When we came to Alfonso after the funeral, the dogs were so sweet and well-behaved I could scarcely believe it. I remember them as hell-hounds, standing on the tables and barking wildly at everyone who tried to enter the house. Not content to rule the furniture, family legend has it that they once managed to make their way up onto the roof, there to proclaim their mastery even over the people passing by on the street.
But when we came to go sort through the boxes of photos and old clothes they followed us quietly from room to room, tails placidly wagging and gazing up at us with liquid brown eyes as if butter wouldn’t melt in their mouths. The scratches on the furniture, the bared teeth, the infernal barking --it must have been some other dog.
Carl thinks that it’s because Sparky, “the mean one”, finally died, but the rest of the family knows better. Cousin Andrea inherited the house and Andrea --she is a cat person.
There’s a new regime in town and, like the dogs, we must all adapt.