I Know This Because It Told Me

At the end of the book the dog is dead. It doesn’t die unhappy, in fact, it’s the opposite. The dog is happy in its death. Well, it’s not happy that it’s dead, it’s just happy with the life it lived. Its final moment is a pleasurable one upon that realization. Still, after finishing the last page of the book, I cried. Sitting at the table in the diner with tears slowing working their way down my face, I noticed a small dog, a shrunken terrier type thing, looking at me. Its eyes full and black. Full with concern, I assumed. Could this creature tell I was mourning one of its own? Yes.

I know this because it told me.

Leaving the restaurant the creature approached, and in perfect English, asked me for food. I apologized, letting it know I had thoroughly finished my meal. It sighed in the way that dogs do, their heads lurching forward with the expulsion of air. Then it asked how I liked the book.

It was very touching, I said. Have you read it?

Yah, it was pretty good. Surprisingly accurate.

Really?

Yah.

Did you cry at the end?

I did. I also cried in the middle, it said, sniffing my pant leg.

When the black dog dies?

No, when its master dies.

Really?

Yah.

Why?

They just had a really nice connection. I wish my master was as, you know, with it like that.

Yeah.

Ah shit, here he comes.

A man in a white tank top carrying a Gatorade and brown paper bag whose bottom was damp with grease approached and untied the dog’s leash from the bike rack and they left. The small dog’s head lurching forward as it sighed.