Fiction: Conversations I Don’t Have with my Dog

Lucky (that’s his name) stands there staring at me.

“What?” I ask. “I just fed you.”

He keeps staring at me. Not blinking (do dogs blink?) not looking away.

Again, “What?” Nothing. “You’re thinking about something. Wait, let me guess. You’re wondering about the purpose of existence. Whether there’s a reason we’re here. You’re thinking that maybe there is a purpose. Maybe God created us. That maybe this is an immense test of our wills and our hearts. And that how we perform determines how God will treat us when we go back to him.”

He hasn’t moved a hair.

“Or maybe you’re thinking that we’re here for no reason. That we’re just the result of millions of years of genetic variation. We’re the best of all there ever was. We were the fittest and so we’re still here. We’re better than the dinosaurs, after all.”

He looks down at the floor.

“You would think that, you Godless heathen.”

He whines softly.

“You’re not as hopeless as that?”

He looks up again.

“You think we should make the most of this. Whatever it is. That we should improve ourselves. Help others. Improve the condition of our fellow man to the greatest extent we can. And when we can’t, we should at least strive to do them no harm.”

He gives a little yip.

“Yeah,” I say, “me too.”


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