A German Shepard is not a lap dog, but she holds the two
year old Annie on her lap for the eight-mile drive to the
vet's, stroking her, scratching under her collar, whispering
the whole time that it will be fine, she'll barely feel the shot
that will put her to sleep, end the horrible seizures once
and for all. It's better, she whispers, than if you choked on
your own tongue. The seizures were getting more and more
frequent, more and more violent, and she and her husband
couldn't watch over her every moment.
Heartless the vet calls these people. Heartless trash. They
don't deserve a pure-bred dog to begin with. He and his
staff tranquillize Annie, sign a death certificate, then find a
better home. Six months later, the new owners will give up
Heartless, the teenager calls her parents. They don't begin
to understand what she's going through. Her only true
companion was the Scottie. But that was before she met
the Older Man, just in town for a few weeks. He had a
Scottie, too, he told her. Then he said he understood her.
The day after her sixteenth birthday she got on the bus to
meet him in Florida. His Scottie was at the vet's, he said. It
had developed a kidney problem. A week passed, then
another week. Finally one night he told her they'd put the
dog down. But she was working the streets, smoking crack,
and couldn't have cared less by that time.