[PW] Identifying a story about gaining self-esteem via a dog collar

Baker, John JBAKER at STRADLEY.COM
Thu Sep 19 16:38:23 PDT 2019


I remember reading this story, many years ago, and have been racking my brain to place it.  It might have been in the anthology The Bedside Esquire, which includes a number of great stories from the 1930s, but I am by no means confident of that.


John Baker


From: Project-wombat [mailto:project-wombat-bounces at lists.project-wombat.org] On Behalf Of John Cowan
Sent: Tuesday 17 September 2019 9:32 PM
To: project-wombat
Subject: [PW] Identifying a story about gaining self-esteem via a dog collar

This is from MetaFilter, but a friend there asked me to relay it here, as
no reply has been received since 2007:

1) A short story dealing with the search for self-esteem, set in the
American West, in the XXth Century.

2) About a man trained into courage and self-respect by a woman who makes
him wear a dog collar.

3) Plot summary, details may not be correct: The story is set in the
American West at the start of the XXth century (they already have
motorcars) and it is a pretty lawless town. A man who has no self-esteem
nor courage asks a brave, independent woman called Bertha to teach him how
to be brave. The woman raises dogs, so she makes him wear a dog collar.
There is a showdown, and the man proves himself.

4) The story is in English, but my friend read it in Spanish translation in
the late 70s or early 80s, in a cheap paperback book probably printed about
ten years before and already falling apart.

5) Possibl authors: Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett, Jim Thompson,
James M. Cain.

Any ideas, anyone?
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