A story that dares to ask the question: do they have dog breeders in hell?
That first week was fun. We thought it was adorable, the way Butterscotch rubbed her snout on the carpet until she sneezed, the way she kicked her little ears until her tags jingled. She walked around the lake with her tongue out and her rump held high.
Joggers guessed what mix she was, asking what shelter we got her from.
Rolling our eyes, we said, “We rescued her from a breeder.”
Two weeks later, we scoured the net to find the breeder’s site had mysteriously disappeared.
It wasn’t that Butterscotch peed on the carpet too much, it’s that when she did it was in the shape of a pentagram, never spilling a drop outside the circle. It wasn’t that she begged for the chicken in my hand, it’s that with one bark the drumstick vanished only to reappear inside her jaws. It wasn’t that she tugged on her leash, it’s that when she did we jumped entire blocks, materializing into oncoming traffic.
Butterscotch’s bark had bite. There was fire in her puppy dog eyes.
When she snapped at the mailman, his shorts burst into flames. When she marked the hydrant, her urine seared a hole through the iron, making a geyser on the boulevard. When she had trouble jumping onto the mattress, she chomped on the box spring until she’d crushed the corners and made herself a ramp.
Now we’re stuck like this, sleeping diagonally in a pile of toys, treats, and rawhides. We dare not leave, because we know Butterscotch will sniff us out wherever we go.