Flash Fiction Writing Prompt: Yankee Doodle Doggie

Photo copyright K. S. Brooks. Do not use without attribution.

Use the photograph above as the inspiration for your flash fiction story. Write whatever comes to mind (no sexual, political, or religious stories, jokes, or commentary, please) and after you PROOFREAD it, submit it as your entry in the comments section below. There will be no written prompt.

Welcome to the Indies Unlimited Flash Fiction Challenge. In 250 words or less, write a story incorporating the elements in the picture at left. The 250 word limit will be strictly enforced.

Please keep language and subject matter to a PG-13 level.

Use the comment section below to submit your entry. Entries will be accepted until Tuesday at 5:00 PM Pacific Time. No political or religious entries, please. Need help getting started? Read this article on how to write flash fiction.

On Wednesday, we will open voting to the public with an online poll so they may choose the winner. Voting will be open until 5:00 PM Thursday. On Saturday morning, the winner will be recognized as we post the winning entry along with the picture as a feature.

Once a month, the admins will announce the Editors’ Choice winners. Those stories will be featured in an anthology like this one. Best of luck to you all in your writing!

Entries only in the comment section. Other comments will be deleted. See HERE for additional information and terms. Please note the rule changes for 2016.

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17 thoughts on “Flash Fiction Writing Prompt: Yankee Doodle Doggie”

  1. “Do you remember this little guy?”
    “Hmmm. Let me think.”
    “Come on. You—”
    “I know! Mr. Pish! He’s the fun-loving Jack Russell Terrier I remember seeing all the time down on the Eastern Shore many years ago.”
    “Ding, ding, ding! We have a winner! So, when do you think this picture was taken?”
    “Well, I’d have to guess, but it musta been on a Fourth of July. As to the year, you’ve got me there, my friend.”
    “Ha! This was taken in 2012. He would’ve been 15, then. His travels and adventures are the stuff of legends, ya know, some of which can be found in the Mr. Pish Education Series. Take his sixth book in the series, Mr. Pish Goes to the Farm.” It was published in 2013. That book made quite a splash.”
    “I know. Children absolutely adored it.”
    “Parents did, too. Everyone loves Mr. Pish. I mean, there are Mr. Pish books about woodlands and other places, and books containing postcards Mr. Pish sent from various cities. There are even Mr. Pish calendars. That little doggie even has his own website, if you can believe it!”
    “So, what happened to him?”
    “Sadly, he passed away on the West Coast when he was 16 years old.”
    “I think there’s a special place in Heaven for our little friends like Mr. Pish.”

  2. In the midst of the battle, the meeting at headquarters was brief but emotional for all present.

    Colonel Duckworth: “A fine soldier. A credit to the regiment.”

    Captain Sloan: “Never knew fear. Never refused to go.”

    Master Sergeant Riley: “Best messenger we ever had.”

    Corporal Jones: “We’ll all miss him.”

    He died on duty in the trenches of Soissons, France, killed by poison gas. The body was returned to Philadelphia and interred with honors.

    The grave marker read:


    d. July 4, 1918

    Our men’s best friend

  3. Ladies and Gentlemen of the jury, you have a difficult decision to make today. Guilty or not guilty – the choice is yours.

    I intend to prove to you that this innocent looking puppy is guilty, guilty, guilty!

    The proof is right before your eyes.

    Look at his muzzle. I ask you, are those crumbs from a dog biscuit or are they not? The very same light brown artificial beef flavor dog biscuits that were brazenly stolen from the commissary this very morning.

    Do not let his pathetic little tricks fool you. Posing before an America flag, to impress the patriots among us. Looking sad, to appeal to our nobler protective instincts. We must move beyond these appeals to our emotions.

    This dog is guilty!

    As my final argument, I present to you the incontrovertible evidence of his ears. Yes, Ladies and Gentlemen, his ears. Lacking fingers, this dog has raised his left ear in defiance of due process and to show his utter lack of respect for law and order.

    I rest my case.

  4. Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy! I can’t wait to see mommy, she’s been gone so long! Will mommy remember me? I hope so! Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy!

    I remember mommy crying when she left. I licked her face. Everything will be OK she said. She’ll be back soon she said. Hugs and smooches, petting and crying!

    Is that moving thing mommy? Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy! It’s not mommy, it still moving away from me. How about that one? Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy! No, that’s not mommy. That’s Mr. and Mrs. Johnson next door. They’re nice. They give me treats sometimes.

    Is that another moving thing I see coming? Yes, it is! It stopped moving next to our house! Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy! Look at those people getting out of the moving thing! They are dressed like mommy dresses! Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy! Is that mommy’s scent? I can barely smell it. Where is mommy? I don’t see her. These people are dressed like mommy, where is mommy? Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy!! I can’t wait for kisses and hugs and wrestles and snuggles!!!

    I’m even doing my tippy taps. I know mommy likes that!

    Daddy is happy too, see! He’s crying.

  5. He’s going to leave again, Buster barked, as he admired his best friend looking so masterful in his Master Sergeant uniform. Was it those drooping hairs irritating my eyes to tears, or was it just the sadness of another goodbye.

    Hours ago we were in the backyard having a good time. He’d fling the frisbee. I’d race after it, leap high into the air, chomp onto it, run back, tail wagging, and drop it at his shiny boots. But, this time he reached over, picked me up, and cradled me in his arms. He looked so sad as he rubbed my belly.

    “Sorry, Buster. Don’t want to, but gotta get goin’. It’ll be a while, but when I get back, we’ll have a ball.” He lowered me to the lawn and, without looking back, ran to the waiting Jeep that carried him away.
    He didn’t know it, but I ran after him all the way to the troop ship and panted as he proudly marched aboard. I stood in front of the fluttering American flag knowing he could see me.

    Suddenly, sirens began blaring. Car horns honked. People on shore began screaming and waving their arms to the soldiers waving back. The voice boomed over the loudspeakers. “The war is over. It’s over!” The military band began swinging a rollicking “Happy Days Are Here Again.”

    He ran down the gangplank as I dodged through the wildly dancing crowd and leaped into his arms. “Woof. Woof,” I confessed.

  6. Doggerel

    First off, let me be perfectly clear. I am apolitical. It’s expected of pets, really. And something I expect of myself, if I am being honest. Which, I am. I am an honest dog. There’s no other kind.

    Well, maybe there is.

    I tend to exaggerate.

    I’m not dogmatic about my opinions.

    Just dogged.

    I Know I can’t speak for every dog, cat, or canary but the humans, they need something else from us besides strong opinions.

    For me, its poetry. Plain and simple poesy. Don’t know where it came from. Early on I was in the room when silly stuff from some physician named Dr. Suess was being read to the little smelly one.

    Cute kid. Almost as cute as me.

    But he had bad personal hygiene.

    I guess it had an effect on me.

    Suess! Not the bad hygiene.

    For instance, I made this one up quite early on.

    It’s called PUPPY

    I was as cute as a biscuit,
    A crackerjack puppy was I.
    I prefer not to be too explicit,
    Simply put, a lovely puppy was I.

    Hey, I get it. But remember, it was my first crack at being creative.

    Like my favourite poet, Coleman Barks. I loved the cut of his chewy creations.

    Again, to be honest, there were some poets who got my back up. Never could stand Ezra Pound.

    Course, there was a poet who wasn’t loyal to home and hearth.

    Me, I guess I’m more of a patriot than I thought.

  7. Rafael, my loyal person, had died. It broke my heart. Then his children tried to sell me with the house. When that didn’t work, some big doofus brought me to a shopping mall and left me tied to a parking sign.

    What betrayal! Finally someone untied me, and I was passed from person to person, until Lucy, a kind lady, brought me home.

    Lucy lived in a tall building with many stairs, doors and smells. We climbed almost to the top.

    Inside, I found a soft rug to lie down on. I could be comfortable here, but I missed Rafael. After awhile, Lucy became my new person, and I wanted to stay with her.

    Then came a knock on the door. “You can’t keep the dog,” said the man, handing Lucy a letter.

    Lucy made many phone calls. She was trying to find me another home! Didn’t she want me? But then I saw her crying.

    We went to the park, with a flag and a camera. Then we came home, and when she was finished, she had a stack of posters:


    Lucy was holding me, in tears. When we went out to hang the posters, she also knocked on doors, asking, “Do you have apartments available? Do you allow dogs?”

    Before long, Lucy stopped crying, and we were moving out. She really wanted to keep me! I am her Yankee Doodle doggie, and my forever name is Dandy.

  8. Considered “delicate” by an overprotective Mom he found little to do but read, surf the net and stare out the window of his room. He could see the expanse of their South Georgia backyard and all of its natural beauty. There were birds and mammals, gators in the pond and eagles nesting in the tall pines. But lately he was most interested in the lovely Lorry next door.
    Lorry looked to be his age, but slightly taller as most middle school girls are. He watched her with an acute jealousy for the freedom she enjoyed. Hers was a real life with school, friends and pets. She had a little white Westie.
    She loved that little guy. She would dress him up on holidays, but he would never wear the hats that went with the outfits on those special days. Late afternoon on this hot Fourth of July, Lorry was walking him around the yard with a little patriotic scarf around his neck. She wore an Uncle Sam hat.
    Rolland saw the shadow approach the pair and he ran to the windows, locked for his protection and could only stare as an eagle dropped on her dog, snatching him by the head and back. Only Lorry’s firm grip on the leash gave the eagle pause, dropping its prey, but the damage had been done. Lorraine bent to the lump of white fur at her feet now shaded by her stovepipe. Roland wished he had a hat of his own.

  9. Mr. Pish here.

    I’ve been elected supreme ruler of all dogs, and today, I’m here on behalf of my canine constituents. It’s summer in the Northern Hemisphere – that’s right, I may be a dog, but I know about the Equator and all that geographical stuff. Never mind that, back to summer – and how hot it gets. It’s way too hot to leave your dogs in cars, or to leave them outside without shade and water. We should be inside, in air conditioning, on the couch, watching Oprah with you. Or without you. Either way, we should be on the couch. If there’s not enough room for both of us, we will sacrifice the cuddling and let you sit on the floor. It’s okay. We’ll catch up on that quality time tonight when we sleep on top of your face on the nice, comfy pillow.

    Also, don’t be walking us on the hot pavement – and please, for the love of dog – don’t put those little booties on us! We hate those! Grow a patch of grass with a shade tree. That’s where you’ll install a kiddie pool filled with cool, fresh, delicious water. Because, we drink where we swim, okay? We’re dogs. We just do. At least we don’t pee where we swim – and don’t tell me you don’t know what I’m talking about. My nose knows.

    That’s all for today – I know I have to stick to a maximum of two points because humans get easily confused. Woof!

  10. The old and worn wood of the front porch was soft under Shaggy’s white hair. Above him an old flag flew in the early-July breeze. The sun was oppressively hot on Shaggy’s back, and the Southern Louisiana air was so humid that he risked drowning with each breath. “Thank God I don’t have black hair,” he thought.
    Across the yard, the only cat in the neighborhood leapt onto Shaggy’s white picket fence. Balancing atop the narrow edge it arched its back and stretched, revealing sharp claws. The cat’s sleek black coat shimmered with oily brilliance, and Shaggy was forced to squint.
    “Show off,” he growled. He wasn’t quite sure why, but he loathed the feline. Maybe it was the youthful way it hopped about, or the vigor with which it chased mice (something beneath Shaggy), or that slim and fit physique—or maybe it was something else.
    Shaggy felt justified in this hatred when his owner would spit a slobbery wad of tobacco at the cat and say, “Bad luck, that is.” or when his master’s wife would lament at the state of the neighborhood ever since “they” moved in.
    In his younger days, Shaggy would’ve chased the black panther with the other dogs in the area. But times change, and others have taken up that fight. Now, he preferred to sit up high on his porch, behind the white picket fence, in the shade of his flag, and cling to his pride.

  11. The five-year-old approached his dad who was slumped on the ratty couch, an empty bourbon bottle at his feet.

    “Go ahead, Henry,” said his sister. “He’ll get mad if I wake him.”

    Henry nudged his father twice before he woke with a start.

    “What is it?” he asked, his voice muffled by the dry cotton of drunken sleep.

    “The dog,” said Judy, standing behind her brother. “He’s gone again. Mom would be worried.”

    The young father stared around at the unkempt living room and then at his two children.

    “She’d be worried, all right,” he said. “But we know where the dog went.”

    With that, the father stood up and turned in embarrassment from his kids. He walked to the kitchen and drank a half cup of yesterday’s leftover coffee.

    “Let’s go.”

    The three of them raced to the car and peeled out of the driveway. Soon they were at the cemetery, now sprinkled with American flags for the Fourth of July holiday.

    “Why flags on the Fourth?” asked the dad. “Isn’t Veteran’s Day enough?”

    The two children ignored their father and ran up to their mother’s grave. There sat the bedraggled white Scottie, a small American flag flapping behind. He barked in greeting.

    Henry looked up at his dad, looming over the scene.

    “She was a brave soldier, wasn’t she, Dad.”

    “That she was, kiddo. And our little dog knows it. Maybe it’s my turn to be brave.”

    The children listened, paying attention.

  12. Earth fell when the dogs of Alpa Doggie nuked the last human stronghold in Tucson. Their victory came at a high cost with many of their best dog soldiers blinded. The few human survivors were now seeing-eye humans. It did not matter whether you were a commando, ventriloquist or even a taxidermist like Malcomb, now you were a slave to alien dogs.

    Malcolm was on a leash performing his duties as a seeing eye human. Wearing only a ruby red imperial collar he carried a blind General on his red pillow of honor along the procession route, and then up the staircase. Passing blast doors, he entered the grand kennel to arrive in the royal court.

    All dogs in the grand kennel knew that the General was old school and would not move nor speak until commanded to by the emperor. He was such a good and noble dog and would sit patiently ignoring all until the emperor commanded him to speak.

    Malcolm gently seated the General on his pillow in the middle of the kennel. He brushed the General’s hair and perfectly positioned paws.

    Dog whistles blared as the emperor arrived. Seeing the dogs snap to attention, Malcomb squeezed the General’s tail activating the bomb inside the stuffed General and fake pillow. Malcomb threw his voice pretending to be the General, and then answered himself, “Yes, sir, I’ll wait outside. I am not worthy to look upon your emperor.”

    Malcomb quickly escaped just before the kennel blast doors closed.

  13. Ziggy trailed behind Angeline while they looked for a spot to watch the town’s annual Fourth of July Parade.

    “How old is Emma now?” Angeline asked as they passed by Brenda and her daughter.


    Ziggy stared in fascination at the red and white spinner Emma was waving around.

    Eventually, they found a place where they could view the action. The church’s float went by, followed by patriotic singers. Next, there was a pair of horses with riders waving flags. As they maneuvered into a figure eight sequence, Ziggy saw a loose spinner riding on a gust of wind into the street, landing precariously near the back foot of one of the horses. Within seconds, he saw Emma racing into the street after her spinner before her mother or anyone could stop her. Ziggy saw the horse step backwards, crushing the spinner just as Emma bent down to grab it.

    Ziggy bolted towards the child, managing to shove her from harm’s way. Startled, Emma started to cry, but it morphed into giggles once Ziggy began licking her cheeks. Shaking, Brenda gathered up her daughter and kissed the fluffy white dog. Angeline retrieved the smashed spinner, and Ziggy knew she’d used a little of her magic when she handed it back to Emma in perfect condition.

    Suddenly, Angeline and Ziggy were ushered into joining the parade, word of his heroism spreading.

    Ziggy pranced along the route, reveling in the attention. Plus, he suspected he’d get meat pies later, his favorite reward.

  14. “A dog can be your best security,” Agent Smithers said.

    The inept would-be terrorist seated on the ground before him squirmed against the restraints and commented, “Mmph.”

    “But it is a bit funny.” Smithers bent down and scratched the schnauzer at his side behind the ears. The dog gazed up at him, deliriously happy, as if to beg for more attention. “Most dogs are scared of fireworks.”

    The young terrorist squirmed some more and added, “Mmph.” He was only so eloquent because Smithers had grown sick of his triumphalist ranting and gagged him with his own sock.

    “But not this guy. All those firecrackers and aerial explosions going off, and he just sat there. Until you lobbed that little explosive of yours, that is.”

    “Mmph!” the terrorist objected.

    Smithers scratched the dog’s head again and addressed him, “You could have blown yourself to bits playing fetch with that explosive. You’re one lucky dog. Either that, or it was incredibly clever of you to bite the fuse off!”

    [Note: I know the dog in the photo isn’t a schnauzer. He just reminded me of a long-ago game of Wiffle ball in which my neighbor’s schnauzer caught his master out on a pop fly!]


    Our dog became a patriot the evening we took him to a 4th of July fireworks show. He was supposed to stay home that night.

    When we arrived at the fireworks show, there Yankee was in the backseat with the kids. The kids only giggled. We had no choice but to take him with us into the park, for the law doesn’t allow us to leave a dog in a hot car, and we didn’t have time to take him home.

    After finding our seats in the grandstands, he lay at my feet and went to sleep. The first few fireworks were not that noisy so he slept on.

    Suddenly an M80 or whatever you call it went off. Yankee jumped to his feet, his tail at grand mast, unmoving, his ears erect. All around us laughed and clapped.

    Every year when fireworks go off in the neighborhood, Yankee jumps to his feet, his tail at grand mast, unmoving, his ears erect.

  16. A furry 4th of July hero
    Pat Mills

    Little did we know when we headed to the beach front, with our picnic baskets, that the day would end in near tragedy.

    When my husband came in, from taking out the trash, he brought in with him, a little white fluffy dog.

    “Look , who I have here!”

    “You shouldn’t bring him in, because his owners will be looking for him,”I said.

    “But he looks thirsty”my husband protested.

    “Okay, but put him on the porch, with a bowl of water. We have to get to the picnic.”

    “Stay boy, stay,”my husband commanded.

    “Why did you say, ‘Stay’…” I asked.

    “I didn’t want him to get into trouble, with all the cars.”

    “Okay,”I said eyeing him suspiciously. My husband was a softy for dogs, kids, and hard luck stories.

    The whole Community turned out, and all the activities went off without a hitch, except one firework rocket, didn’t explode properly, in the air. Otherwise, the display was one, that would have made Francis Scott Key proud.

    Almost home, we were met by the dog, frantically barking.

    “Do you think the fireworks scared him?”I asked.

    “No…He wants us to follow him.”

    We followed the dog to a neighbor’s house.

    “Look! In the addition they’re building! Smoke!”my husband yelled.

    The fire company came, and found the rocket, from the fireworks, started the fire!

    Chester, the dog, became our neighborhood hero, and the mascot, in the Fourth of July parade, every year!

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