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A proper dog walk by Rob Nisbet

Long listed for the WRITE ABOUT WALKING AND LISTENING competition run in July & August 2021

I let Daren put on Bramble’s harness and lead. Dog and boy adore each other; our after-school walks on a Thursday are the highlight of the week. I put on the dark glasses I always wear outside. Daren says I’m the coolest gran he’s ever seen.

We walk to the beach. I’m not as steady as I was, but Daren leads me, supporting my arm while holding Bramble’s lead in his other hand. I can smell and hear the sea before we round the corner onto the coast path. There is a bench where I like to sit. I ease myself down, take off the glasses and close my eyes. I like to feel the sun on my face.

“Come on Bramble!”

Daren runs off. I don’t need to see to know that Bramble is still at my side. “Go Bramble,” I say, and so, released, he is off chasing Daren down to the shingle. This is exactly what Bramble needs. A proper walk. I hear them crunch over the stones, and the jangle of Bramble’s ball with the little bell inside. There is the soft breathing of the sea as the waves surge in then sigh back rattling the stones behind them. I could fall asleep if it weren’t for the occasional screech of gulls.

I press the talk button on my watch: it tells me it is time to return. I call Bramble, and instantly he is back on duty. Back in the harness, my faithful guide.


Itching to write something yourself? Submit a piece to our Shorelines project, and invite your friends to read it aloud, for a chance to win a prize. Join one of our creative writing workshops or keep up to date with all our competitions by signing up to our curated newsletter here.

Read more from the Long List of stories submitted to the WRITE ABOUT WALKING & LISTENING competition. Listen to winning authors read their work at a showcase event on Sunday 26 September 2021 book here.

Buy WALKING – the limited edition illustrated chapbook anthology of 15 poems and stories inspired by walking and listening €4.50 + p&p

All proceeds go to support future Sound Walk Septembers

Rob Nisbet

Rob Nisbet

Rob Nisbet has had over 60 short stories published in anthologies and magazines ranging from romance (using his wife's name) to horror. He also writes audio drama including several scripts produced by Big Finish for their Doctor Who ranges. He also keeps...

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