Sunday, 31 August 2014

A Slice of Faded Metal

While walking my dog this afternoon, I came across a dog licence from 2005, nine years ago, on the ground. How long has this been there, discarded, weathering wind and rain and sunlight, coated with grime and grub, dirt and waste? Where, today, is the doggy who used to wear it? Alive or moved on? What of the owner - is he/she still spending quality time with the now-elderly pup?

If the pup has moved on, does the owner still think of his/her beloved pet that was once associated with this accessory, presumably clipped to a leather or silver collar around its furry neck? Does the owner now have a new canine companion or two, not as a replacement but as an extension of the relationship he/she once had with the now heaven-ascended hound?

Conversely, what if the owner had been elderly and has since passed? Was the dog thought of by the owner on his/her death bed, vivid memories of long walks, fond nostalgia brimming with water bowls, scattered kibble, the thump-thump of happy tail against surface, the pant-pant-pant of doggy breath, chewed shoes, cold-nosed nuzzles and fur all over the floor and furniture?

But then again: what if the owner hadn't really cared about the dog but had merely kept it with a dismissive nature? Worse, what if the owner had been unkind, neglectful, even psychologically or physically cruel? Had the dog lived a good, happy, loving life? Is it still living a good, happy, loving life?

So many questions, all from one long-disused, long-abused slice of faded metal.

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