Bad to the Bone

I am entering a writing contest in Australia that accepts international entries for a $1,000 prize. They want you to use a cliche as the title and refer to it in the story without actually using it. They provided a list of 681 cliches for inspiration that editors say to avoid in any book you are writing and I am glad to have this information. I am in the process of writing my first two books and I am just a babe in the woods, I’ve been saved in the nick of time, I will just bite the bullet and avoid them like the plague.  You should look up the list, it’s a riot and I never realized that all of the phrases that I use in my writing and in speaking are actually cliches, a writing kiss of death.

The cliche that caught my eye, was Bad to the Bone, a song that was popular back in the 80’s by George Thorogood. I immediately thought of our new puppy Oscar and his Excellent Adventures, which has the potential of becoming a new series in the Dog Tales blog.

We had left Roxie and Oscar securely in their new exercise pen as part of our Puppy Boot Camp mini series.  You can read about this hilarious series at Dog Tales, my other blog about our wonderful experiences as kennel owners of Playful Pooch in Denver. We had followed the list of instructions all week to the letter of the law, and we were ready to get out of the house for dinner. We were proud of how well the pups had done all week and we knew they would be just fine while we were gone for a few hours.

So you can imagine our surprise when we walked in the house and saw Mr. Bad to the Bone, perched on the back of the sofa, excitedly wagging his tail and jumping up and down over the length of it.  Little Roxie was beside herself, all alone in the exercise pen surrounded with all of their favorite toys. She was shaking and quivering and all together completely distraught.

We glanced into the dining room, you know, the nicely cleaned one that we had been working on all day, disinfecting the floors, hand applying grout sealer to every single little stinking crack by bending over and standing on your head.  There by the table and by the window were two little turds and a pee spot.  I nearly had a coronary right then, right there.

We rushed them outside and they did their business, and I am not sure how Oscar managed to do that after his volumes of little poops here and there inside. We brought them back inside and let them play on the sofa with Will for an hour, then back outside and off to bed.  Guess what I found on the rug the next day next to their exercise pen? Two more little dried piles from Oscar’s Excellent Adventures.

If we had just had a camera to capture the look on his face when we walked in the door.  It was total delight, surprise, excitement and any other adjective you can use to describe complete puppy joy from discovering how to escape an exercise pen and mess on Mom and Dad’s nice new floors that are not quite cured yet. I guess he is smarter than the average bear or should I say puppy.

I am certain there will be more episodes of Oscar’s Excellent Adventures. Stay tuned!

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