A husband and wife have grown apart. They let petty grievances fester. They’re both getting older – spreading flesh, hair where it doesn’t belong – but one day the wife comes home with a dog and they reshape their relationship around it. Until the dog goes missing, for which the wife blames the husband. And in the absence of the dog, they deteriorate further, more rapidly, and neither can do anything to stop it. The only thing interesting about this story is that the dog is named Emma, after the Jane Austen character. That’s it. That’s all you need to know.
November 5, 2007: “The Dog” by Roddy Doyle