Bite me. I offer my hand to the mongrel chained to a pole outside the neighborhood locksmith’s shop. It’s a big dog, with pricked ears, a black face, and a mostly black coat. A shepherd mix, I think. Neglected if not intentionally mistreated. Its tail is hairless on one side, the exposed skin inflamed and oozing, and its long fur is matted and dirty. It should weigh a good seventy or eighty pounds, but it can’t be more than sixty. A pariah of a dog, repellent in its misery. The kind of animal around which I’d make a wide berth, were I walking with my children.
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