At the pound, a last minute reprieve. Emancipated from concrete cells, their executioner left idle, the dogs fill my daughter’s arms; a reeking bustle of ebullient commotion. The human world bears its teeth in those places, death’s not kind but convenient. And had they succumbed I would not be at the sink, waterlogged, hectic, at last woken from my own long stupor by barks like bullets that shatter numbness, my lathered hands desperate to dissolve the clumps of bad history that stick to them like spat gum. Warm water and avocado shampoo amok on the laundry tiles, we fold our hounds into the soft of hide of faded towels, into our pack, where they talk and talk, until it’s my turn and thus therapy begins.