Friday, August 20, 2010

The Human Puppy - Part 4 (of 4)

[Please read the four parts sequentially.]

Oddly, it was that which had made me love her in the first place that led to our coming apart. She worked in corporate public relations. About three months after I’d moved in with here, she was headhunted for a vice presidency in a much bigger, much better-paying firm than her own. They summoned her for a second interview, and then, because she’d apparently made good impressions both times, for a third, with the company’s namesake and founder. He liked her so much that he invited her to lunch, from which she phoned to tell me she’d been offered the job.

I was thrilled for her, and decided to come downtown and surprise her. I encountered her and Mr. Namesake getting back from their very long lunch. The joyful look on my lover’s made me lose sight of where we were, and around whom. I bounded across the length of the foyer and fairly threw myself on her, licking her face exultantly.
“No!” Lynda said sharply. “Down, boy! Down!” Mr. Namesake’s mouth dropped open in horror. Lynda, realizing only now what was happening, turned an alarming shade of red, her eyes demanding, “How could you?” Mr. Namesake gaped at me incredulously. I wished I could burrow into the floor and vanish.

Lynda finally collected herself to the point of being able to introduce me, as her friend. Mr. Namesake — actually Mr. Donnelly — hadn’t had an illustrious career in PR not being able to be charming in the most trying circumstances. In a heartbeat, he was into charming PR mode, offering me his hand, winking as he asked, “Do you greet all your friends like that, young man?”

As we headed for the subway, Lynda wouldn’t even look at me, much less respond to my profusion of apologies. As we approached the stairs down to the train, she finally stopped and turned to face me. She burst into tears, and pulled me to her. I reflexively licked her face again, its new saltiness be damned. She said she had room in her life for only one animal, and that the main reason Donnelly had hired her was that he himself was a human horse; he had a place up in Connecticut where he liked to carry beautiful young women around on his shoulders while neighing and snorting. It broke her heart to break mine, and she’d never liked horses as much as dogs, as you couldn’t have nearly as intimate a relationship with them because they were just too darned big to have in your home, but she didn’t feel she could decline a vice presidency at Donnelly Communications.

I couldn’t bear the thought of my heart being broken again after that, and resigned myself to the life of loneliness I’ve been living ever since. Every few months or so, I’ll go to a prostitute, Jacquie, who specializes in human pets, but she’s too expensive to see very often. Every now and again, I’ll spend an afternoon in the canine supplies section of Petco, hoping to catch the eye of a woman as lonely as I, but my coat isn’t as glossy as it once was, and I invariably wind up buying myself a bag of rawhide chews to enjoy on the long bus ride back to the lonely flat where only my rhinestoned collar remains of my happy days with Mindee and Lynda. I am 287 dog years old now, and don’t expect to be around to pee in another winter’s snow.

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