"Two Ghosts" 2013
I returned to Vancouver last Summer hoping to see Bear and Pepper, the two dogs I had looked after for seven months in 2011 in return for cheap rent. I really missed them and wanted a chance to say hello, perhaps for the last time. I called the number of my old house, hoping that they still lived there and, happily, they did! I’m not sure if either of them remembered me at first but after we arrived on Wreak Beach they did seem to be taking extra special notice of me. Pepper even looked slightly humbled when I threw sticks to her, probably mindful of the memory of the multiple dog-fights she’d caused in the park due to her possessiveness and ultimately violent nature. Bear was his same old self, sub-subservient and eager to please. When he came over to me for some quiet time I caught myself resenting Pepper for pulling him back into her orbit. But if she hadn’t, I wouldn’t have got photos of them together and him trying to please her by pretending to challenge for the stick. I think it was a fair trade.
I’m often very sad that I probably won’t seem them again and going for one more walk sometimes seems enough to justify a hop across the pond. Then I remember dicing with death at the helm of their reins on the icy streets of East Van; the vengeful shits after a day at UBC; the worry of each walk - “Will they rip and ear off this time? Or perhaps the postman’s hand” - and I think I’ll probably leave them be.