Literary Yard

Search for meaning

By: Laura Stamps

Rupert, Myrtle, Glory, Monkey, Puff, Bear, Pretzel, Snickers, and Lockeye. Can you believe it? These names. These dogs. The dogs that belong to the subscribers. Of this dog magazine. But who are these people? I mean, who would name their dogs after snack foods, candy bars, jungle animals, or lethal creatures? And Lockeye? Lockeye? What’s that? Yet these dogs. The photo contest winners. For this month. And not a single Chihuahua among them. Now. That’s a bummer. But enough of this craziness. On to the next page. An ad. For subscription dog boxes. Okay. This I like. What a cool idea! And a great gift. For any dog-lover. Just imagine. Every month. A new box of goodies. Delivered to your door. Does it get any better than that? I think not. Each month. A new doggie outfit, treats, toys, games. And CBD oil. What? What? But it’s true. Human-grade CBD oil for dogs. In a variety of flavors. Chicken, beef, peanut butter, and more. Wow. Doggie drugs. Sounds like my ex-fiancé. Yeah. I know what you’re thinking. Amazing, isn’t it? Not only do I have an ex-husband. But also an ex-fiancé. What a past I must have, right? And you’d be correct. And what does that say about me? That I’m a terrible judge of men? Guilty as charged. That I’m not afraid to cut my losses? Absolutely. A total loss. That ex-fiancé. Spent all his time selling pot. Or smoking it. Quite the tomcat too. And that’s why I left him. Yeah. I know what you’re thinking. Drugs? Me? Nah. Not my thing. Chocolate. That’s my addiction. And dog magazines. Those too. Like this ad. This concept. Oh, how I love it! These doggie boxes. Such a great gift. This subscription. Every month. How cool would it be to receive a gift like this? Of course I’d need a dog first. I suppose. Which I don’t have. But if I did. A box full of goodies. Every month. Wow. I wish, I wish.


Laura Stamps loves to play with words and create experimental forms for her fiction and prose poetry. Author of 43 novels, novellas, short story collections, and poetry books. Most recently: CAT MANIA (Alien Buddha Press 2021), DOG DAZED (Kittyfeather Press 2022), and THE GOOD DOG (Prolific Pulse Press 2023). Winner of the Muses Prize. Recipient of 7 Pushcart Prize nominations.  


  1. Laura. First, may I say how thrilled I am for you to have had your piece published online? That merits a minimum of two buckets overflowing with freshly picked congratulations. Well done. I hope it will be one of many more to follow.
    However, I have to say I didn’t feel drawn in by a list of names owners give to their dogs. One word came to mind. So?
    The structure was off-putting. This piece appears to be one paragraph. Every story, however small, has a beginning, middle and end, suggesting a minimum of three sections.
    “This I like.” It was unclear to me to who or what this referred.
    The sentence “Sounds like my ex-fiancée.” This appears to be a sentence fragment. That is not a complete sentence.
    “Amazing, isn’t it?” Suggests you are not confident. Removing the” isn’t it” projects more confidence, I feel.
    “That ex-fiancé. Spent all…”
    This sentence didn’t seem to flow well. Creating a sentence by dropping the full stop in the middle has more flow. “That ex-fiancé spent all his…” or “That ex-fiancé. He spent all…” Both flow more naturally to me. The changes are small but make a surprising difference.
    Despite not being a dog person, there were some lovely ideas, and it had a bubbly sense of humour.

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