Allan Rae

ARarae9_D_400x400 copy.jpg

Welcome to my online portfolio, home to what I feel constitutes my best literary nonfiction, poetry, flash fiction, & photography, with links to my published work, as well as the occasional editorial or research update.

The Dog Park Chronicles

Standing at the gate with Tucker, the dog of a friend and one who I’m babysitting for a few days, we watch curiously as she approaches, hollering something incomprehensible at the drooling and prancing Lab. Her harsh tone is offset somewhat by a rather obvious lisp. With a slight groan, I realize it’s Katie (the lab) and her owner.

If flags are going up because I remember the dogs name and not the owners, well, they should. A park regular, in her mid forties, always juggling a couple of shopping bags in one hand, poop bags and the leash of her unfortunate charge in the other. Pushy, socially awkward with no filter, she’s the one in hot pink stirrup pants and the Up With People visor, hovering around others conversations, frequently laughing all too loudly at the things that don’t concern her.

“Katie, sit”!

“Katie, I SAID SIT”!

Every “s” punctuated with a wet slobber.

Poor Katie, I think. A young yellow lab, she is full of piss and vinegar. Today, she is paying for that.

“Katie, no”.

“Katie SIT”.

“Katie stop. SIT NOW”.



Watching this spectacle, I’m aching to tell to young Katie that she has my express permission to rip her bossy owners face off. Thinking better of it, I clench my teeth until they hurt.

Katie however, just sits there, doing what she has been told, unsure on which way to move. Bosco, an ADHD Boxer with an overbite, adds some levity when he runs up and lifts his leg over Katie’s snout. I assume that a piss facial is just not her thing when she darts off to the tree zone; the tone deaf Bosco in hot pursuit.

“Ha, Ha. Did ya see, he pissed on Katie. She is not going like that one, no, she is not going to like it one bit. Ha, ha”.

A stray sprinkle of spittle hits my lip and I am again reminded why it is that I try never to stand close to Katie’s mother.

Then, from the corner of my eye I see a flash of movement in the tree zone. Taken a little off guard, I notice Bosco crouched on hind legs, over-sized tongue hanging out and dripping as he gives a spirited pounding to a somewhat dazed looking Katie.

Not waiting to hear the commentary I know is soon to come, I look down at Tucker who is seemingly transfixed by the real time porn playing out in the tree zone.

“Tucker, this is our cue!"

I don't need to tell him twice.

Dispatches From 16: Tales From The Gay Bar

On Grief & Loss