Matching Pets and Owners Since 1997

by Thomas Finnegan

“But what breed?”

“Well, let’s make a list. Of, you know, attributes that are important to us.”

“You mean, a list of ‘What are we like?’”

“Yeah. Isn’t that the sensible way to start looking? As opposed to letting some adorable secret-keeping monster with an abusive past steal our hearts?”

“Good point. OK: we are . . .”



“Loving. Affectionate.”


“Yeah. Move ‘intelligent’ to the top of the list.”

“Well . . . I’d rather keep ‘friendly’ at the top. . . .”

“All right.”

“Develops very strong connections.”


“Speak for yourself!”

“No, I just—I’m just trying to be honest.”

“OK. But how are we going to know how ‘opinionated’ some sweet bundle of—”

“Good point. Scratch ‘opinionated’.”

“Quiet nature.”

“Sure, but . . . let’s be honest. We tend to get a little noisy ourselves, don’t we?”

“Sometimes. Sure. We’re all like that.”

“So how about ‘quiet nature, but can be enchanting when noisy’?”


“And not malicious.”


“So, that’s a pretty good list.”

“Where do we start looking?”

“Should we just go to Persons ’R’ Us?”

“I hear the People Pound has a good selection. And they’re a nonprofit.”

“Um, I suppose this is a good time to bring it up. . . .”

“You’re going to ask if we—”

“Yeah. Listen, Han, are you sure you want a person? Not, say—”

“If you’re going to say ‘a bird’, then stop. We’re not getting another bird.”

“You’re right. That wasn’t a happy situation. My bad.”

“I mean, how can anyone expect to really communicate with a bird?!”


“Chong, stop that. You’re not always funny.”


“So. What kind do you think you want, this time?”

“Mmm, I’ve been thinking of getting a writer.”

“A writer. Now, that’s an idea. They’re pretty quiet by nature, although . . .”

“Well, even if they get noisy, it’s written words.”

“The neighbors would probably have no idea that we got a writer.”

“Yeah. But please, no more—”

“I know what you’re going to say—”

“That rugby player, that was the worst.”

“I know. But he was so cute!”

“OK. So, let’s go to the People Pound first.”

“Great. Get a leash.”

“Yeah, good idea; take our own.”

“I’ll go brush my hair, and I’ll be right back.”

“Aw, Han, can’t we just get going? That’s gonna take—”

“No it won’t.”

“It’s just that I want to get going.”

“Can I have my green leash, the one with the little brass bells?”

“Sure. And I suppose, to be safe, I should take a Depend or two along, right?”


“Don’t want a public spectacle, depending on what they fed him this morning.”

“Fed her.”

“Right. Anyway, good idea. Accidents can happen.”

“Oh, and Chong?”


“If they ask, on the form, don’t say we’re ‘Beijingese’. You’re not always funny.”

Thomas Finnegan received a B.A. in fiction writing from Sarah Lawrence College and was a freelance writer for ten years, including authoring the nonfiction Saving Union Station. His flash stories have appeared in Five South and THEMA.

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