Shake hands

She never was one for the firm handshake. There was no grip as such, no attempt to shake. Only the sensation of limp weight in your hand. 

She wasn’t going to fake sincerity. There was no formula greeting, no meaningful stare.

Disconcertingly she’d allow her eyes to roll sideways. Look back at you for a second then let them roll away again. As if she found the whole thing excruciatingly awkward. Meanwhile, glistening at the corner of her chops, fresh saliva. The tongue flopping through her teeth like a loose belt-end.

You never found out who taught her “shake hands”. Probably the girls at the vet’s where she boarded while you were away. But it was unmistakeably, in her mind, prelude to a treat.

In the park

a woman shakes the paw

of her delighted labrador

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