A bent tale about a dog

William Loader

Dogs know. In a moment she was off, tail high and wagging its crooked shape vigorously as she bounded down the path. Moments before all was still, just a twitch of the nose scenting the air.

Six months back it was different. Shouting, slammed doors, curses, a kick and then a yelp. He was gone, bag in hand. And she was cringing in pain by the step. It was lucky the tail had not snapped right off. She was badly bruised.

He had gone, nobody knew where. Off to make his fortune, anything but home, anyone but family, and away from that damn’ dog. It’s just that jobs weren’t easy to come by. Streets are not friendly. Parks are sometimes cold. Down he went, caught in the spiral, used, abused; promise and hope turned to hopelessness and despair. There was nothing left: back home! Give it a go again.

And she saw him coming afar off, caught his scent. Now nothing was stopping her. She bowled him over with one great leap of love. She wee-ed in ecstasy just to see him. As she licked him with affection, he broke down and wept.

Nothing more needed to be said. Barking enthusiasm, she announced the homecoming, annoyed brother from the cricket on TV to get up and see, jumped up and licked him too - and fetched the ball.

She knew.

God knows dogs know.