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I don't know what to title this, but its a short story about a women and her service dog. Enjoy!

by queenofscience


“Nowadays we treat your conditions differently,” said Dr. Thompson. “ You've probably heard of Therapy dogs,”



“ Vaguely,” said Emily.



“ Nowadays our treatment for Anxiety and Depression- in fact for a lot of mental illness, has changed. Medicine is bad for you, not to mention the side effects…We have a new course of treatment.”



“ And what’s that?”



“ Simple. Animal’s. Dog’s. Service dogs for the disabled. Just these are special dogs.”



Emily didn’t know what he meant by special beside that it was a dog. She had never owned a dog before but it shouldn’t be too hard.



She was lead to a different part of the clinic to a large room with kennels and small space of the dogs to play. She saw all kinds of dogs. Maby she should get the Yorkshire terrier, or the Boston terrier, or Golden Retriever, or a Labrador, or Husky. So many dogs to choose from.



After saying a few words the doctor left. A different man was there to help Emily make a selection.



“ I was thinking about a Poodle,” Emily said.



“We have that, we have a male here named Coal. He’s the only poodle we have.”



The man opened up Coal’s cage, the black, curly-haired, standard poodle jumped to the ground.



"He's beautiful,"



To Emily's surprise and amazement the dog spoke. " My name is Coal, I will assist you with your medical condition. I am fully trained and housebroken and very intelligent."



Emily had never heard of 'intelligent' service animals before, especially ones that can talk. She had so many questions that she wanted to ask Coal.



"I'll take Coal."



"Are you sure?"



"Yes, there is something about this dog that I really like."



Emily checked out of the clinic and told her GPS on her self-driving car where to go. Due to Emily's depression and the medicine that she was on, sometimes she was unable to drive, this was when she went out and invested into a self-driving vehicle. "It''s 2020, about time that these were released to the public," Emily muttered.



Soon the car reached her apartment. It was one of the newer one, a 3-D printed one.



"This is your new home, Coal," she said, her voice gushing with excitement and happiness. "You and I will make a great team. "



" Oh yes we will, " said Coal.



"My name is Emily and I will take very good care of you, I promise. "



" Do you know anything about poodles."



"No, not really."



"I'll suggest you do some research."



"I'll make a trip to the library after work."



"Where do you work,"



"At a hospital in sterilizing instruments, the pay is okay."



"Is it boring?"



"Yes it is, but, hey, I have to make money just like everyone else. So, Coal, tell me a bit about yourself."



" I know this may seem really funny, but I enjoy classical literature, or at least having books read to me. I love helping other and love affection. I like barking at cars and squirrles."



" I actually want to be a librarian one day; I want to work with high school students. I enjoy books, too."



"What kind of books,"



"Science fiction and fantasy...I love using your imagination."



They talked some more. Coal explained that he is one of the second generation of 'intelligent' service dogs, that these 'line' of dogs were genetically enhanced and selected for breeding to yield the best dog for the job and health.



She went out shopping and bought him a dog bed, food, and toys. She looked up on the internet about the breed.



Emily begun preparing dinner and opened up the window, soon Coal was barking at people and at cars and squirrels.



Emily yelled at him to stop, he obeyed and lyed by the kitchen.



The next few days Emily went to the library and checked out Pride And Prejudice and some books about poodles. She read to him in the afternoon and everyday when she came home for work she'd read to him.



She loved Coal. What an amazing and sweet dog he was.



It was the second week that she had Coal that she received a knock at her door whil she was reading to him."



She opened the door. It was Mr. Jonson, her landlord."



"Hello, Mr. Jonson. Is there something wrong," said Emily pleasantly.



"I hear your dog barking often, it's very disruptive."



"I'm sorry, sir, but he doesn't do that anymore."



" This is a no pets housing."



" But he's my service animal," she said almost defensively. "The ADA says that you, as my landlord, are supposed to accommodate me with my disability."



"Do you have proof of your disability."



Her lips trembled, her eyes felt warm," No."



"In a week I was that dog out of here, understand!"



" Yes, sir." And he left.



Emily feel to her knees and wept, hugging and smothering Coal with kisses. She whispered, "I want to die."



" No you don't. Dying solves nothing. It will work out."



She went to her room and shut the door. What Mr. Johnson said sent her over the edge. For nearly two weeks Emily laid in bed, refusing to eat, refusing to drink. Coal tried everything to cajole her into happiness, to do something. Everything failed. Because of her depression she neglected Coal's needs. Coal had to resort drinking from the faust and eating whatever human food that he could get his paws on.



Coal raced around the house, barking, attempting to summon help. That failed, too.



He went into the bathroom and combined to house to call 9-1-1. An ambulance came. Coal rode with her in the ambulance to the hospital. Coal explained that Emily had depression and he was her service dog.



Emily was severely dehydrated and malnourished. She had an I.V. and a feeding tube in her.



Coal sayed by her side and sat with her in bed.



On the fourth day Emily had a visitor, it was Mr. Johnson.



" Hi, Emily, I heard from one of my coworkers what happened. I would like to apologize. I was unaware and uninformed of the ADA laws. I'm sorry that it ended this way. I am very sorry."



Emily said nothing. "You can stay!" And Coal licked her face. "We are a team," Coal said. "And you're my best friend."


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5 Reviews


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Thu May 26, 2016 3:10 pm
Areonn wrote a review...



i know this isn't a super recent story and you probably aren't working on it anymore, but i thought i'd give a review anyway [ignore it if you want to].

i like how the story starts with the character not knowing about service animals and ends with a skeptic also learning that they are important. there are a few small typos, but nothing terrible, and i feel like the plot changes course somewhat abruptly. i do enjoy how Coal is super smart and serious about his job, but he is still a dog evidenced by his love of barking at squirrels [i think that's my favorite part]. i like your topic and moral: service animals and the need for them are things people are generally uneducated about and don't understand, but the world would be a better place if they did.

thus concludes my first YWS reveiw :D




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Tue Dec 08, 2015 6:16 pm
Stori wrote a review...



It looks like all the bases are covered- well, except for the last paragraph. Is Coal the one saying "You can stay"? Let's try this.

"You can stay!" cried Coal, licking her cheek. "That's great news! We are a team, and you're my best friend."


Of course the word choice is up to you, but try and make it clear who's speaking. I like this piece; will you let me know if you write a sequel or anything set in the same world?

Stori






Thanks.



Stori says...


You're welcome.



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Tue Dec 08, 2015 5:10 am
Songmorning wrote a review...



Simple and compelling. It covered a lot of events in a very short time, but I didn't get too much of a feeling of being rushed along. It might be appropriate to add a little more detail here and there, but I think the "bare bones" structure of this short story is appropriate for it. It creates a more contemplative atmosphere, and keeps everything focused on just the essentials of the story, without distractions.

When Emily was "sent over the edge" in her depression, it really hit me hard. I don't think I've ever personally experienced true depression, but there are people very close to me who have. The words you chose to describe Emily's depression seemed to echo something that one of my closest friends described to me. Also, the fact that she could say nothing to prove that her depression was a disability was impactful, because it really is not often recognized as a disability.

At first, I was a little confused as to whether Coal was actually talking or whether that was an effect of Emily's condition. No one--including Emily--seemed particularly surprised by it. Later, as it dawned on me that the dog actually could talk, I kind of assumed that he could only communicate with Emily herself. Then he called 9-1-1. He explained to the people in the ambulance Emily's condition, and no one seemed surprised. Is this just, like, a world where it's normal for some dogs to talk? It would be nice if you added something in to explain why no one was surprised about this, and to clarify from the beginning that the dog actually is talking aloud in a way that anyone could understand.

Otherwise, I just have a bit of grammar nipicking:

Dr. Thompson started both his first two quotes with "Nowadays". I'd recommend changing the second one.

"Simple. Animal’s. Dog’s. Service dogs for the disabled. Just these are special dogs.” No apostrophes here: "Simple. Animals. Dogs. Service dogs for the the disabled."

Also, I've noticed you don't put question marks at the end of, I think, any of the questions in quotes. I won't list them all; next time you edit, just look for the questions and give them question marks instead of commas.

In the last paragraph, it says: "Emily said nothing", but immediately gives a quote of what she said. So apparently, she didn't say nothing. :) I think after "Emily said nothing" (by which we mean she gave no reply to Mr. Johnson), there should be a paragraph break, a pause, and a few more words of description before she speaks to Coal. Either that, or just say, "Emily gave no reply, but instead turned to Coal..."

That's about it. I'm glad Emily was able to keep Coal and her apartment.




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Sun Nov 15, 2015 7:55 pm
Ronald559 wrote a review...



“Nowadays we treat your conditions differently,” said Dr. Thompson. “ You've probably heard of Therapy dogs,”
It ends with a comma instead of a period.


“ Nowadays our treatment for Anxiety and Depression- in fact for a lot of mental illness, has changed. Medicine is bad for you, not to mention the side effects…We have a new course of treatment.”
You put a dash (-) but I think what you wanted was one of these. —
Also some commentary on the doctors treatment. I've never met a doctor who doesn't just prescribe the patient and just wave the patient off. My impression on this doctor is that he's a good one. I also don't think a doctor should say medicine is bad for you. He could say that but their vocabulary and choice of words are usually not of a typical person. He doesn't sound intelligent enough for a doctor in this particular sentence. Unless he's talking to a kid then it it's perfect.

She was lead to a different part of the clinic to a large room with kennels and small space of the dogs to play. She saw all kinds of dogs. Maby she should get the Yorkshire terrier, or the Boston terrier, or Golden Retriever, or a Labrador, or Husky. So many dogs to choose from.

Maybe is spelt wrong. Also I liked this sentiment a lot. I felt like it really expressed what the character would typically think. It's exciting to get a dog, even under these conditions. I think you could do this a little better. Express it a little better.

After saying a few words the doctor left. A different man was there to help Emily make a selection.

This happened. It kind of takes you out of the story. Bring it to the present tense. "The doctor said a few words and left. Another man came in to help her.


It spelt squirrels. :)

"What kind of books,"
Question mark not a comma.


I finished it now. The whole dramatic piece at the end would work better if you took your time. You rushed the ending, and we never even got to feel what Emily was feeling. We were just told what happened. It all was so quick, you didn't have enough time to reflect on the events. You did the same thing with the choosing a dog scene. It's hardly a scene. Actually I can't think of a scene in the story. Set the scene, take your time, then tell the story. You do a fair job with dialogue, and I like how you don't waste time doing anything. The doctor just leaves. That's it. Sometimes you can do that but when something is important in the story you need to take the time to explain, to get into the scene, and really make the reader feel it or experience it with the character.
It's in the future, I guess it's easier that way to explain the nature of a talking dog.
I feel like it would be 10x better if you did two things.
Make Emily a child, she's using her imagination to hear Coal speak. It's what she imagines. He's not actually talking. It makes it sadder, and you can understand a little more about how depression affects people. Especially when they are lonely. It would very interesting then, thinking about it.
The second thing would be to make it present day. It'll be easier, and you could express the emotions a lot more efficiently. You could also set the scene better because it's present day and you don't have to make up a futuristic setting for the sake of it.

The flaws aside you have a touching premise here.




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Sat Nov 14, 2015 8:33 am
Eros wrote a review...



Hello Queenofscince!!!

This is Eros here to review your wonderful science fiction!!

This short story about Emily and her Service dog. Emily is a patient of stress and depression. She goes to the doctor, Dr. Thompson. He suggests Emily that medicines may have have side-effects and thus, it would be better to take a service dog home. May be, he thinks that taking a dog home would mentally disengage her from the stress and tension or the mental depression. Service dog is a dog trained to help disabled person. This poodle dog can talk also. Then Mr. Jonson comes and complains about the dog. He wants the dog out of the house... Emily loves the dog, Curl and doesn't want it to go out of the house. She falls ill, due to lack of intake of food and water and Curl takes her to the hospital in an ambulance. Finall, Jonson realises his mistake and allows Emily to live there with the dog.

The story was really beautiful and easy to understand. I liked the dialogues which were spread through out the work, like spices sprad through ut a pizza!
You have really written great! Only a little editing is required... You will get to know about it, if you re-read it once again.
Rest, keep going!
Keep writing...!!
For we love to keep reading it...!!




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Sat Nov 14, 2015 2:21 am
Ronald559 says...



Can you reply to this, I want to review it later.






Sure. Oh, and I'll possabaly go back and add more to this.



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Sat Nov 14, 2015 1:08 am
tigeraye wrote a review...



hello. To start, I really like this concept. Not only is a story about a talking service dog an entertaining idea, but it's a subject you feel personally connected to, which gives the story a much thicker meaning that I enjoy.

The connection between Emily and Coal has the potential to be touching, but isn't quite as fleshed out as I feel it could be. Partly, because it's just so short. I felt a bit of sympathy for Emily, but I could've felt so much more if the story was longer. It could've began with Emily struggling with her illness, and then you'd be able to show just how much Coal helps her cope, which we don't see much of. You could also add more to the back story, like the time period this takes in. It's interesting to see a time period where doctors go "Hey, medicine doesn't work anymore. Here's a talking dog."

I also feel the dialogue could be a lot more enriching than it is. Try to envision how people actually converse, and try to add more emotion and depth. The characters come off as rather robotic, and it distracts from the story.

Flaws aside, this story has a lot of powerful meaning to it that I appreciate. I hope you do editing sometime to make it even better.




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Sat Nov 14, 2015 12:12 am
queenofscience says...



Personaly I am a big supporter of support of service animals and ESAs. I have a visual and psychiatric disabilty.





This report, by its very length, defends itself against the risk of being read.
— Winston Churchill