She Wanted a Dog
Meg Pokrass

Her daughter was shy and reclusive. Her husband had wanted a son. Her family seemed downtrodden and anxious. They were a small family of three -- fastidious. She thought about the idea of bringing home something furry with hot breath that didn't come with an elaborate set of instructions and warranty options. She pictured her husband and her daughter at the beach with it, throwing it a Frisbee. The agile dog catching it in his mouth and running, running, running. Her family battling their brittle nature, chasing each other on the sand. The three of them laughing over the brown paw prints on the beige rug after a walk with the dog. They could care less, they would love that dog so much. She could see it in her mind and even smell the dog on her hands.
She also knew she was lying to herself. She remembered how it had been hard on their relationship when she had rescued a parakeet during their courtship. He hated knowing the miserable bird was captive in their one room apartment, watching. Fucking became strange and self-conscious. As predicted, the bird became quiet and lost most of it's feathers.
Finally, she gave it to a cab driver out of desperation. They didn't break up, but they never spoke of it again.