Valentine's Day, a Story with a Growl.


This is more the Stephen King version of a Valentines’ Day tale than a fluffy puppy feel-good one but, it is true and it needs to be told... often. 

The black Dane was “owned” by a woman who’d accepted a date with an attractive, quiet man she’d just met in a bar. (Don’t judge harshly. It was the 1970’s and that’s what we did.) She gave him her address and they agreed upon 8pm. Her place was a one-room beach house with huge sliding glass doors. While prepping for her date, she heard IT.

Never before had she heard her sweet Dane growl like that. Never.

A slow, eery rumble electrifying the room.

Immediately, she looked to where the Dane was staring. The glass door. At first nothing was there. Then she saw him come into sight - the handsome man who was going to buy her dinner. Immediately, she punished her dog for growling. The dog never took her eyes off him but, because she’d been yelled at, she slowly backed away still with a low rumble in her throat. The ‘owner’ continued to yell and the dog lowered her head and her voice to the slightest audible vibration.

Lest she scare off her date completely, the owner squeezed out the glass door, one knee, thigh and hip at a time, while verbalizing: “Oh she’d never hurt you!” All the while wagging her finger at the Dane, admonishing: “Bad girl. Shame on you for growling.”

At dinner, her date was so reserved and quiet, IT was all a bit creepy. The good night kiss was in the car, not at the Dane’s front door. The woman refused the offer of a second date.

When she got in the house, her dog was happy to see her, as usual. All was well and within an hour they both climbed onto the bed and fell asleep. She woke up to a sound she had heard only once before. The same hair-raising growl. She put her hand on the Dane and could feel the stiffness in her body, almost like the blood’d quit flowing.

The Dane’s attention was forward - aimed at the glass door. Nothing was there. Nothing. Black as pitch. The owner was ready to scold again when she saw something. Just the outline of his face. Then his eyes. Before the owner could think straight, the dog lunged at the door. The face disappeared.

She never saw him again.

She never heard the growl again.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Kiss your dogs for me! Growls and all!

-Meg Harrison