John Yamrus: excerpt from Five Dogs

one day we heard about this intelligence test for dogs…you put a cloth or a blanket or some other kind of a covering over your dog and the faster he or she got out from under it, the smarter he or she was.

well, one day we took a throw from off the couch and put it over Phoebe. i don’t think anyone but NASA or NASCAR could accurately measure the time it took for her to flip the blanket off and run down the hall.

we couldn’t believe our eyes. we covered her up and a second later she was gone.

then we called Ito and put the blanket on top of him.

he immediately turned into a furry footed little coffee table.

he just stood there. not moving. not looking around. not trying to get out or escape or anything. he just stood there…waiting.

waiting for someone to tell him what to do.

i think he’d still be there if we didn’t finally take it off him and love the living hell out of that stupid wonderful good little guy.

besides, we already had a coffee table, and his feet didn’t really match the couch.


my dogs



at the neighbors,



at the UPS man,



at cars,



kids on bikes.



bark at the television,






the stereo.



bark at anyone

who enters the house




when they’re not barking,



sitting there,



for something to bark at.


good dogs.



Five Dogs is available on Amazon.

John Yamrus’s website is:

Photo credit: Alice Corle

What are you looking for?