She had been backed into dog ownership by her children. When her older daughter was a mere toddler, she ate from a bowl on the floor and bark-talked for weeks as part of her campaign for a dog. Her younger daughter endlessly scribbled out lists of possible dog names and polled strangers daily for a vote on the best dog breeds to own. So what else could she do, but get a dog ? Especially once her husband left the scene … She needed a new companion and one who would love her unconditionally seemed like a good idea at the time. But even then, she calculated the dog’s probable life expectancy into her plans, hoping that the dog would be near life’s end when she sent her youngest off to college.

Nowadays, however, she wasn’t sure how she felt about the dog. It was clear that her level of feeling had risen above mere tolerance and at times, she actually preferred the dog to her girls. But (she told herself) maybe she had a skewed perspective: because there were bound to be moments when owning a dog was much more rewarding than parenting two young daughters edging on puberty.

Even her crazy neurotic dog could be more fun than that – yes, her dog, who just moments ago jumped in surprise and barked furiously at a bench that snuck up on her from around the corner of a bush.

And then rolled in the most disgusting shit water afterward.

And then puked up some half dead creature she had chased.

Yes, that dog.
More rewarding.

Oh boy, it was going to be a long decade.


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