Family

Junior

She remembered the day he first came. He was small, soft and fragile. She was afraid to hold him; afraid to get dirty and afraid to hold him.

When they went out together, he refused to go home. She would sit with him and let him play. Sometimes her cousins would come and play with him. He would laugh and play with them.

One day, he did not want to go home, even though Mother came out to fetch them. He ran and went up to a stranger, who kicked him. He fled, and she comforted him when they were home.

He often shouted during baths but learnt to like them. If you sprayed water at him, he would run and hide. The water sprinkling reminded him when he was left with his siblings out in the rain.

Thunder scared him, and when it rained she would sit with him, holding his shivering body in her arms. He would whine and sometimes hide his face as though crying.

As time passed they grew apart. He grew, but she was still bigger than him. He often greeted her joyfully when she came home though. And she would smile and pat him.

One day, someone new came to their home. Like him, the newcomer was abandoned. He had not liked the newcomer, who often fought for their attention, especially hers.

Still, despite the troublesome first days, the newcomer had fit in very well, even doing some of the duties he used to do. No one noticed him slipping into darkness.

He snapped, twice. He bit her father till the man bled. It had required minor stitches, but they had thought it his hormones. It was not meant to be.

A few weeks later, he had attacked someone else. His victim had turned the tables on him, but her father had decided that he had to go. It was time.

Junior, my family puppy of three years, will be put to sleep tomorrow or on Monday. I don’t know if he can be saved. I don’t know if my parents want to save him, as Junior is, strictly speaking, my dad’s. He’s lovable, but very territorial. I don’t spend as much time as I should with him, because if I do, our other dog, the newcomer, Lucky, will create a ruckus and they will fight. I’ll be honest and say that I don’t like Lucky as much as I do Junior, if only the latter has been with us longer.

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