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By Melanie Jessop

Tae-Bo, our Staffordshire Terrier, is miserable. Every furry fibre of his being exudes dejection. His stocky brindle body that is permanently a-quiver with terrier can-do, must-do, will-do energy is now slumped against the bedroom door. He has seen The Suitcase unearthed from the guest room cupboard and he knows that it is a terrible, heartless creature.

He watches its unstoppable progress as it devours a neatly-stacked pile of Mike’s clothing, burping out one pair of white socks too many. Then it latches onto Mike’s arm, pulls him out the front door, and into a stranger’s car. Tae-Bo watches the tail-lights with resigned anguish, knowing he will never see Mike again; not for … forever!

He will not be consoled - not yet - but with much cajoling, he is persuaded to come inside. Dragging himself away from the place of goodbyes, reluctance and despair pool like sludge around his leaden feet. He noses at a dismembered tennis ball, once a source of joy beyond measure; now a painful reminder of a much-loved human who shared his love of flying objects.

His food bowl is full, but there’s no happiness to be found there. An unravelled blanket lies abandoned on the tiled floor. A sometime companion to a cosy dog bed, it’s now adrift on the porcelain sea. He paws the blanket into a comforting clump and buries his bewilderment in the fleecy crumples.

Maybe life will be better after a nap.

· Melanie describes herself as a cuddle-dispenser, chef and expert door-operator for two dangerously cute, furry dictators. This amusing anecdote, from her dog’s exaggerated perspective, is an example of what can be done when we experiment with point of view.


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