I assisted the veterinarian with a home euthanasia. It was difficult finding the address amongst the pebble-dashed cubes that contained the underclass, but we found it.
A young dog, the size of a Shetland pony, panted on the plastic kitchen floor, its abdominal cavity full of peritoneal fluid - congestive heart failure; it needed to be killed. I raised the vein, the vet injected green dream. The man stayed in the living room, watching TV, the volume high. The woman was crying, holding the body. The lingering stale funk of cigarette smoke; a cheap mobile phone propped near an ashtray brimful of powder; the desultory fridge magnets; kitchen surfaces crusty; curtains lank; a neighbor’s window with a crucifix on the sill; they absorbed me.
The vet and I carried the monster out of the flat. I returned to the practice. I was asked by a nurse: “Is it a routine cremation or burial?” I had no idea. “What’s the dog’s name?” I hadn’t listened. The dog would remain in limbo, compressed at the bottom of the freezer until someone called and asked the questions.
Ross Brodie is a 30 year old veterinarian living in the North East of England. He has completed a novel, The Krewthedral. With his medical knowledge, voracious appetite for techno, and passion for reading, he is attempting to be a 'pata-physian' – the science of imaginary solutions, but with a turbo charged, megalomaniac energy he hopes will connect with the internet empowered generation.