I know someone who has a dog that cannot walk. He does not fetch, give paw, run, chase, or play. He spends his days on his side or on his back with his two hind legs poking straight out from his bloated belly. When he needs to do his business he must be carried outside and placed on all fours.
His name is Sparky, but it seems to me that someone stopped paying that electric bill a long time ago.
He no longer barks, but his breath can spoil fresh milk and melt plastic. It is a good thing that he is not active enough to make himself hot. If he were to pant, the town he lives in would have to be quarantined and possibly burned. I’ve seen the glass in their windows bend outwards after he has been left home for a few hours with them shut.
About the only thing he can still do is beg for food. He won’t get up and come to the table, but he stares and hopes and waits for someone to walk a scrap of food over to him and hold it up to his drooling maw. Out of pity for a fallen champ, someone usually does. People food is doggy Viagra.
Most of the communication between him and his owners is done telepathically. There were times I was sitting as close to the dog as his breath will allow and without a sound from the dog, his owner will stop what she is doing and immediately attend to him. She’ll ask him what he wants and without any visual or audible indication from the animal she’ll leave and bring him a bowl of something. Whatever she puts in front of him will be consumed entirely. I have no proof of this extra-sensory dialogue. I have never asked how she knows exactly what he wants, but it all seems to happen outside my understanding. The only message I recieve from Sparky is a terrible wish to let go.