“Hello,” I say to the Akita and his owner. We’re at my pub: where I used to bring the chaps on all those dates last year.
“Hi,” the owner says.
“He’s amazing,” I say. “What’s his name?”
“He’s called Onyx,” the owner says. He’s a skinny chap and Onyx himself is a large person. Beautiful of course. He’s in the attached photo.
“How old is he?” I say.
“He’s five,” the owner says.
“Am I allowed to say hello to him?” I say.
“Yes. He might be a bit shy,” the owner says.
Reaching my hand out, Onyx approaches me. He sniffs my hand.
The other dogs around start barking. There’s a couple of toy poodles and a Pomeranian and a chihuahua and they know who’s boss.
“I wouldn’t,” Mum says, looking at the Pomeranian who is barking at Onyx from inside a quilted Chanel handbag.
“You’d be a nice snack for him,” I say to the Pom.
“It’s lovely to meet Onyx,” I say to his owner. “I’ve got a couple of good Akita friends but I haven’t seen them for ages and…”
“He’s a sweetie,” the owner says.
Onyx gazes up at me. He’s so amazing.
“Thank you,” I say.
“This is nice,” I say to Mum as we look at the menu. “Was feeling a bit sad last night – about not coming here on my dates anymore. And here we are.”
“Sad about not going on dates?” Mum says. “But you’ve got a lovely boyfriend.”
“Yes, and I adore him,” I say, “but I don’t see him that often. And I miss him. Used to love coming here everyday last summer: all those dates, meeting all those chaps and…well – it’s nice to be here now.”
“Let’s get a glass of wine,” Mum says.
Happy Thursday everyone!
*1999. By Carol Lea Benjamin. Murder mystery set at a dog training symposium.