Highs and Lows by Mike Rymarz

“Oooohhh,” the crowd groaned as one. 

“What a numpty,” a voice could be heard, shouting over the noise. 

“That’s gotta hurt!” laughed another. 

The pride was damaged a lot more than any physical pain. I could feel the blood rising in my face, the shame surely evident for the world to see. It had been my one chance to impress her, to make her really proud of me. We’d only been together a short time and I had been waiting for this chance to prove my worth and to get her to love me. 

“Make sure you don’t make any mistakes,” she had sagely advised me, or, thinking back, was it more menacing than advice? “We’ve got a chance to win this and to finally rub his face in the dirt.” I mean, I didn’t really want to rub anyone’s nose in the dirt but hey, who was I to argue if it made her happy? 

I had been looking forward to the treat she had promised me afterwards, the delectable dinner no doubt, just the two of us without the usual crowd. I normally don’t get a look in with her when the others are around, so perhaps tonight was going to be the night, I had naively thought. 

All that disappeared the moment my face hit the floor. The ridiculous thing was that it was the easiest section – maybe I had just been too casual, too relaxed. I’d completed the slalom and hurdled, I don’t know how many obstacles, and this see-saw was normally a doddle, but this time my mind had been elsewhere. 

I’d let her down at this one, but there must be another dog show for me to prove my worth soon. I just hope I can do it without falling off!

Published in Issue #12

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