Zoey and the Rat

I’ve had Zoey, my dog, for eight months now. She lived on the street, was impregnated, probably fought, was in a shelter, is terrified of other dogs. Now, with time, she’s reinheriting herself.

She’s a mutt, pretty and small, with terrier DNA and Doberman markings. She has people eyes. Sometimes I ask her about her Prarabdha karma. I hold her little head in my hands and say “what did you do?”

Today she killed a rat. She was so happy and proud that she danced, jumping in tight circles like a circus dog. Terriers are bred to rat-catch, and in their jaws the prey is whipped back and forth until its neck breaks. Despite her tramp background Zoey has the soft mouth of an aristocrat, and the corpse was undamaged. I picked it up off the brick by the hedge at the back of the pool with an inside-out trash bag. Metallic green flies worried its eyes and mouth but there was no blood, only the feel of raw slumped meat. I wound the plastic over it and went through the side to throw it in the outside garbage.

Zoey came back to me, panting. I squatted down and she put her forelegs on my knee and I stroked and stroked her. She turned her head to the side, resting it on me, and took a deep breath in followed by a sharp exhale. A sigh of pleasure.