The Dogs of Love and War

There are no dogs here but their absence is howling to be let out. When the Inspector calls to check for bombs and pets, I turn up the radio as an obvious distraction, but the DJ’s in cahoots with the trapped idea of animals, and it’s Hound Dog, Puppy Love, Seamus and Old Blue, and I have to fake a coughing fit to stop myself from joining in. The Inspector runs her hands across the rail of leads and collars, and I explain that I’ve been moonlighting as a gimp to battle the cost of living crisis, and when she opens the cupboard to countless cans of Chappie, I panic and tell her that I read online how they’re a safe bet against the imminent nuclear winter. I immediately regret my improvisation as she turns to the bomb in the centre of the room. The awkward pause resembles a clumsy puppy. The DJ plays Who Let the Dogs Out and no amount of coughing is going to stop us joining in with the Who? Who? Who? The bomb vibrates like an egg about to hatch and the Inspector takes out her phone. There are no dogs here but their absence is howling to be let in.




Oz Hardwick
Picture Nick Victor



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