His voice dipped to a pianissimo when directed at Coco. “Hey baby, you are such a cutie, look at those ears, so, so very soft!”
The man and his beast thrived thus in their mutual bubble of dependence and acceptance. Their needs were well met and their bond, toxin free. Their moments together were of pure joy. She would charge, bounding at him as he stood at the door, dangling the leash. Their connection showed even when she flashed the whites of her eyes if he ever said, “Sorry, busy. Your mistress will walk you today!”
Sukriti would respond with mock annoyance, “She gets more affection from you than I do! This makes me jealous.” Blithe would come the master’s reply, “Well, if you looked at me with that same adoration, I would treat you special too.”
It was their silver wedding anniversary a week later. Both sides of the families were attending the large party the couple was hosting for their friends. Euphoric on the effervescence of champagne and good will, when the clan returned home, their chatter fell into a shocked silence. Coco was sprawled in an untidy heap of Sukriti’s belongings. There was a mauled blue velvet box, two damaged lip gels, some torn fabric and a silver heel chewed through.