A CONVERSATION WITH MY DOG ABOUT A DEAD BABY

John Shirley
2 min readMay 26, 2021

“You canines sure are a mixed bag,” I told my dog. “Here it is in the news today: Ten month old baby killed by the family dogs. That was in North Carolina. Their Rottweilers mauled the poor kid to death! Some of you canines are grossly savage, bro. Domesticated dogs too. What the hell, man. And don’t tell me the people should have been watching over the baby closer, of course they should, but the family dogs, a couple of Rottweilers, shouldn’t be savaging any babies anytime, dammit.”

“First of all,” my dog said, rolling his big brown eyes, “those of us who are more peaceful breeds, or in my case mixed breed, cannot be responsible for what some asshole Rottweilers do. They’re Rottweilers, for barking out loud. I wouldn’t trust them near my dinner or my puppies or human slaves.”

“Wait–‘human slaves’?”

“Er, I misspoke. I meant my human owners. That’s the ticket. That’s what I meant. Anyway, some Rottweilers are lunatics, unstable, because originally they were bred for violence. They’re attack dogs. Now who bred them that way? Let’s see. Do we know? Oh that’s right, humans did! Also they were evidently not well trained enough. Who failed to train them right? Oh that’s right–their humans!”

“Okay, fine, so you’ve got a point. But–”

“And by the way, which species is the most violent, human or canine? Who carries out world wars? The most we do is fight over territory now and then with our teeth. Closest we have to wars. Do we make nuclear bombs, man? Machine guns and nerve gas and shit? Hell no. Also do we keep humans in cages in China and then kill you in horrible ways and eat you? Nooooo–that’s human beings in China who do that to dogs! Now let’s talk abour your cage fighting and your child murderers and your child rapists and–“

“Okay okay! You win, you made your point! We suck!”

“And don’t forget it. Now–you going to get my dinner, or what?”

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John Shirley

Author of numerous novels, including Demons, City Come A-Walkin’, Stormland and the A Song Called Youth Cyberpunk trilogy. Winner of the Bram Stoker Award.