Doomed Date Diaries by Bethany Quinn
Dennis was a regular date. Half eleven, every other Sunday morning for the last three months. He was an older gentleman, true, but he still had a mischievous twinkle in his eye. I liked that. He was funny looking, protective, stubborn- in a charming sort of way- and absolutely devoted to anyone who would throw him a stick. Despite his carefree attitude though, Dennis was a bull terrier with some serious dual custody issues.
I'd helped his owners, Clive and Hannah, split up back in November. That's what I do for a day job- I un-connect people. I make the difficult transition from couple to single again easier. They hire me as an intermediary, someone with no vested interest in who gets to keep the couch or the signed Mariah Carey album. And I see it through to the bitter end, whatever that may be. It saves time, heartache and a lot of 3am arguments on the phone.
Sometimes I'm more successful than others. Dennis was the result of a couple who were simply unable to let go. Now they shared him. A fortnight each. And I was there to referee the handover.
Clive was sitting next to me on a park bench. Dennis was sitting on the ground. Hannah had dropped him off ten minutes earlier. It was February and minus five. How do dogs do that? I was worried his little furry wedding vegetables would freeze to the pavement. Clive was crying- again.
'I miss her,' he blubbed. I handed him another tissue.
It never ceased to amaze me the amount of water that man could pump out through his eyes. Where in his head was he storing it all?
'Why doesn't she love me anymore?' He kept burbling.
Dennis wasn't really paying attention. He was watching a labradoodle trot by with the same look of bemused distrust that I give anything with 'Greek' and 'Wine' on the same label. I tickled him between the eyes and he pretended not to notice but I could see his tail wagging.
I wasn't there to judge but I guessed Clive's predicament had something to do with him sleeping with Hannah's sister. He called it a 'little accident.' She called it an affair that lasted over a year. Funny how people see things differently.
Dennis didn't seem to mind though. He had a stick- and me. He was happy.