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Tower Block

Look, I’ve never had a pet. Not one. My grandparents had a Yorkshire Terrier. My Aunts Labradors or maybe a Golden Retriever, I can never tell the difference. At some point my uncle had a snake (it would shit once every three months and stink his flat out; when you held it, it would wrap itself around your arm to try and constrict you but then fail to seal the deal because a muscle had been removed from its tail).

But me. Nothing. Not a hamster. Or a gerbil. Or an iguana. Not even a goldfish or a tamagotchi – remember them? And I never wanted one either, because when they’re gone they’re untouchable.

My grandparents’ dog was killed by a train. It broke free of its leash. They shouted heel, but it ignored them and was struck by a freight carrying coal. It was split in two. You should’ve seen them. I might as well’ve died. They were distraught. I could never mention it without tears and slaps from my mother to stop bringing it up.

Before I can remember, my parents had cats. We lived in one of those old tower blocks – it’s probably been knocked down since – and, so my dad says, the both of them died in quick succession. The first was killed by a car as it was crossing a road. One quick dash and wham! The other leapt from our nineteenth floor flat.

I asked my dad how it happened and he told me it saw a bird on the balcony and couldn’t help itself. It tried to pounce and missed. I told him it surely should’ve been fine. Cats always land on their feet, don’t they? And they have nine lives.

He wasn’t amused.

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6 thoughts on “This Is Why He Feels Nothing When Her Dog Dies

  1. Pets are the hardest to part with. Especially dogs. You don’t get that kind of unconditional love from anywhere else. Sadly, not even from your family. I know how your grandparents felt that day. It shouldn’t happen to anyone to see their dog go that way.

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