Three Line Tales: Caged

For Sonya’s Three Line Tales photo prompt.

photo by Ben Williams vis Unsplash


The big house has railings around it like the park, and big gates that never open.

There used to be a sign on gate that said: Beware, vicious dog, until the dog pulled it down.

Not vicious, he shouts at whoever stops to look into his sad eyes, just lonely.

Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

29 thoughts on “Three Line Tales: Caged”

    1. The dog looks just like a dog that lived down the lane from me. It’s the rural mentality here, people keep dogs outside all the time, some chained up. The people who had this terrier never took him out for walks. One day he was ‘sprung’ by another dog, an old, possibly abandoned dog out on the razzle and the pair of them went off over the fields together. They raced by our house, up through the neighbour’s and over the fields beyond, having a rare old time happy as larry. Result, when the little dog went home, the owners took him straight to the animal shelter. I hate those people.

      1. I don’t understand the mentality that buys an animal as a ‘pet’ and dumps it again when they get bored with it. Animals have lives and feelings too.

      2. Oh don’t I know it Jane. Some people love the cute little puppy and think it will always stay that size and comes ready house trained and chew free. Makes me angry.

      3. Those people are hatable. I had a dog we kept inside and I would run with him in the creek out back sometimes. He was a rascal and a leader of the other pets and a good dog. But how will we know anything about our dogs or any other pets, unless, we know, we treat them well? Again, I know you know this.

        I found this image difficult because I don’t recognize the bars or whatever they are. Your response is both smart and touching.

      4. I wasn’t sure exactly what those railings were either, but it’s only meant as a prompt, so I didn’t worry about whether it was literally garden railings.
        Even people who are not actually cruel to their dogs, who do what they think you’re supposed to, don’t understand much. Teaching them tricks, keeping them always on a lead so they can’t talk to other disreputable dogs, wearing funny hats for photo calls and vids, what does that show of intelligent, compassionate behaviour on our part?

      5. You know exactly what dogs don’t want or need. They need, also as you say, acknowledgement and space to express their intelligence and compassion. They want to respect us. Why can’t respect them–respect them first, in fact?

      6. I don’t know. Whatever you think of dogs intelligence wise (and most human beings ought to steer clear of judging on intelligence) they are the most loyal and faithful of creatures. They will stick with an owner who abuses them terribly, rather like children who won’t denounce abusive parents.

    1. It’s something I never thought about until I decided that having a dog (childhood dream) was something I was going to do. But buying a dog from a breeder, someone who at best is simply adding to the number of lifestyle accessories that the planet can do without (they all have to be fed and they eat animal products) and at worst might be keeping animals in intolerable conditions, breeding from old, sick bitches, and interbreeding to produce sick puppies. If you want a canine companion, adopt. The only way.

      1. One of our vegan daughters, who has just adopted a stray and not obviously attractive tom cat off the street, talks about how she’d love to get a particular breed of dog. She doesn’t understand when I say it’s encouraging them if you buy a puppy from a breeder. The world doesn’t need any more highly inter-bred, highly strung and probably sickly pet dogs. It surprises me given her ethical objections to eating meat or animal products.

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