February 6: Flash Fiction Challenge

Written by Charli Mills

Charli Mills, a born buckaroo, makes literary art accessible at CarrotRanch.com. She writes about the veteran spouse experience and women forgotten to history.

February 6, 2020

One night, two great horned owls hooted outside our flimsy camp trailer that leaked in the rain and scorched in the sun. It was during a time I was homeless with my veteran spouse and our two dogs, showering in public restrooms and buying bottled drinking water. We had landed on Mars, which is how the southern Utah desert felt to me after living on Elmira Pond in North Idaho for four years. It’s hard to believe this is our fourth year since leaving Elmira, Idaho. Like the broad wings of night owls, life seeks balance.

I remember the unease of hearing the owls that night. Harbingers of death. I didn’t really believe that, but it’s an ingrained thought from the western culture I grew up in, and a line from one of my favorite songs,

“There’s been a hoot owl outside my window now/ for six days in a row/ she’s coming for me I know/, and on Wildfire we’re both gonna go…” Michael  Martin Murphy, Wildfire

If ever I was going to pass from this walk to the next, I wouldn’t mind riding out on a horse named Wildfire, all the dogs I’ve loved before running at my heels.

And if a hoot owl called me to the next journey, I suppose I wouldn’t mind such an escort.

That night back in Utah, I pushed aside my unease because I lived in a constant state of unease. The Hub and I stepped outside the camp trailer to see if we could spot the winged duo. We ended up chasing after them from tree to tree, catching glimpses of their massive wingspan as they flew low. Finding a new perch in the cottonwoods along the Virgin River, they’d pause and hoot.

I remarked how much they reminded me of our two dogs, brother, and sister, and the way they loped together, her with a limp and him with cocky stride, but both in unison the way connected spirits can be. The next day, Grenny fell violently ill and was gone by the second day after the owls visited. Worse, his sister Bobo, not understanding where her brother went, sought him everywhere and stopped eating. She wasn’t well — the vet said her kidneys were failing on top of an old spinal injury that decreased her mobility, sporadic seizures, and a congestive heart. We had been surprised by Grenny’s undetected prostate tumor that shut down his organs because we thought he was the healthy dog of the pair.

Somehow, the two owls made me think that Bobo would soon follow Grenny. She didn’t. She pulled through with her joyful determination.

There has always been something amazing about that dog. She was born the day after Christmas in 2006, into our hands. We all watched the miracle of birth that day, me, my husband and our three kids. She was the runt with the bow-marking on her head. Her brother was the only male and a big brute of a pup. We all fell in love with her that moment and although the Hub intended to keep the male, we all insisted we keep Bo(w)detta Bosephine — Bobo. Yet she enamored him, too. She would become his “snort,” his beloved dog.

No matter what life dished out to her, Bobo overcame with little fuss. At age five, a rough but accidental tumble from two of her pack on a hot summer day left her back legs paralyzed. We did what we could at the time, and our vet said she’d get better or not. We walked the dogs every morning, and she was pined to go. So, we lifted her into the car, propped her up in the back seat, and she learned that rides were much better than walks. Despite the odds, she did get better and walked with the drive of a wounded warrior (she had much in common with the Hub).

When we moved to Idaho, the seizures came next. They remained intermittent enough that we never had to medicate her but they left us all shakey after she’d have one. Her needs challenged both my strengths and my weaknesses. Yet, no matter what, she grabbed life with joy. I wrote about how writers could learn from her joyful determination and I still live by those teachings. She died exactly six years to the date that I wrote that post. Yes, our amazing Bobo, our sweet girl has walked on.

Bobo did not succumb to the call of an owl, but when we rushed her to the vet on Tuesday afternoon, I saw a lone pigeon sitting on the eave of the office, with markings like the ones we helped fledge. Always looking for meaningful connections, it’s part of what drives me as a fiction writer and gives me purpose as a human. Connections make us not feel alone. Our eldest left work and met us at the vet’s office, and our Arctic daughter called us and stayed with us while we sat and cried and told Bobo what a good dog she was. Our son called later that night. The pup that was born into our family’s hands passed in our arms.

In the end, I realized that she was determined to have joy. Another lesson. Joy is something we cultivate, persevere to grab hold of and choose. Not all the time. Not every moment. But we get up and notice the beauty, the preciousness of life, the good that exists, the purpose we can find. I grieve, but I’m determined to keep joy in my life.

That’s about all I can muster for now. What I’d really like is for us to tell stories about the “dog in the daisies.” It’s my absolute favorite photo of Bobo and it captures her essence. She was poised in a field of daisies as if looking right at that joy she chased. Maybe it was deer, but whatever she saw filled her being with mindful purpose. In that moment she was a happy critter in a mountain meadow. For those astute regulars, this is a repeat photo (White Flowers, December 28, 2017) but with a different prompt.

I might not be real social over the next week as I draw inward and plug away at school and ranch and writing. Not doing anything unsettles me, but doing anything makes feels thick and sluggish. It’s a muddy emotional time. I’m glad I’m a writer and have a way to process. I’m grateful for a compassionate community of literary artists. Thank you to those helping to keep the community connected. I appreciate you all taking extra care this week to notice any newcomers and welcome them and to keep each other encouraged.

We don’t have our pets for the duration of our lifetimes, but we are better off for the time we do have them. I am content that a dog named Bodetta Bosephine had me from her first until her last breath. One day, I’ll hear a hoot owl calling for me, and on Wildfire I’m going to ride, Bobo greeting me with a woof — there you are!

February 6, 2020, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story to the theme “a dog in the daisies.” It can be any dog, real or imagined. Push into the setting and as always, go where the prompt leads!

Respond by February 11, 2020. Use the comment section below to share, read, and be social. You may leave a link, pingback, or story in the comments. If you want to be published in the weekly collection, please use the form.  Rules & Guidelines.

Submissions closed. Find our latest Flash Fiction Challenge.

Dog in the Daisies by Charli Mills

I yearn to see you twitch your nose one more time to sniff the wind. To hear you woof a greeting to me, making sure I trail your winding path. To see you poised, a dog in the daisies, ears perked. Happy. I am happy for you. I am content to have had you in my life. You look away from me, toward something I can’t yet see or trust is there. This I know — daisies die and life goes on. Nothing ever breaks down so completely as to disappear. Joy fizzes the smallest particles. So, I follow.

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  1. Lisa A. Listwa

    Oh, Charli. My heart just breaks for your loss, but it also lifted by the joy that shines through your pain. What wonderful gift to have this beautiful, beloved friend in your life. My own grief from the loss of our sweet Marley last spring is apparently (still) quite fresh, but like the feelings you’ve conveyed here, I feel the joy he brought me still in my heart every day. I wish you and your family peace during this sad time. May the love and memories you cherish hold you up. xo <3

    • Lisa A. Listwa

      And I remember that song, Wildfire, from when I was much younger. Always loved it.

      • Charli Mills

        I decided that’s how I want to imagine crossing over — full out gallop, dogs running along. The piano in that piece plays to the heart doesn’t it?

    • Charli Mills

      Lisa, grief refreshes like an aquifer and yet we need the water to grow in that joy. May sweet Marley be romping with sweet Bobo! They have left paw prints on our hearts.

    • Charli Mills

      I’m sorry she lost her dog but your story made me laugh because I didn’t think about a dog digging up a garden. It reminded me of a Bobo story when she dug a nice cool spot to lie down in my newly plant veg patch.

  2. Ritu

    Oh, Charli!
    I am so sorry to hear that.
    Huge hugs. Those fur babies of ours are so important, no matter how long they are with us <3

    • Charli Mills

      Thanks for the hugs, Ritu. Our fur babies leave their imprint (paw print) on us forever.

      • Ritu

        oh, they definitely do <3

  3. Jacquie Biggar

    Charli, I’m so very sorry. They are family, our pets, and leave holes in our hearts when they leave.
    I lost my girl, Annie, a year ago and some days it’s still so fresh in my mind. {{hugs}}

    • Charli Mills

      That grief, ebbs and flows but never goes away, Jacquie. Aw, Annie such a sweet name for a dog. Hugs, back, as we both feel the hole in our hearts.

    • Doug Jacquier

      Beautifully crafted, Ritu.

      • Ritu

        Thank you so much, Doug ????????

    • Charli Mills

      Thank you, Ritu.

    • Lisa A. Listwa

      Oh that is sad and beautiful. <3

      • Ritu

        Thank you <3

    • vincilam

      This is so sad but I loved it so much! <3

      • Ritu

        Thank you so much <3

  4. Smorgasbord - Variety is the Spice of Life.

    Reblogged this on Smorgasbord Blog Magazine and commented:
    For those of you who enjoy the Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction challenge by Charli Mills it is time for this week’s prompt. Sadly Charli and her family lost their old family member Bobo this week and that is reflected in both the prompt and Charli’s piece of flash. And certainly as many of us know that loss of a beloved pet, who are with us for such a short time, but give such joy and love worthy of many lifetimes. An opportunity to share your stories in 99 words.. head over to read the entire post…

    • Charli Mills

      Thank you, Sally.

  5. D. Avery @shiftnshake

    “Thet Frankie agin? Frankie, poor ol’ Burt’s burdened with some bulging mailbags.”
    “Pal. Kid. It ain’t Burt that’s burdened, it’s Shorty. This mail is all fer her. Condolences.”
    “Well, here, Frankie, we’ll lighten Burt’s load an’ git these cards ta Shorty, try an’ lighten hers. Kid, lend a hand. Kid?”
    “Think Kid just went up the Poet Tree, Pal. This does getcha, doesn’t it? I been thinkin’ on Shorty’s dog, thinkin’ ‘bout Burt— been dabbin’ at my eye all day.”
    “Grievin’ are ya?””
    “Tears a joy, Pal. I only got one eye, can’t do both; chose joy over grief.”

    • D. Avery @shiftnshake

      Not Bobo’s No-no

      “LeGume! What’re you doin’ here?”
      “You steel don’ like me Pal. Accept dat I am a character who lives here too. An’ jes now I am feeling ver’ bad.”
      “We all are. Feelin’ bad fer Shorty an’ her fam’ly. ‘Memberin’ our own losses.”
      “I am feeling remorse an’ regret. You see… I was at World Head Quarters. Last summer. I met Bobo, a lovely creature.”
      “Yeah, so? Why regret?”
      “I blamed dat dog for something dat I deed.”
      “That stinks.”
      “Eet deed, an’ I let dem tink eet was Bobo.”
      “Jest let it go.”
      “Oops. I just deed. Again.”

      • Liz H

        Bean dere, dun dat.
        Sorry…not sorry. ????

      • Charli Mills

        It’s strangely silent and fart-free. I think Pepe needs to visit.

      • D. Avery @shiftnshake

        I am dere weed you, no? Can you smell me now?

    • Charli Mills

      I’m trying to figure out which of my two eyes is flowing joy. Easier when you only got one eye. Nonetheless, tears do the watering we need to grow. Good to see Frankie and Burt.

      • D. Avery @shiftnshake

        Thank you for Frankie and Burt. Every card in those saddle bags is heartfelt.

      • Charli Mills

        I feel the hearts. <3

  6. Smorgasbord - Variety is the Spice of Life.

    It is heartbreaking, and even though they leave such a lasting memory in our hearts and minds, we all wish for a few more days with them. So sorry Charli…??

    • Charli Mills

      We knew each day was a blessing. A knife in the heart when it came. She was a good dog and remains in my heart. Thank you for your kind understanding, Sally. <3

  7. floridaborne

    People dump their unwanted puppies and abandon their dogs in our area. I don’t know how many didn’t make it to our doorstep. Over the past 25 years, we have had no fewer than 5 dogs at a time. Once the older ones pass over the rainbow bridge, new ones find us.

    • Charli Mills

      What a wonderful stopover you provide, Joelle. There’s nothing more humanizing than loving a vulnerable creature. To love and be loved. Thank you, Joelle.

  8. Liz Gauffreau

    I’m so sorry to hear you’ve lost your beloved Bobo. You story is the perfect tribute to her and the joy she brought to your life.

    • Charli Mills

      Thank you, Liz. I’ll try to continue to live up to her example.

  9. Liz H

    ????? XOXO ?????

    • Charli Mills

      Thanks for the love, Liz. <3

  10. D. Avery @shiftnshake

    Star Gazing

    Bringing the familiar picture, she climbed into her grandmother’s lap.
    “You’re looking at that old picture again?”
    “That’s your dog, Grammie.”
    “Yes, that was my dog. What’s she looking at?”
    “She sees a Bigfoot in the bushes.”
    “That’s what your Auntie told you. What do you think?”
    “I think she’s looking at you, Grammie.”
    “But I took her picture. I’m behind her.”
    “No, you’re right here with me. She’s looking ahead and she sees you.”
    “And what does she see me doing?”
    “Silly. She sees you looking at me!”
    “You wise child.”
    “And Grammie? I see her. She’s running!”

    • Jules

      The wisdom of children…

    • Charli Mills

      Keep our eyes open, our hearts full of wonder, and never stop gazing into the stars.

    • nightlake

      This was lovely.

  11. Sarah Brentyn

    I remember this fur child, Charli. ? (And the lovely photo.) Thinking of you.

    • Charli Mills

      Thank you, Sarah. This photo has held much. It still does.

  12. robbiesinspiration

    I have only ever had two dogs, Charli. I was 14 when a farmer shot my first dog. She was a bit of a scamp and had been sneaking into he field and teasing the sheep. I was heart broken. My second dog Millie was a poodle, she died of a genetic heart condition. I was about 23 when that happened and I have never wanted another dog.

    • Charli Mills

      Such heartache, Robbie. The shooting must have been horrific. I was thinking along those same lines, never again. Then, I thought about dogs without homes or comfy beds like Bobo’s. I thought, okay. I could accept rescue dogs, giving respite to those in need. Ah, who knows? We’ll yet see. I’m still adjusting to silence and trying to reconcile that she’s not in her comfy bed.

      • robbiesinspiration

        Thank you, Charli, the shooting was bad. It is terrible to watch any creature die like that. Sorry again for your loss. Hugs.

      • Charli Mills

        I’m so sorry you had to witness such suffering. Hugs back!

  13. Doug Jacquier

    Flight-hearted by Doug Jacquier
    I lived with two dogs. One ephemeral and formless and one tangible and clueless. The first was black and the second a Border Collie, called Flight. The first came and went with no apparent rhyme and the second was a constant. The first would try to bury itself in my brain and the second, in thunderstorms, would try to bury herself in my pockets. The first would corral my nightmares, while the second would attempt to herd the parrots that fed in the daisy-dotted grass. In those moments, the black dog would disappear and my heart would take Flight.

    • Charli Mills

      We all need Flight in our heart, especially to overcome the black dog. So beautifully written, Doug. Thank you.

      • Doug Jacquier

        Thank you, Charli.

      • Doug Jacquier

        Thank you, Robbie.

    • Lisa A. Listwa

      Nice one. I like it.

      • Doug Jacquier

        Thank you, Lisa.

  14. denmaniacs4

    I never had a dog, Charli. Cats though. Cats I’ve had. Never had pets as a kid, though. We weren’t a family that took to that. Never thought much Never really thought about it then. Later, living with others, we had a few communal cats. Anyways, as an adult I’ve had four cats. Ones left. She’s twelve. Her sister passed away last year. I think I understand the sorrow, the loss. For this flash venture, I decided to write little dog ditty. My advice, make up a little tune and sing it. That’s what I did. It almost works…

    Doggie Grace

    Dog’s in the tulies
    Dogging my trail
    Dog’s in the daisies
    Chasing it’s tail.
    Oh, my goodness
    Look at that old mutt,
    Chewing on a rug
    Sniffing its own…rump.

    Dog’s in the water
    Soaked to the skin,
    Looking like an otter
    Flashing it’s puppy grin.
    Oh, my goodness,
    Look at rover’s smile,
    Rushing to the pasture,
    Goin’ a thousand miles…an hour

    Livin’ deep in our heart
    Sleeping on the couch,
    Snuggling in our lap,
    Like a Roo in a pouch.
    Oh, my goodness
    Its licking my face,
    Eyes full of love,
    full of doggie grace…
    full of doggie grace.

    • denmaniacs4

      Here is a slightly revised edit to my rambling introduction to my modest lyric…I never had a dog, Charli. Cats though. Cats I’ve had. We never had pets as kids. We weren’t a family that took to that. I never thought much about it then. Later, living with others, we had a few communal cats. Anyways, as an adult I’ve had four cats. One’s left. She’s twelve. Her sister passed away last year. I think I understand the sorrow, the loss. So, for this flash venture, I decided to write a little dog ditty. My advice, if you care to step into my composer’s shoes is to make up a little tune and sing it as you read it. That’s what I did. It almost works…

      • Charli Mills

        It sang in my heart, loud and clear, Bill. Thank you.

    • D. Avery @shiftnshake

      It works. It’s fun and full of … doggie grace!

    • Jules

      You’ve been up the Poet Tree and done well! Done very well 🙂

    • Lisa A. Listwa

      That’s pretty darn good for a cat person who never had a dog! Nicely done.

  15. Fuzzy Panda Barista

    Lovely and poignant story. I love your gentle and positive attitude.

    • Charli Mills

      Thanks for stopping by the Ranch and reading Bobo’s story.

  16. Norah

    I am so sorry that you have lost your beloved Bobo, Charli. I remember when her big brother passed too. I have never owned a dog but my daughter has two. I know how devastated she would be to lose one, just as you are to first lose your Grenny and now your Bobo. While your sadness is strong, their lessons and your joy in having shared their entire journeys is stronger. Look after yourself as you grieve.

    • Charli Mills

      Thanks, Norah. It was terrible when Grenny walked on and Bobo couldn’t find him. At least this time I felt like they had each other again. Sorrow waters what brings forth joy. Can’t know one without the other. Dog owners are curious creatures. We all know we outlive them and yet we make room for them in our vulnerable hearts. I’m taking it one step at a time, but moving, slothlike, but moving.

      • Norah

        That’s true, Charli. Sorrow and joy, light and dark. The light will follow. Or maybe it will lead you to new places – when you are ready. One step, one step. Take your time.
        I forgot to mention Wildfire in my previous comment. I think we’ve discussed Michael Murphy before. This is a very special track and I really enjoyed listening to it again. I don’t get my albums out much (ever) any more, so hadn’t listened to this one for a long time. It was very soothing. Thank you. Hugs. xx

      • Charli Mills

        We share an enjoyment of Michael’s music. This track resonates so deeply and I’ve found is comforting. One step. And one step more.

  17. LucciaGray

    So sorry to read about your loss, Charli. I’ve lost two dogs and two cats, and although each person’s sorrow is unique, I can try to imagine how you’re feeling. As you suggest in your post and prompt, a healthy way to overcome the pain is to remember the good times?

    • Charli Mills

      We are better off for having made the memories, for having known the love. Thank you, Lucy!

  18. Susan Zutautas

    My heart is aching for you and your family. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think of my two. Some days bring sadness and other days bring joy. I think when we lose one of our family members be it a pet or human it’s one of the hardest things to cope with. I hope that Bruce and Maggie have met Bobo and Grenny and they are all running free and happy together. Sending you virtual hugs. <3

    • Charli Mills

      Susan, I can just imagine Bruce and Maggie romping with Bobo and Grenny! I remember your heartache, and it’s so hard when one goes before the other. Hugs back to you! <3

      • Susan Zutautas

        I hope that you’re finding it a little easier each day that passes. <3

      • Charli Mills

        It’s less of a painful shock seeing the empty bed. I did hunt for paw prints in the snow and mourned the loss of seeing any. But it feels less heavy. Thank you.

    • Charli Mills

      Thank you, Robbie!

    • susansleggs

      Here in the states, one would never think of a hyena. Thanks for sharing how your life differs in a different country. It’s always nice to learn new things.

    • Charli Mills

      Thanks, Susan!

  19. Lisa R. Howeler

    Three years ago we lost our 14- year old little jack Russell chihuahua mix and I fell completely apart. I mean completely. My kids had been sick at the same time. I caught something. Little Copper died and some blood tests came back weird for me. Somehow I convinced myself I was going to die like our little pup did. I was consumed with guilt for that stressful year when he didn’t get the attention he should have because Of a family crisis. I hadn’t treated him well, I didn’t think and I was overcome with guilt and grief from it all. My body started vibrating when I realized he was dying and didn’t stop for three months after he died. I still don’t know if it was related to hormones or if I had a complete mental breakdown but not even doctors could figure it out. All this rambling to say – I can so relate to your grief. Go easy on yourself and I don’t think you will ever say it but please don’t tell yourself “it was just a dog.” I can see by your words here that you know that isn’t true.

    • Charli Mills

      Oh, Lisa, that I could wrap you up in a hug and tell you it wasn’t anything you did. We all do our best in the time we have. As mothers, we get stretched so thin. You must have been so scared to consider your own mortality with those test results. Your Cooper and my Bobo were the same age. That’s a long time to have a dog. I will go easy on myself and you do the same. <3

      • Lisa R. Howeler

        It was a very crazy time and honestly I still can’t shake the guilt with the puppy, even though the vets office told us there was nothing that could have been done.

      • Charli Mills

        Your pup was precious, and so are you. Find that common ground and let the guilt go. You did your best. <3

  20. D. Avery @shiftnshake

    To Everything

    The first time was summer, she the calm nucleus of a full bloom meadow, unexpected but somehow perfect, that dog sitting so intent, so purposeful.
    I traveled that way again one fall. The flowers had become angels, borne by the wind, the brown dog running and leaping amidst their winged seeds and spent petals, her pure joy singing through the grasses.
    Should I have expected her in winter? There was just a cold sea of snow.
    In the spring the meadow held only the memory of the dog. The daisies’ green leaves unfolded from the earth. Grasses reached skyward.

    • Susan Zutautas

      D, this is beautiful!

      • D. Avery @shiftnshake

        Thank you. I remember that picture from the ‘white flowers’ prompt.
        It’s a pretty inspirational photo.

    • Doug Jacquier

      Excellent use of imagery that saved a thousand words.

      • D. Avery @shiftnshake

        Thank you. 1000 words would have been 901 too many. These 99 are for sweet Bobo and all the other good dogs.

    • Charli Mills

      Such a beautiful interpretation of dogs and daisies and the cycles of life. Thank you.

    • Lisa A. Listwa

      Beautiful one, D.

  21. Jules


    May your lovely memories be for blessings…

    Happily I combined another prompt for:
    A Memory Now Faded And Pastel…

    In the open field in mid day, there wasn’t a reason to yell
    Nor to the spirit of the roaming dog to quell
    While at each bush, pebble or leaf she did stop to smell
    And read all the signs of who went before; to dwell
    To linger and learn of what to share and tell
    What secrets might be transferred from a flowers’ bell…
    We would dance willy nilly and pell-mell
    Unaware and unconcerned about what the future might foretell
    We would walk and run until exhausted; we fell
    Enjoying all the spatial freedom amid the farmers’ dell


    Using pastel ‘as in’ a color that is not brilliant.

    • denmaniacs4

      Do tell, do tell,
      you tell it well, Jules…

      • D. Avery @shiftnshake

        pastel colors soft, subdued
        this paints a picture richly hued

    • Charli Mills

      Lovely pastel, Jules, thank you! And I will hold onto memories as blessing.

    • Charli Mills

      Ha! That was how Bobo was born. She was the runt and the last to follow the only male.

  22. D. Avery @shiftnshake

    “Frankie, I cain’t git Kid ta climb down outta thet tree.”
    “I’ll try, Pal. Hey, Kid? I was over at the cookhouse. Would you like some bacon?”
    “Would I?!”
    “Wood eye? No it’s glass. Now come on down an’ git some breakfast then git ta chores. Shorty needs you.”
    “Sorry, Frankie, it’s jest that I got ta thinkin’ on my good dog. May she rest.”
    “Well then you know what a time Shorty’s havin’ right now. Pepe has gone back ta Head Quarters, but you an’ Pal gotta ride the range.”
    “Keep an eye on things?”
    “Very funny, Kid.

    • Jules

      Pro – lift – ic ;D

      • Charli Mills


    • Charli Mills

      Wood eye! Can’t believe you slipped that one in there. 😀 No, I can believe it. I need bacon.

      • D. Avery @shiftnshake

        Thank you again for sending Frankie to the Ranch.

    • Charli Mills

      Great story from the dog POV. Thanks, Marje.

  23. Jennie

    Joy. That’s my word! In a hard life you either rise up or fall down. And those of us who rise up and find joy are the lucky ones. Dogs know this. Teachers like me do, too. Charli, I must recommend the best dog book, “The Poet’s Dog” by Patricia MacLaughlin. She won the Newbery for “Sarah, Plain and Tall” so enough said. A must read! While it’s touted as a children’s book and only eighty-some pages, it is for adults. It’s that good.

    • Charli Mills

      Thank you for your uplifting words, Jennie. Our D. Avery sent me that book a few months ago and I snapped this photo of Bobo “reading” it to me. Actually, I sat on her dog bed and read the whole book aloud. It is a book that understands rising up from the ashes of grief to choose joyful living. Bobo The Storyteller

      • Jennie

        I am crying happy tears, as you have this book and read it aloud to Bobo. Joy. That’s where we started. And this book understands it best of all. I read it aloud to my bloggers a few chapters at a time. Big wow. ?? I will send the photo to the author, if that is okay, and if I can figure out how to save the image (please, give me children, books, and nature – not technology.) How I met her is quite a story!

      • Jennie

        Actually, I would love to write a blog post about Bobo and the book. Can you send me the photo? sfitzkee@erols.com

    • Charli Mills

      Thank you, Joanne. I appreciate your words and support.

  24. nightlake

    I am so sorry about the passing of your dog. This was a touching tribute.

    • Charli Mills

      Thank you, Padmina.

    • Charli Mills

      Thank you, Ann. I’m slowly filling the hole.

    • Charli Mills

      Thank you for your kind words and understanding, Hugh.

  25. susansleggs

    Charli, So sorry to hear about Bobo. Thank you for sharing that she was disabled, but still had a joyful zest for life. What a good example for all. Tony Hillerman often talks of the owl’s visit so I know the connection, but we have one that lives nearby and I hear it nightly in the summer. It takes the apprehension away. I’m proud of you for asking the Ranch Hands to help out last week. Asking often takes more courage than just letting things go. May this be a better week. On to the prompt…

    A Dog’s Power

    Tessa suggested to Michael they get a puppy. He argued at first, not wanting people to think he needed a therapy dog but in the spring they got a floppy eared, goofy acting big mutt.

    Weeks later Tessa, looking out an upstairs window, called her sister Alley. “You should see the two of them. Michael’s wearing his legs whenever he takes Jester out. Right now I’m watching them search for a ball in the field out back. The daisies are in bloom and it’s a marvelous sight. Michael’s even laughing more and that’s a bonus. Thanks for the idea.”

    • D. Avery @shiftnshake

      I have news for Michael- all dogs are therapy dogs.

    • Charli Mills

      Sue, you reminded me of when we were in Kansas, wandering yet. Every night, there were at least four different owls and their hoots were so different and came at different times at night. I didn’t find it ominous. I suppose if I had owls living nearby it would feel more normal. Thank you for helping out. Yes, I’ve learned it is better to let go and ask for help than try to hold it all together. I’m better off for it now. Tender, but among the living. I love your flash and the bond displayed between a wounded warrior and his therapy dog.

  26. Liz H

    Here’s a bit of the best of a snowy day.

    Good Dog!

    Down they come, twirling, sun-sparkling, lilting in sudden gusts. Daisies dancing in summer–except it’s winter. The falling flowers are snowflakes.
    [Continue ]

    • Lisa A. Listwa

      Loved this, Liz!

    • Charli Mills

      Anything that begins with Good Dog is going to be uplifting, Liz. Thank you.

  27. Jim Borden

    I wish you the best with your writing and with school; thanks for creating and maintaining this community of writers!

    • Charli Mills

      Thank you, Jim.

    • Lisa A. Listwa

      Love this from the dog’s side.

      • nightlake

        Thank you, Lisa

    • Charli Mills

      Thank you for contributing, Padmini.

    • Charli Mills

      Thank you, Lisa!

  28. magpie477


    The dog, a long-haired shepherd cross, looks up from nosing about in the tall grass after some vole or other. It is high summer and the field is riotous with oxeye daisies. I call Buster, for it is he: the first dog permitted by landlords in my adult life. He is young, strong; when he left me he could barely walk. Funny, he would always come when I called. This time, he doesn’t, but trots off across the field, looking back expectantly. I follow. At the field’s edge, a long bridge stretching away into the mist.

    We cross.

    • D. Avery @shiftnshake

      That’s not a bad way to go.
      Well done.

      • magpie477

        Thanks…my wish is that my whole pack will be there…

      • Charli Mills

        I’m expecting a small pack and to meet all the friends they’ve made from among us.

    • Charli Mills

      Oh, that last line. Well placed alongside a story well told.

  29. pedometergeek


    Buck, a border collie, was always herding, keeping his charges in line. Whether it was cows, gulls, or people he loved, he was in the thick of things. Running ahead, racing back, or lying in wait in the daisies, the exuberance of Buck was palpable.

    With head and tail high, he would grab his leash and walk himself, feeling in control. The neighbors laughed at his antics, shaking their heads at his sassy attitude. Buck chased gulls like he once chased cows in Montana until his body failed him.

    Now, he lies beneath the daisies he once ran through.

    Nancy Brady, 2020

    It is painful to lose a beloved family member. My sincere condolences to you and your family.

    • D. Avery @shiftnshake

      I knew a border collie that chased the planes whose flight path was over his yard. They are a goofy lot.

      • magpie477

        LOL, my husband fostered an Irish setter who would chase plane shadows, bird shadows…anything!

    • Charli Mills

      That image of Buck walking himself! Thank you, Nancy.

  30. eLPy

    Charli I am so impressed with what you’ve done here in the midst of your loss. Your story is beautiful. Bobo sounds lovely. How blessed you are to have so many great memories with her and your family. It’s so hard to lose them and be left behind in the silence. I send my heart out to you.

  31. Vincent Ehindero

    I love this a lot ?????? It’s very inspiring and nice ??. It is a great honor to be in your blog ????

  32. Charli Mills

    Thank you for joining us in creating this special collection, Vincent.

  33. Charli Mills

    Thanks, Donna!

  34. Charli Mills

    Thanks, Chelsea.

  35. Charli Mills

    Thanks for adding to the Dog in the Daisies.

  36. Charli Mills

    Thank you Jo.


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