Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Best in Show

photo by kind permission of
I hear the door close and then the man is crouching in front of me. He holds a thin strip of red leather in his hands and I realise he must be the handler. I obediently lift my head so he can fasten the collar around my neck. There is the soft jingle of a metal tag and I feel its chill against my throat. The collar is a strange comfort. It crystallises my position more than any other single step in the elaborate ritual. It instantly suffuses me with warmth and security, inducing a powerful feeling of submission.
       As the man clips a lead to my collar I lower my head. He gives the lead a gentle tug and I follow him down the corridor and into a room towards the back of the house. The low murmur of male voices grows louder as we approach. I hesitate in the doorway, peering in.
       We’ve come to what looks like a ballroom, although the room is obviously not used for dancing. The floor is covered with thick, luxurious Oriental rugs that cushion my knees as I am led inside. A huge space has been cleared in the middle, bounded by a semicircle of chairs. A show ring. Some of the men are seated and several others stand off to one side, talking amongst themselves. A fire roars warmly in the hearth along the near wall and two women, naked like me, kneel before it.
       I look up in response to the familiar and cherished voice of my master and I find myself quivering with happiness as he emerges from the group and comes towards me. I kneel up to reach him, placing my palms against his legs as he strokes my face tenderly.
       "Is my little pet going to make me proud today?”
       I nod my head, pawing gently at him with one hand. He smiles indulgently at my puppyish behaviour before unclipping my lead. Then he reaches into his pocket to withdraw a morsel of chocolate. I nibble the treat from his hand while he scratches me roughly behind the ears. If I had a tail I would wag it.

from "Best in Show" by Rose de Fer

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