Flora was a dog; a Chihuahua to be precise. Her real name was Conquistaflora; Flora for short. Winnie, her mistress, initially called her Conquistadora because “she had conquered my heart”. But then Winnie noticed little flower-shaped markings above each of Conquistadora’s eyes, and the name was changed to Conquistaflora.
Flora went everywhere with Winnie, always in an open handbag. It was a great way of stopping pick-pockets from secretly plunging a hand in Winnie’s bag to snatch the purse. Flora would snap, and that would be it.
And Flora had her own bed. It was a queen-sized bed, and usually Flora allowed Winnie and Winnie’s husband to sleep in it as well. They’d all been together for eight years.
Yes, Flora was Winnie’s constant companion – apart from Winnie’s husband of course. His name was Willie. Winnie and Willie didn’t have much money to go on, but they managed. They rented a small house. You’ve no idea how hard it is to find a cheap place to rent if you have a little dog. No one wants to rent a house to a dog owner. Not even a dog owner.
And then Willie upped and died, as people do. Naturally Winnie was upset, but she could no longer afford to rent the same house. She had to budget rather drastically. The rental agency stated it the way it was: get rid of that silly dog. You won’t get a cheap house if you have a dog.
The truth was that Winnie often went without food – just a little – so that Flora could eat. But Winnie bit the bullet and took Flora to the Animal Humane Society, and when they couldn’t find anyone to take Flora as a pet they put her down. Humanely, you understand? With an injection.
These days Winnie bursts into tears at the drop of a hat. She’s lonely without her husband. But she has a house to live in. As many like to point out, she’s simply selfish. She should be grateful.