FLOWERS and other stories’ by Gary Beck

Dogs Don't Send Flowers by Gary BeckAbout:  A young man comes to New York City chasing a career in the theatre and a writer, producer, or indeed any capacity. He earns a living by teaching drama and performing as a silent clown. When he inherits an abandoned puppy he names Pard there starts a complicated and comedic relationship between man and dog.

In this humourous collection of short stories we follow the exploits of a pooch and his owner, and their similar need for companionship, love, or just plain sex….


 had left a tarpaulin of sooty snow covering the city. Few of the local dog owners risked braving the elements at Tompkins Square Park. Had their dogs mastered indoor plumbing? But it was a blessing for me and my dog. Pard’s sexual impulses had alienated my fellow dog walkers in the park, so our absence from the regular dog walking sessions for the last few months had not been lamented. Now that harsh nature ruled the land, yuppies and their pampered pooches were in hibernation. The rigors of the Iditarod to the park were only to be dared by the dauntless. By the time the weather improved, Pard’s crass despoiliation of a Pomeranian would mostly be forgotten, except by the violated owner and the wuss who championed her. But they were probably skulking in the cave. The park was ours for the moment, at least that’s what our foot and paw prints, and the yellow stains of Pard’s urine on the blackened snowdrifts indicated. I found myself wondering: ‘Was yellow on a field of black the colors of the Viet Cong flag? The Pittsburg Penguins hockey team?’ I didn’t see any of the park’s homeless population. Did they freeze to death and get buried in the snow drifts? Was Pard urinating on their graves? I guess my frivolity was due to our unexpectedly pleasant romp in the park.

Perhaps the cold weather had dampened Pard’s sexual ardor, although it hadn’t affected mine. I knew his urges would recur in the spring and I hadn’t forgotten my vow to help him. Our summer campaign for doggie sex had ended in exile to Elba. Was St. Helena in our future? But I refused to give up hope. I had tried various ways to get Pard…. Why couldn’t I find a comfortable phrase? Man’s crudity in describing the sexual act was distressing. Did you ever hear an intelligent woman say: “I got my ashes hauled.” Or, “I jumped his bones?” Though isn’t it ironic that so many women, in the excesses of freedom, had become as vulgar as men? It is an inherent human right to be as stupid as anyone else, but it’s preferable to ascend the intelligence scale, rather than stampede to a lower common denominator.

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