Talk to the Paw: The Sound of Silence

by Karen Duvall

When I write, I like complete silence. No music playing in the background, no television noises to distract me (unless it's football, of course. The sound of cheering keeps me motivated). My pets know my demands, and the cats are lovely about keeping quiet. The dog, on the other hand… She claims she can't help herself. I'll be right in the middle of a pivotal scene, concentrating on what the characters will do next, when all of a sudden… BARKBARKBARKBARKBARKBARK! I nearly fall off my chair.

Sammy         Kinsey

Sammy: What's wrong with you?

Kinsey: Looks confused. I have no idea what you're talking about.

Sammy: The barking. At everything.

Kinsey: I do not bark at everything.

Sammy: You see a leaf fall from a tree, you bark. The birds gather at the feeder in the yard, you bark. A neighbor walks by the house, you bark.

Kinsey: I'm a watchdog. It's what I do.

Sammy: Watch things and then bark at them?

Kinsey: Growls.

Sammy: You're making Mom a wreck, you know.

Kinsey: Am not.

Sammy: Are too.

Kinsey: She knows I can't help myself.

Sammy: She calls you Lady Barksalot.

Kinsey: Well, if a burglar ever comes in the yard or tries to break into the house—

Sammy: You'll break his ear drums with your high-decibel barks. I know.

Kinsey: Looks smug. You're just jealous.

Sammy: Excuse me?

Kinsey: You do nothing but eat and sleep all day.

Sammy: Untrue. I keep Mom's lap warm while she's writing. My purring always puts her in a good mood. I'm her muse.

Kinsey: Looks thoughtful. That's not what I heard.

Sammy: What did you hear?

Kinsey: That you're trouble.

Sammy: Just because my sudden energy bursts sometimes knocks plants over and sends vases crashing to the floor doesn't mean I'm trouble.

Kinsey: Just keep telling yourself that.

Sammy: Hisses and swats at Kinsey's retreating backside.


MeKaren Duvall is an award-winning author with 4 published novels and 2 novellas. Harlequin Luna published her Knight’s Curse series last year, and her post apocalyptic novella, Sun Storm, was released in Luna’s ‘Til The World Ends anthology in January 2013.

Karen lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and four incredibly spoiled pets. She is currently working on a new contemporary fantasy romance series.

Karen Duvall
Karen Duvall is an award-winning author with 5 published novels and 2 novellas. Harlequin Luna published her Knight’s Curse series in 2011 and 2012, and her post apocalyptic novella, Sun Storm, was released in Luna’s ‘Til The World Ends anthology in January 2013.

Karen lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and four incredibly spoiled pets. Writing under the pen name Cory Dale, she released the first book in a new urban fantasy series, Demon Fare, in December 2014. More about Karen on her website & GoodReads.

4 thoughts on “Talk to the Paw: The Sound of Silence

  1. It would be hard to focus with all that barking, and once the dog becomes part of your life, you’re hooked forever because you love the crazy critters no matter what.

    I’m just counting my blessings at the moment because the new neighbors don’t have a dog. Once again you remind me I’m better off with a kitty or two.

    • Well, I’d be perfectly content with my kitties. It was my husband who wanted another dog after our other one passed away. He wanted a border collie puppy and Kinsey is the closest I could find at the time (she’s half border collie, half pit bull). I love her to pieces, but there are days I want to drop her off at doggy daycare just to get some peace and quiet. It’s like having a toddler 24-7. My husband calls her a “feral pig” because of her snorting and fondness for rolling in the dirt.

  2. Oh Karen, this made me laugh. I too love complete silence when I write– just the hum of appliances or wind. Recently we got my son a puppy and the older dog, Blue just doesn’t like it. Oh the barking and ruckus that ensues. Long gone is my peace.

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