I thought it might be another normal November day: trees on fire and sky as grey as smoke. I took Dog to the beach to run in the sea and let the salt water heal up the barbwire slice she came out of the Forbidden Woods with. There's an old fly-tip down there, fascinating and dangerous for all animals including me. As a child growing up on a beach I was programmed to regard seawater as a cure for anything but drowning, but also sensibly banned from climbing through tips.
Dog chased cormorants at the edge of low tide and the worn down rocks lay like ossified blocks of things long gone, and I walked, thinking of claws and scaly tails, pressing bare toes into cool damp sand. Back at home I bribed Dog to roll over and let me check the wound, only to find another, deeper gape carved in her flesh: the kind that even I can't believe the sea will mend sufficiently. Knowing how limited our resources are I tried to believe the sea could do it. Dog slunk to her basket, apologetically.I phoned the vet, of course, and she needed treatment, of course, and the surgery let me bring her home tonight to make it cheaper. The wound and the expense were two uncomfortable jolts. She is back in her basket now, too woozy to even be sorry for herself. I'm upstairs, writing this, re-budgeting to afford some pet insurance, being glad Dog is okay, running through platitudes and sorting them into piles of Useful and Dubious.