These dogs, tail to mouth, they disgust me, they eat, shit, fuck, cut paths and tunnels through the rhododendrons, emerge, stinking and fecund, running circles around me as I sit in my bath chair—and they yap! Yappity-yappity-yappity yap!
My carers think that the dogs will love me, and thus I will learn to love back. No. They dislike me intensely, and it is mutual; this is the one thing we have in common.
I do not speak from malice. It was a kind gesture to give me these ravening wolflings.
But all I want is to go down to the river—we could have pebbles and make them skip; we could go swimming, throw water at each other.
One of the dogs is curling its lip and snarling. It is made of slavering hate.
I let slip the brakes on my chair and slowly, slowly I roll across the lawn. The dogs circle round me, unsure of what is happening. I have never moved before. They back off, then race forwards, nipping at the air that surrounds me. They run to the lake and back. They are starting to think this is a game. They are unutterably stupid.
I gather speed. Someone shouts, comes running. They won’t catch us, me and the dogs. One leaps onto my lap, licks my face—it is vile, vile! But it is affection, even here at the end of things; it is the taste of love.