A Blanket And A Blank Canvas

The man begins to paint. He blends blues, lilacs and whites for the sky, then adds greens for the water. The beach and the changing light are captured with sweeping strokes.

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The clouds float across the sky and let the sun come through, warming our fur. The waves are retreating with the tide and Seamus is the first one in the water.

“I love a dash and a splash,” says Seamus, “especially in a calm sea.”

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Pearl follows him and then turns back towards our companions. “The water is a bit cold,” says Pearl. “I am keeping my paws dry.”

Families are setting up windscreens and towels near the main entrance.

“Let’s go this way,” says our companion.

We walk on to the far side of the beach. The sand is soft and the gulls are calling each other overhead.

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A man is setting up an easel with a large blank canvas. I trot over for a sniff and see a small dog blanket on the sand. I look up at the man, down at the blanket and up at the man again.

“It’s OK wee mannie, you can sit on the blanket,” he says.

I am not sure. There is an energy around the blanket and I see an image of a small black terrier. I sniff the edges and sit down on the sand.

“You can probably sense it’s Brodie’s blanket, can’t ye?” says the man. “He used to sit on that blanket while I was painting. I have to bring it out with me otherwise I can’t paint.

I arrive with a blank canvas and I leave with a blank canvas. You can sit on it if you want, Brodie won’t mind. Won’t ye Brodie?” The man looks up at the sky.

Pearl comes walking over to see what is going on.

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I get up, stretch my front paws and sit down on the blanket.

The man begins to paint. He blends blues, lilacs and whites for the sky, then adds greens for the water. The beach and the changing light are captured with sweeping strokes.

The waves are vibrant with quiffs of white spray. The man takes a few steps back, then forward again.

With a trembling hand he adds the faint outline of a man and a small terrier.

I put my paw on his knee and he bends down with a tear in his eye. I lean forward and touch his nose with mine. He rubs my mane and begins to laugh.

“You dogs always make me feel so good,” he says. “But I am better off on my own because I could not bear to lose another one.”

Pearl and I both get up and lick his face.  We send him love from our hearts to his and hope that with time, he will be ready to accept the healing.

I send you all so much love,


Daily Prompt: Blank

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Countless Times

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you can visit
the same place
in nature
countless times,
without it ever
appearing to be
the same

© Xenia Tran



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Photographs by Xenia Tran, unedited.

Camera: Lumix Panasonic FZ38, setting: iA.


Daily Prompt: Countless


A New Phase

“That sounds like the perfect place for her,” says our companion. “And you will know when the time is right.”

There is a fresh breeze coming from the water and the sand under my paws feels warm. The rocks are glistening in the sunlight.

There is no else on the beach. Our companions are holding hands and smile at each other. Seamus heads straight for the sea.

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Our companion throws the first ball and Eivor catches it. I am barking with excitement and catch the second ball.

A woman in a long skirt and a flowery shirt comes walking towards us. “They’re having fun,” says the woman. “Do you mind if I say hello to them?”

“Not at all,” says our companion.

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Seamus trots over to the woman and sniffs her hand. The woman bends down and gently strokes the top of his head.

“What a sweet auld mannie. How old is he?”

“Thirteen,” says our companion.

A sudden sadness dims the light in the woman’s eyes. “It’s so hard when they’re that age, isn’t it?” says the woman. “You don’t know how much longer they’ve got and you start to worry about how and when you’re going to lose them.”

“We treasure every moment together and we know there will come a time when he is ready to go.  We are so grateful for all the time we have had already. You know what they say about larger breeds ..”

“Yes,” says the woman. “The larger the dog, the shorter the life span. I lost my Izzy two years ago, she was thirteen.”

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“What kind of a dog was she?”

“She was a whippet-lurcher cross,” says the woman. “Here, look …”

She opens the silver locket on her necklace. In the left half is a photograph of a friendly dog’s face with warm brown eyes.

“I’ve kept some of her fur,” she says, stroking the glass on the right half of the locket. A small tuft of brown and grey fur is squeezed behind it.

“She was my best pal. I could tell her anything and she’d always understand. My friends are getting bored with me going on and on about her and tell me I should move on. At first they thought it was just a natural phase but now they say I may need some help.”

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I walk over to the woman and touch her leg with my paw. My nose touches hers when she leans forward to stroke me. Izzy’s face appears to the right of her.

“Can you ask her to let me go?” says Izzy. “I want to run free. I want to make room for a new dog to come into her life.”

I look deep into the woman’s eyes. Izzy does not want to see you like this dear friend. She will be happy for you to welcome a new dog into your life.

“You have a way of looking straight into my soul sweet lady,” says the woman. She lets out a deep sigh.

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“We lost one of our dogs six months ago,” says our companion. “Then one night she came to me in a dream and told me how happy she was. She said she wanted us to set her free. She showed me where she wanted to be. We took her ashes and scattered them in her special place. For a fleeting moment they formed the shape of a running greyhound. It was very special.”

I remember it very well. We could all feel her presence. I have never met Ruby in real life, yet that day I felt as if I had always known her. It felt as if there was an angel in our midst.

I look at the woman again.

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“It’s something I’ve been thinking about,” she says. “I know just the place where I can set Izzy free. It’s on her favourite walk where the river meets the sea.”

“That sounds like the perfect place for her,” says our companion. “And you will know when the time is right.”

“Yes, I know, thank you. I think it is time to start a new phase in my life.”

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I send you all so much love,


Daily Prompt: Phase






I will play this song from Dougie for you all and hope you will find your forever home.

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The tide has taken most of the water out of the Kyle. Seagulls are sweeping overhead and the sun is warming our fur. A gentle breeze carries the smells of the sea and the sands.

I go and sniff the seaweed. It smells different from the seaweed further south.

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An old man is bending down and twisting some of it from the shallows.

“What are you using that for?” asks our companion.

“I put it around my vegetable patch. It keeps the slugs away, see. They don’t like the smell of sea salt and sea weed. I take some of the older plants and leave the younger ones. As long as you’re not greedy, nature will replenish itself.”

His small bucket is two-thirds full. “Enjoy your day,” says the man and wanders off, whistling an old Highland tune.

“You too,” says our companion.

Seamus has gone to lie down.

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Are you OK Seamie?

“I am fine, Pearl. It is the only way to get my legs under water with the tide so far out. It is very soothing. When you get to my age you will probably enjoy it too.”

You have been flicking your paws and wagging your tail a lot when you are asleep. What are you dreaming about?

“I dream about running like the wind, just like my younger days,” says Seamus. “I love watching you and Eivor run. It gives me the same pleasure as if I was running myself. In my dreams I run just like you. That is why I always wake up happy too.”

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On the way home the warm voice of Dougie MacLean fills the car. My favourite song is called ‘Home’. I love going home after our outdoor adventures.

When I was in the shelter I was dreaming of living in a loving home with other dogs and caring humans. On the way to my forever home our companions played and sang that song in the car. I knew then that my dream was coming true.

“It was the same for me,” says Eivor.  I was terrified in the shelter. When our companions came to collect me they played the same song in the car. It will always be special to me.

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I wish that all the dogs in the shelter will have their dreams come true.

I will play this song from Dougie for you all and hope you will find your forever home.

With love from Seamus, Eivor and Pearl


Daily Prompt: Dream