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My dog Tapeworm Johnson needed legitimate veterinary attention. It had been two years since she received annual shots. I read somewhere that an older dog can overdose on all these vaccinations, and I have found—I share this information with every dog owner I meet—that if you keep your pet away from rabid foxes, raccoons, skunks, bats, and people whose eyes rotate crazy in their sockets, then the chances of your own dog foaming at the mouth diminishes drastically. I also believe that dogs don't need microchips imbedded beneath their shoulder blades if you keep the dog leashed or in the house, or with the truck windows rolled up when you drive around showing the dog farm animals living in pastures. I brought this up to Dr. Page one time, back four years earlier when Tapeworm Johnson was somewhere between eight and nine. Tapeworm showed up at my door one morning, her ribs as visible as anything you'd order down at Clem and Lyda's Barbecue Shack off Scenic Highway 11, her paw pads split open from, I assumed, days traveling from wherever her conscienceless owner dropped her off.

Eleven stories, all previously published in journals like The Atlantic, The Oxford American, and The Georgia Review, in which George Singleton brings small-town South Carolina alive. Using everyday situations like a dog needing its annual vaccination and buckets of humorous observations, Singleton pokes and prods his readers into realizing we're all simply restless for a pat on the head.


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