Ms. Poodle’s marriage ended rather suddenly when her husband, the well-known Dr. Dachshund, announced that his secretary was expecting puppies. She, an inexperienced poodle, would venture into the world and make her way alone.
Ms. Poodle discovered an energy within herself she had not known she possessed; her creative faculties were ignited. She tried odd jobs, travelled, and enrolled in a variety of courses to determine which direction she should finally take. It was at one of these courses that she met Ms. Labrador.
Ms. Labrador was a beautiful animal, sleek and silky and ready for love. She flattered Ms. Poodle regarding her beauty, intelligence, and potential. Ms. Poodle fell in love despite herself, but her love for Ms. Labrador was tempered by a desire and a necessity to make her way in the world on her own terms.
Ms. Poodle worked long hours and fancied that Ms. Labrador, like she herself had done for Dr. Dachshund, would keep house, throw dinner parties, and show up beautifully dressed to evening events — in short, act as a support to her own professional endeavors. It was not to be. Ms. Labrador gave her love and devotion and little more. The two quarreled.
Tragedy struck one day when Ms. Labrador was struck by a speeding vehicle and died instantly, thoughts of love for Ms. Poodle on her mind, surrounded by the scattered petals of the red roses she had been holding. As a result of that incident and the unpleasantness with Dr. Dachshund’s secretary, Ms. Poodle decided that the pain and complications of love were not for her.
Ms. Poodle set about to create a humble yet rewarding life for herself working as the headmistress of a an élite school for the deaf, the mute, and the blind. She worked hard, and while her days and evenings were often full, she thought not infrequently of Dr. Dachshund and of Ms. Labrador. She puzzled over the intricacies of love and loss.
Yet Ms. Poodle accepted her solitude; it allowed her to live her values undisturbed. There was no one to hurt and no one to be hurt by. It was a simple life, and she cherished it. In the fall, she loved to hear a single leaf hit the granite cobbles outside her home. In the winter, she enjoyed the purity of the deep, white snow. Nothing was fresher, in the spring, than the smell of rain on newly exposed earth. And in the summer, a touch of gold on her skin as the sun set and she sipped a glass of prosecco, with or without friends, always revealed the beauty and power of friendship. She felt open to life.
It was during this time of acceptance and simple pleasures that Ms. Poodle met Mr. Mixed Breed. He was a dashing male, at least part boxer and nicely merled. Mr. Mixed Breed was new to town and looking to make acquaintances. Mr. Owl, a colleague at the engineering firm where they both worked, thought of pleasant evenings spent with Ms. Poodle and promptly brought Mr. Mixed Breed along to one of her sunset get-togethers.
Mr. Mixed Breed brought a flowering plant and, at Mr. Owl’s suggestion, a bottle of chilled prosecco, to the gathering. Ms. Poodle was instantly charmed by both Mr. Mixed Breed’s appearance and his manners. The two engaged in a stimulating conversation about the places they had traveled, the politicians they loathed, and the authors they each liked best. Mr. Mixed Breed confided that he loved social dance and, as he was new in town, was looking for a partner. Ms. Poodle blushed and steered the conversation elsewhere. In all, it was a delightful evening, and Ms. Poodle went to bed feeling happy and as if she had had perhaps just a sip or two in excess of her well-loved prosecco.
The next morning she woke up feeling oddly luxuriant. As she stretched herself, bare among her clean white sheets and numerous fluffy pillows, she wondered what could be different. A gasp of surprised pleasure escaped her lips when she realized that she had fallen in love with Mr. Mixed Breed. After a moment or two of reflection, she pinpointed the exact moment she had fallen in love, which was right when Mr. Mixed Breed said he was looking for a social dance partner. So romantic!
Ms. Poodle blushed as she had the previous evening, but she intended to keep her head. She knew that, having decided that love was not for her, she must content herself with friendship. Because she sensed that Mr. Mixed Breed would be a lovely friend to have, she felt herself falter. She began to ask herself whether she really wanted to be his friend, or if she would in fact prefer to be his lover.
At that moment, Ms. Poodle received a text. It seemed that Mr. Mixed Breed was on his way to her home with all the makings of a lovely brunch. Was Ms. Poodle available? Despite her history and her doubts, she was.