Dog people

How our pets remind us who we really are

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  • Published 20231107
  • ISBN: 978-1-922212-89-4
  • Extent: 207pp
  • Paperback, ePub, PDF, Kindle compatible

AS I WRITE this, my dogs are curled up in the sun on the bench beside me. It’s winter in Brisbane, bright and cool, and the smaller of the two, Quito, is wearing a cable-knit jumper, startlingly pink like fairy floss. It has a turtleneck of sorts, and little holes for his front legs, and when I put it on him, it triggers a ‘cozy’ reaction, and he instantly runs to the nearest fluffy location and snuggles in. Today, he’s chosen a thick, round pillow on top of the thinner cushion topping the bench. The larger of my two dogs, Tukee, can’t seem to move when he’s got a jumper on, so he’s using Quito as a hot water bottle. I don’t blame him. I can’t quite feel the tips of my fingers, all too naked, as I type.

My husband is overseas, my daughter back at school. In the temporary quiet, I’m thinking about my father, who died not so long ago, and about my mother and sister, who are adjusting to a new, closer way of living, 13,000 kilometres away from here. I could text them, or FaceTime, or scroll through a social feed – but I find it hard to feel connected over such a distance. I am too conscious of my own small face in the corner of the screen, the garble of my comments online. I am not quite my real self.

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