I laughed the first time he said it. I became concerned when he said it again.

“Seriously, mate, how much is that doggy in the window?”

I’m no stranger to practical jokes and shenanigans, I’ve seen my fair share of Beadle’s About after all, but I didn’t get this one. This was a stationery shop, we sold pens and paper and stuff. It was a stationery shop when my father ran it before me, and it was a stationery shop when his father ran it before him. Neither of them had ever sold dogs as far as I knew. Maybe a stray had wandered in off the street and settled down in the middle of our ink cartridge display. I got up from behind the counter and headed down to the front of the shop and there it was, plain as day, a dog in the window, trapped inside the glass.

It wasn’t quite 2D and it wasn’t quite 3D. I wasn’t quite sure what it was. I ran my hand along the glass where its stomach was and it seemed to like it. I told the man that it wasn’t for sale, because it had been in the family for generations. I’m not sure why I lied. I closed the shop and phoned the police. They said that I should call the RSPCA. A man arrived half an hour later and he was as astonished as I was.

“I guess we’ll have to cut the glass out, will we?” I said.

“Can’t do that. Might kill the dog.” He said in a strong Bristolian accent.

“So you’ve seen this kind of thing before then?” I asked.

“No, but if you ask me, this dog in the window is like a fish in the water, isn’t it? If you take away the water then the fish will die, won’t it?”

“So I’m stuck with a dog in my window?”

“I guess so, yes”. My mind was working overtime. Was this a good situation or a bad one? What if I charged people to come and see the magical dog in the window? I’d be a millionaire, wouldn’t I? People don’t want pens and paper nowadays, anyway, what with all the computers. A living dog trapped inside glass was a money-maker. I was sure of that much.

“Of course you’ll have to seal off the whole area, mind. Nobody coming near the window, kids and that banging on the glass, send a dog to an early grave with nerves that would.”

There went my plan.

“Might even have to close the whole shop. Hand it over to science and whatnot. I’d say the government’ll be wanting to have a look at this”.

And that’s how it went. By the end of the day the shop which had been in my family for three generations was seized in the name of animal welfare. Bloody dog.

Keith, Leeds.

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