Reviews for Smokey
Mislav chapter 1 . 5/11
Very moving and poignant story. The way you captured Kelly being a loving dog owner and turning to Smokey for comfort, and how much Smokey loved her "queen", in contrast to cold indifference and straight-up dog abuse from Kelly at the end, was especially effective and disturbing. You also captured Smokey's POV pretty well. Great development and build-up too: I could feel the impending downfall throughout the story. The last part really got to me: "Her queen turned and staggered back into the house. Smokey fought against the chain, struggled with all her might but it was no use. Round and round the pole Smokey sulked, her once vibrant life chained outside of a broken home." Heartbreaking. It just goes to show that innocent and weak often get mistreated for no reason; used as a punching bag. And that nothing lasts forever, including the child's love for a pet. This really reads like something that may happen in real life; and it probably has, multiple times. I also liked the way you described the beginning of the end: "Smokey ran to greet them but was met with cold silence." I was actually afraid Kelly would kill Smokey at the end. Keep up the great work. I always like reading your stories.
Henry Palmetto chapter 1 . 5/26/2017
This story revolves around the relationship between a pit-bull and the various members of its family. When tragedy strikes, the pit-bull's relationship with its family becomes more and more isolating until the idyllic life she once lead is no more.

It is always interesting to me when writers convey tragedy or an event of weighty significance through an oblique, tertiary character. The contrast between the idyllic life of the puppy and the troubled lives of the characters around it is very firmly handled, and the sentimentality of having your protagonist be a little puppy I thought appropriate for your subject.

The narrative arc is quite easy to follow and very easy to coast through: it's very much a story you plunge in through to the end.

The Mother's condition is problematically vague. Through the point of view of a dog it is not important to know precisely what this disease is, but the details that are provided are simply not concrete enough. As so much of the story hinges upon the death of Darlene, I think it is absolutely necessary for readers to have a much stronger indication of what is wrong with her. Furthermore, for all the time she and Smokey allegedly spend with one another, her character never develops: she feels and acts like a plot tool. The same could also be said for the Father.

Kelly is the only character who experiences a whole character shift. I understand this as another of the story's tragedies, but I do not understand why it happens. There are no scenes to explain how or why Kelly descends into her depravity, and although it is suggested that this is a consequence of her Mother's sudden death, the story doesn't provide any concrete evidence for this.

I do not think it would harm the pacing of this story to add more scenes and details illustrating the various character arcs that are only hinted at right now. The most valuable and necessary would involve the Mother's illness and the Kelly's descent and estrangement from her father, whose alcoholism again I understand to be linked to the Mother's death but which, again, I feel isn't expressed keenly enough.

All in all, an admirable attempt to convey a story via a different perspective. Thanks for the read!