Letter to the poor dog living upstairs

Saddest dog ever
Not Emmylou.

It’s true that I despised you at the beginning, Emmylou*. Shortly after I moved in, I heard you bounding around above my ceiling, endlessly chasing after some dumb (and very heavy-duty) toy. Yours and your owner’s footfalls banged loudly on the hardwood, and I assumed you were a German Shepard or a Great Dane, what with all the noise. Bounce-thud-chase, bounce-thud-chase, over and over, at all hours of the day and night.

I was startled to later discover that you were a diminutive little mutt. It was that time we ran into each other outside the building’s entry way. You lunged at me, and your owner scolded “Emmylou!” I figured you could sense my irritation at your mere existence and were reciprocating my disdain, but now I realize you were perhaps grasping for a familiar smell that you vaguely associated with home, or the home you wish you had — one with lights on, for starters.

I hear you, Emmylou, barking and whining, alone in the dark. I’m not surprised your owner left you like this, because it’s not the first time she’s done it. Plus, I’ve pitied you for quite some time now, because I noticed that the bounce-thud-chase is few and far between these days, and I know that if I can hear your owner’s bedroom acrobatics when her boyfriend is over, it must be doubly awkward for you.

So Emmylou, I’m listening to your nighttime soliloquy. I’ve been there, sister. I know it seems like you’re all alone in your world, but the Sun comes up tomorrow. By then, you’ll have forgotten all of this, since dogs don’t have much of a memory, right?
*Name has been changed.
Photo by Flickr user ishane.

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