Writing Companion

by | March 6, 2022 | General | 4 comments

By Ashley Lister

 Because of my job, I often end up talking about the benefits of being a writer. I can wax lyrical for days about the joys of making my own hours, sharing my stories with those who want to be entertained, or simply losing myself in my own imagination. But one of the main blessings to my mind is that I get to spend time with this furry bastard.

 This is Oswald. Oswald is a mix-breed, half chihuahua and half Yorkshire terrier. We refer to him as a Chorkie. He’s also disturbingly intelligent. We taught him to swap things he finds for treats. The reasoning was, rather than him picking up potentially dangerous detritus and consuming it, he would give his findings to us, and we can then exchange whatever he’s got for a harmless piece of kibble.

 Oswald took advantage of this quite swiftly. He went scouting around the house for anything that looked like it might be worth exchanging. Socks, receipts found in pockets, envelopes that had been left on desks, general household litter. Once he’d asset-stripped the house he then went outside and swapped half the gravel from the rear of the building for kibble. After that he moved onto leaves, twigs and dead-headed rose hips. He retrieved them from outside, took them to the treat station in the kitchen, and insisted on being paid for his findings at the current kibble exchange-rate.

 But his genius didn’t stop there.

 Whilst my son was visiting we had closed the lounge door so Oswald wasn’t able to get into the room unsupervised. (My son had left a bag in there and Oswald would have been through it like a villain in a heist movie). Oswald kicked and kicked at the door but we ignored him and told him that he wasn’t going into the lounge.

 Oswald went and found a twig. Instead of taking it to the treat station, where he had performed his previous transactions, he dropped the twig at the lounge door and stared up at my son as if to tell him that he would trade this piece of contraband for access to the forbidden room.

 To most people this will sound like the ramblings of a dog-owner anthropomorphising a pet and imbuing causation and correlation where there is only coincidence. But for me, as someone who gets to spend so much time at home, seeing this remarkable behaviour is one of the added benefits of being a writer.

Ashley Lister

Ashley Lister is a UK author responsible for more than two-dozen erotic novels written under a variety of pseudonyms. His most recent work, a non-fiction book recounting the exploits of UK swingers, is his second title published under his own name: Swingers: Female Confidential by Ashley Lister (Virgin Books; ISBN: 0753513439) Ashley’s non-fiction has appeared in a variety of magazines, including Forum, Chapter & Verse and The International Journal of Erotica. Nexus, Chimera and Silver Moon have published his full-length fiction, with shorter stories appearing in anthologies edited by Maxim Jakubowski, Rachel Kramer Bussel and Mitzi Szereto. He is very proud to be a regular contributor to ERWA.


  1. Jean Roberta

    This is hilarious, Ashley. I can believe your doggie figured out how to exchange what he finds for what he wants. My spouse and I have a half-chihuahua/half mini-Doberman named Kimba (named by a previous owner) who gets our attention by pretending to scare our cat Samson by barking at him, and Samson hisses ferociously. At other times, Kimba humps our other male cat, Tromu. When the animals seem to think they’re not being watched, they will all cuddle together, so the fake species war is apparently a game. (Our other dog Olivia, a purebred pomeranian, gets into it by barking at the cats and at Kimba.) It’s a soap opera.

    • Ashley Lister

      Kimba sounds like a wonderful handful. You can’t beat a household of pets to keep things real. They’re especially fun when you’re in a Zoom meeting or a Teams meeting and needing the sounds of mayhem in the background 😉

  2. Lisabet Sarai

    I have to agree, he sounds incredibly smart. Not to mention a lot of work. ;^)

    (He’s so cute, though, that I imagine it’s really tough to stay mad at him…)

    • Ashley Lister

      He’s good-looking and he knows it: consequently he gets away with every crime known to canine kind 😉

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