Write a Dog-Day Story

This is a fun way to exercise your creative spirit as well as your body and give your dog some good exercise too. This is a great rainy-day way to take your dog for a walk and still keep dry.

Materials

•Paper

•Pencil

•Your imagination

•Room to run around

Directions

Make a list of three places that you would like to visit with your dog, such as a field of wildfowers, your grandmother's house and a lumberyard. Next, make a list of three sounds, such as a bird's chirp, the ring of a telephone and laughter. Finally, make a list of three actions or situations, such as drinking tea at a tea party, tying your shoes and planting a garden.

Now you have all the tools to write your dog-day story. The object is to use your list of places, sounds and actions in your story and to make it as active as possible, so when you act out the story, your dog will have fun, too.

Take a minute to imagine that you are visiting those three places, hearing those three sounds and being in those three situations with your dog at your side. What might happen? What kinds of things will you and your dog need to do in each place? How will your story end? Once you've written your story, act it out.

Here's an example to get you started. This story uses all the examples above. See how wild and crazy your story gets.

Yesterday I was sleeping when the phone rang (brring, brring). My dog Molly and I jumped out of bed to answer it (lie down and then jump up and pretend to pick up a phone). It was Grandma. She was calling to invite us over to feed the birds and have tea in her garden. I hung up the phone, got dressed, put on Molly's leash, and we were out the door (hang up the phone, pretend to put on clothes including socks and shoes with laces that need to be tied, attach your dog's leash and go out a pretend door).

Molly and I walked through a field of wildflowers to get to Grandma's house (walk around). We stopped along the way to smell the flowers, and Molly even rolled around in them (pretend to smell the pretty flowers). She looked so happy; I laughed and started rolling around in the flowers with her (laugh and roll around on the floor, and who knows, maybe your dog will too).

We finally got to the edge of a field and then passed a lumberyard. Molly and I saw a big man with a handlebar mustache in the lumberyard (show your handlebar mustache while you pretend to chop some wood). We waved to him, he waved back, and then we continued on to Grandma's house (smile, wave, and walk on). We walked some more, and then we ran for a while, and before we knew it, we were at Grandma's door, and so we knocked (walk around, then run, and then knock on a door or pretend to). Grandma answered the door and hugged me and patted Molly on the head. We walked into her kitchen, and she asked me to carry the sugar and milk out to the garden. She carried the tea tray that had a bowl of water on it for Molly (pretend to walk into a kitchen and carry sugar and milk outside -- don't forget to open the screen door). Molly and Grandma came outside, and we sat in her garden (help your dog through the door and sit). Grandma asked me to serve the tea, so I poured some into each cup, added sugar and milk just like we like it, and gave Grandma her cup of tea (pour tea, add sugar and milk, stir the tea, and serve it). I placed the bowl of water on the ground for Molly, and then I sat down to enjoy my cup of tea (place a pretend bowl of water the floor and sit down, pick up your cup of tea, and drink).

Grandma asked me how school was, and as I talked the birds began chirping (chirp like a bird). Grandma said they were telling us how their day was, too. After we finished our tea, Grandma asked me to help her plant some flowers in her garden. Molly and I spent the rest of the day digging holes in Grandma's yard (dig a few holes with your pretend shovel, and place a flower in the hole, cover it up with dirt, and water it; pretend to dig a hole the way your dog does). My holes were along the flowerbed, but Molly's holes were everywhere. Grandma planted flowers in Molly's holes, too. When we were both finished Grandma thanked us and kissed us both.

The end.

Reprinted with permission from Chicago Review Press.

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