Barefoot Dogs by Antonio Ruiz-Camacho is another book by a friend and former student, another collection of connected stories, each story brilliant, adding up to astonishment. This isn’t a list of my favorite stories – it would be hard for me to come up with a list just of my favorite stories in Barefoot Dogs – but it’s perhaps the one I think of most often, any time I pass a laundromat. It takes place in a slightly alternate Austin, wildfires all around the edges, and is a love story, and a warning, with one of the most eccentric and brilliant plots I’ve ever read in a short story. Antonio would think I’d been remiss if I didn’t mention the one strong disagreement we had is that I told him I didn’t think this was a good title for a story and I spent some time trying to talk him out of it.
First published in Texas Monthly, March 2015, and available to read here; collected in Barefoot Dogs, Scribner’s, 2015