Man’s Best Friend

Just to start, I’m not responsible for my actions. In fact, I’m going to make the dog take responsibility for its actions.

I open my neighbour’s garden gate and let myself in. The dog’s barking is driving me to insanity, or at least that’s what I’ll say if I’m to be questioned. I’m not sure what I’m going to do, but it’s going to be educational for the animal.

Any moral objections quenched, I push on with my quest. The dog looms in the distance, a small, foreboding, irritating shadow. I hate this dog. It’s one of those wretched fluffy Yorkshire Terriers with a little moustache my neighbour had combed, making me hate the neighbour too. All that time combing its bloody hair – no time to beat silence into its dog grey-matter.

Well, it’s all wasted time now anyway.

It runs up to me, assumes I’m pleased to see it. The barking continues despite my stern staring into its eyes. It leaps up, leaning its paws on my shirt, and begins to urinate. I roar at the animal, force it to drop back to the floor and cower. I shake its acidic pee from my trouser legs. It’s not as if I hate dogs, though I love dogs; this one really deserves my hatred.

“Will you stop barking so bloody loudly?” I snarl, globules of spit from my mouth streaking across its face. The veins in my temple throb; I fight the almost overwhelming urge to lay blow after skull-crunching blow into the wart in front of me.

“Yap! Yap! Yap!” it replies defiantly, jumping up and down on its hind legs.

I’ve had enough. I bend down and begin to stroke it behind the ear. It turns towards me, nuzzling its nose against my sleeve, and licks my hand with its sandpaper tongue. I feel dry licks soaking up the perspiration that rolls down my sleeve. My mind is awash with madness, my heart pumps with frenzied anger and accumulated frustration clenches my shoulders. I grin with morbid fascination.

Its licks turn to nips, its dirty canine mouth biting at my thumb. I instinctively pull my hand back. The inevitable happens aggression overcomes me. I see red. I scream crazily; my anger echoes through the neighbourhood in a nuclear explosion of rage, and I hurl a haymaker to the side of its skull. It soars across the yard and rolls into the side of a tree, stunned. I inhale the moist air deeply, gasping for oxygen to cool myself down, to gain some kind of control. The sound of my own heartbeat pounds in my eardrums.

I hear a yapping. I turn to see the moustachioed dog bounding towards me across the cement yard, moments from my face, baring its teeth. It leaps gracefully into the air and attaches itself to my nose, snarling, trying to tug my flesh off. Blood begins to stream from my wounds, dripping past my lips. I smash it in the head again. It frees me and falls.

I’m on all fours, growling at it; saliva and my own blood drools from my mouth, and I quickly leap on its crumpled mass, gnashing my teeth and howling as it quivers and struggles underneath me. I roar again, screaming my rage at the animal.

I feel it shuffling as it wriggles its head from the cement floor I’m crushing it into and wraps its jaws around my fingers. It bites down hard with sharp incisors that tear through my skin and shoot crimson blood down its throat. The pain stuns my arm and beats at my mind, the muscles in my back twitch and convulse, as the dog growls and savages my hand.

I jerk it free quickly, feeling its teeth slice across my hand like knives, and I pin it roughly to the floor, snarling and slobbering and gasping the air with deep throaty breaths. I grimace, catching sight of my hand – a mangled mess. It looks up at me with baleful puppy-dog eyes and begins to lick my hand again, a realisation of defeat, finally resorting to submitting and pleading, its tenderness soothing my bloodthirst.

The pitiful creature shivers, frightened and trembling. I fondle its dainty paws, brushing them softly. It licks me, kisses me. I stroke it, a gentle human with a fluffy dog, remorse and regret welling in my eyes.

I gently bend forward, and allow it to lick my cheek. I stroke it, and release it. It wriggles to its feet and leaps at me, a tiger, clawing into my neck with vicious teeth and clamping at my throat, ripping out a chunk. I look at my life ending, falling from its mouth, a brutal victory for force, savagery and revenge, at the expense of foolish human compassion. I retreat; blood drains rapidly from my brain and flows like a waterfall from my gaping wound, and I collapse into a rosebush by my neighbour’s garden gate.

The dog skips happily towards me, stands beside my head, and cocks its leg.