What we are up to

Dog Days #5

by Nathan Jones

Dog Days is a serial about the plight of a dog walker, Richie Pen, and Kenny, his dog.

Dearest Bob,

It’s funny camping out in the living room isn’t it! We are like children, whispering all night. When do you think we’ll get rid of that stink out of the bedroom though? I'm really sorry about that.

Kenny thinks we have moved in with him. He is well chuffed. You can tell, despite the fact that he never smiles. That is a big shame for dugs, Bub. No smiling. Although I doubt he worries about it too much seeing as we rub pat snuggle him and trumpy-lips his belly regardless.

Well then! Perhaps the smile is a curse for us? You start off flashing it around everywhere like a knife in the playground, then just when you put it away, Bop! You get one in the heart. Agh Auegh, Bob. Bops.

Only before on my walk I was smiling to all and everyone, going Look at Kenny and me here, What a nice pair of guys we are in our prime here everyone, Get your bottom dollars! And they all looked so serious. As if I was crazy, Bob. So the spirit faded, as it will. Then I got to this chap with a staffiduous one and a copy of The Sun and I thought, Oh fuck you then. But just as I passed him, he smiled.

The bastard. If only there had been time! If I could have all my encounters again, I would trade them all for him. If only I could have had my own smile ready to hold his: a moment of silver in the grey of the day! But no. I saw from the way it dropped off his chin it is gone forever, that rotten grin (this is like a poem, Bib). And I can just see his broad back and nice buttocks maudlin, disappearing down the path: the hunky back and fisty buttocks of human reciprocity hardening and gone gone and gone. Down and down the path of history towards the lake where Satan’s children sit dangling maggots in the mud.

Sometimes I am so sad, Bob, and I wish I was a dog who cannot smile even if he tries. Come home.


Richie dread and stoic Ken.