Francois!

A dog of the most poetic gait and curly hair of most mottled brown, a true tail wagger and kindly friend of man. You were a Poodle of fine French breed, so we named you in their honor.

Francois!

How indifferent was I, how black I was to the colors of emotion, when you were put to sleep by Mother. She, that cruel, spurious woman had who poisoned me, who had tainted my senses as a babe with the bitter milk of her vile tits. No wonder I felt no emotion when you passed. But I do now, as how a cut may not bleed at first. Rest peacefully, faithful dog, in that knowledge.

As I recollect my memories, I'm struck with new insights, insights that only the penetrating wisdom of my advanced age can bring. Blind was I with naivety, I realize, during your pitifully brief life. You were, in your way, a bit of a sexual deviant. Perhaps you had been a porn star in a past life. You had, for instance, this queer habit of humping people's legs. I have since learned, through the wonders of modern canine psychoanalysis, that you were trying to assert your dominance over us, to bring us under your unthinking dominion. Pretty Napoleonic behavior for a nine pound dog, don't you think? To believe that you, lowly YOU, could be our master! I scoff even today at that absurd notion.

I remember, also, how after we had you castrated, the first thing you did when you came home was pee on Mother's bed in her plain sight. How you glared in her eyes, menacingly. So she grabbed a rolled-up newspaper and flogged you with it. Then she locked you in a metal cage to reflect upon your sins. Which you did with devilish delight, I'm sure. I could craft a bizarre story of sadomasochism (of bizarre proportions) from what she did to you, but some stories, I believe, dear reader, are best left untold.


Not all of my memories are so twisted. How could I forget your love of food, how you would snatch burgers from under my nose like a medieval bandit, eating your spoils in front of me, mocking me. Or how you would joyously lick the sweat off of Father's leg after he would come from a jog. Or Father's acquiescence to that act.

No, I will not dwell any longer on your deviancy. It ills me to do so.

I have fonder memories
, like how you would always run away and I would have to chase you at Mother's insistence. It was not that you hated home. You enjoyed the thrill of the chase, waiting for your would-be captor to close in on you just so that you could leap and bound away, secure in your superior agility and speed, like a cat playing with its prey.

And how could I forget how dreadfully frightened you were of me when I wore an alien mask for Halloween/ Your sheer terror as I chased you for sport made me think that perhaps there was validity to my notion that I was subject to alien abduction. There was, too, that time an entire army of ants invaded your food bowl. You ate them and the dry offal we had the temerity to call dog food, happily. A Buddhist could have learned from you.

Francois!

Oh you, you tongue lapper in the wind, you chaser of squirrels, you fertilizer of our back lawn. So you were named.

Francois!