I had a ward named Ali.
She was a loving and intelligent Jack Russell terrier that loved, as the package had forewarned me, "Love my Liver Bits" from a pet boutique on the Danforth.
Sadly, I had to surrender her to the Toronto Humane Society because life as my dog, though luxurious in treats, is want for adequate together time.
But before we went our separate ways, Ali, my fiance, and I had an exchange with an old woman who no doubt drown her children in the bath basin; in their stead, she now rolls a Pekinese with a goiter around in a child's pram, while a much perkier version of the same races about leashless.
The goiter dog is pathetic. It's goiter rivals the dog's snout in length, and it's owner's demeanor in awfulness. Funnily enough, the dog is the same colour as iodine. The Pekinese on the loose is entirely useless, ripe with an eager curiosity Ali, on this particular night, attempted to cure her of.
Ali was attacked by a Pit Bull during her time on the street, which has left an indelible mark on her. She loathes other dogs (apart from my parent's toy poodle, a dandy named Kelsey, whom she adores--though he could never love her back, for his heart belongs to a lifelike monkey puppet he enjoys sinful entry with in our laundry room in Lucan). You can imagine where I'm going with a story who's principle players are a dog that hates other dogs, a dog which is not on a leash, and an old lady you already know me to hate.
So Ali is biting this freewheelin' Pekinese on the face, and my fiance is telling the old hag "My dog is not friendly!" (no kidding) Ali is literally, as Erika describes it, chopping on the Pekinese's face; the Pekinese is pulling one of those, "Sorry? Come again? Jeez, that hurts!". The old lady shows surprising pluck, and says "Your dog is a bitch!"
To which I exclaim:
B- "Excuse me? Did you just call my dog a name?"
A- "Well, she's a female, isn't she?"
B- "Oh! Come! On! We're not swearing behind mom's back right now! A female dog's a "bitch", a "bastard" is the son of an unwed mother, and "fuck" is seal in French; but trust me: rarely do I use them in their intended context! You called her a name! That's ridiculous!! That's pathetic!"
She began to walk away, muttering to herself, sickly dog before her, wounded dog behind.
B- "Come on now! Shame! On! You! How old are you--calling a dog names!! You should be ashamed of yourself! Shame! Shame! I hope everyone in the neighbourhood heard how shameful you behaved! Calling a poor, defenseless dog names!"
E- "It's illegal to have your dog off of a leash! (to Ali) Good for you! You bit that dog very well! Good girl!"
I continued to question the old lady's nobility, language skills, and general character loudly until my lungs were empty. It felt so good to feel so right! I mean, who calls someone else's pet a name simply out of malice?
I don't go over to my brother and sister-in-law's house and say, "You stupid fucking goldfish. Swimming in your own piss like a bunch of fucking idiots!" I don't.
And if I did, and I was caught maligning the fish for no reason, I certainly wouldn't say, "What? They're not 'Ryukin Goldfish'? I thought they were."