PIDDLES by Joseph J. Patchen

It’s morning and the sun gently wakes the dew laden grass and leaves. A fine, refreshing
mist rises and shimmers in the sunlight against a cloudless, blue sky. The clarity of it all heralds
what most feel will be a great day.

And that is what Anne hopes for as she silently takes in the morning, lost in her thoughts,
over her freshly blended and brewed coffee. But as she turns away from the natural masterpiece
outside her window, her thoughts are distracted by what she finds on her kitchen floor.

“Honey, are you out of the shower?”
“Then please get down here. We have a problem.”
“A problem?”
“Yes, a problem. You know that Irish Wolf Hound you brought home from the pound
“You mean ‘Piddles’?”
“Yes, its Piddles. We have a problem with Piddles”
“A problem with Piddles?”
“Yes, a problem with Piddles.”
“Did he potty?”
“Did he poop?”
“Is he constipated?”
“I’ll ask him when he wakes up.”
“What? Well, is it worms?”
“I can’t tell.”
“Ear mites?”
“I don’t think so.”
“Well, what is it?”
“I don’t quite know how to say this. But remember when I said Piddles didn’t quite look like a…”
“Rabies! It’s rabies, right?
“Look, there’s a snoring, naked man about four feet tall, all curled up on Piddles’ bed?”
“That new bed I bought yesterday?”
“How many dog beds do we have in this house?”
“Ha, other than the couch, our bed…”
“Honey, there’s a naked man down here.”
“Where’s Piddles?”
“My guess is: this is Piddles.”
“How can you be so sure?”
“By the collar and dog tags.”
“Are you sure?”
“He’s wearing them, and he’s a naked man.”
“Well … maybe he’s starting to shed.”
“He’s hairy – yes, but furry—no.”
“You really sure that’s Piddles? Is he fixed?”
“I am not going to look.”
“Well, you have to – just to be sure.”
“Why don’t you come down and look?”
“I’m still getting dressed.”
“At this point, I don’t think it matters. Get down here.”
“Oh, that must be it then…”
“What is ‘it’ then?
‘I must’ve adopted a werewolf instead. Boy, that pound is really something. What a mistake they made.”
“They’re not the only one.”
“It’s not like I bought a pig in a poke. The shelter had him listed as an Irish Wolf Hound. A couple of people thought he was an English Sheep Dog. One guy thought he was a Beagle with a thyroid condition and another thought he might have some werewolf in him.”
“A beagle with a thyroid condition.”
“Yeah, it turns out that guy’s a real idiot.”
“You should know.”
“Well, what do you want me to do?”
“Get down here.”
“But he’s asleep.”
“And he still poses a great danger to everyone in this house.”
“He’s quite affectionate.”
“That’s because you fed him chips most of the night.”
“Well then, I know he’s constipated; chips bind me up.”
“We’re out of chips.”
“Then we should get some presents in the back yard later today.”
“You’re cleaning that up.”
“Sure, I bought that pooper scooper thing — it’s yellow with a long handle…”
“What are you going to do about this?”
“It’s plastic or a polymer, it rinses right off.”
“What is?”
“The pooper scooper. Or should I say, ‘The Transitional Canine Sanitary Device’. What marketing …”
“Not the shit stick—the Werewolf.”
“Well, I guess I better bring him to the vet to be sure. Maybe it’s just a cold. Can you find his coat for me?”
“His coat? Look, his coat isn’t going to fit. This is no dog I know what a naked man looks like.”
“How? Oh, oh yeah.”
“How can I be sure when he wakes up that he won’t rip out my throat; that he won’t devour my internal organs in a feast of utter and blind animalistic blood lust?”
“Chewy treats. I bought a box of chewy treats. You know, they taste even better than those chips. I tried one.”
“He’s beginning to lick himself, just get down here. Now!”


* * *

 Joseph J. Patchen stories have appeared in print, on the web and in podcasts. He is the literary critic for and has own website his own He write horror and humor and sometimes doesn’t see the difference between the two.

PIDDLES by Joseph J. Patchen, 5.0 out of 5 based on 2 ratings


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