THE KIND OF DOG I AM

 

I am not dreaming. This is real life. I blink a few times and consider actually pinching myself, just to make sure I am not actually dreaming. But I can't pinch myself because I have no hands. Instead of two hands I have four paws. Suddenly I understand that I am now a dog.

 

The road I am on is littered with garbage. With my long, fanged mouth I take up a parcel and follow my master as she continues down the street, buried in her phone. It is autumn, morning: cold and wet and bright. I wonder what kind of dog I am but I cannot move my head in such a way to look at myself in the glass doorways we rush by. I hope I am a big dog. I hope I have rich, luscious fur and an extremely long tail. And that, if say, a tall and attractive man were to turn the corner with the wrong look in his eye, I would be able to jump forth and bite his neck until he is dead. And I hope that when we got home she would take me in her arms and stroke my fur and tell me what a good dog I am and that we will be together forever and never be dead.

 

But of course there would be an investigation. I have committed a mortal offense. The man, tall, creative, charming. Engaged to be married. Successful in his own right and his father even more so. His family will do all in its power to have me put down, even though my crime was in defense of the only one whom I love. They will come for me. Four policemen at the door. Words I no longer understand will be spoken. Papers produced. My owner will be sad but understanding and without much ado they will take me away and put me down, the needle sinking deep and silently into my beautiful fur. And when I am dead they will throw me in a dumpster out back with all the other dogs and cats and horses and birds who have been put down trying their best to live and love. Who have fought the darkness and evil they encountered every day in their miserable animal lives..

 

We stop at the intersection and these thoughts drift away. I glance upwards. From around her phone, she notices me. What is that? Garbage? I loosen my jaws and let it fall to the ground. She kicks at it a little with the tall black leather boot, pulled tight, shining in the morning sun. 

 

As we wait for the street light to change I notice my reflection in a storefront window across the street. I squint my eyes so I can try to see the kind of dog I am.