“The dog rode shotgun on top of my carefully laid out company shirt. He whimpered a lot when I first hauled him into the car, but once he was in the only sound he made was a ragged wheeze with each breath. I could tell there was no way he was going to survive the night; half of his body was compressed flat where his ribs had folded and snapped. What little blood there was escaped from between diseased teeth. He was a huge, ugly mutt with no collar, no tag, and a coat riddled with mange. That far out in the suburbs he must have been a stray, or perhaps a wild dog that had wandered in from the hills. It didn’t matter. I had rounds to complete.”

A SHORT STORY about shift work, distance, and responsibility. Originally published in Verandah #25.

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