TickTockAs far as I can remember, dogs don't usually come with a large, fully functioning clock face imbedded into their abdomens. They do drool a lot though, and this one was living up to that part of his species' reputation.
Firs of all, thank you for submitting to the critique folder. I'll see what I can do.
I've noticed that a large number of the pieces I've critiqued in the past week or two have been written in the present tense. I'm starting to wonder if I missed a memo, actually.
Writing narrative in the present tense is difficult to do well, it is an unnatural way to tell a story and is often disruptive to the reader. There is also a tendency (because of the unnatural feeling) for the writer to accidentally drop back into the past tense. You've managed to avoid this, and for that I commend you.
You have also made good use of the present tense's immediacy to allow for a number of sudden "reveals" >blockquote>"I guess that would explain why my bedroom has no walls and it looks like I'm sitting in some kind of jungle."</blockquote> for example. These are done effectively, and with a light touch, which I appreciated.
There were a couple of things that struck me as incongruous. One was a possible plot hole/logical flaw in the story line, the other is a visualization issue. The logical flaw is that if the "dog" was able to read the protagonist's mind, he wouldn't need to ask what she remembers about "The Phantom Tollbooth". The visualization issue is that I'm not sure how one would see the clock on the dog's abdomen unless it is standing upright. In the cover illustration for the Tollbooth book it is on his side, not his abdomen.
We also have a difference of opinion is that I might acknowledge "The Phantom Tollbooth" as a children's classic, but I have a hard time swallowing the "a classic of literature" description.
All in all this is a very well written piece of prose. It is just the right length for the amount of story, you employ technical writing skills to good effect, and it is charming and amusing. Well done!