The Tragedy of Perception

The witness

In which a dog teaches its owner a thing or two about territorial markings.

A man who was out walking his dog, stopped on the pavement before 17 Misconception Boulevard. He looked on as his dog positioned itself, then cocked its leg against the garden’s waist‑high wall. While watching the jet hitting the wall, the man decided to have a go himself, so he unzipped his flies and began urinating over the wall while whistling nonchalantly.

He heard something nearby, looked up and noticed a car in the driveway with a man inside it prodding the windscreen and shouting at it. Obviously (reflected the dog‑walker) he did not appreciate the kind deed they were doing him by washing his wall.

The dog‑walker zipped up his flies, turned and launched into a brisk march along the pavement. The dog’s lead twanged—the dog not having finished doing its kind deed. The man tugged violently but the dog merely jerked forward a step while keeping its leg cocked, so the man attached the lead to his belt and threw himself along the pavement. The dog made a loud choking sound, hopped along on three legs while its fourth wavered undecidedly, then the dog dropped all resistance and sailed on along the pavement.

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