When they decided to get a pet 2 years ago, he was all-enthusiastic, with fervent plans for taking care of it, how he’d give it a bath every week, take it for walks every evening after he returned from work. How he’d treat it like the child they could never have. Without asking, she knew that he wanted a dog. He loved dogs. They settled with a cute little beagle pup they named Bingo, a terror around the house, but who brought them so much joy and laughter that the fact that they couldn’t have children didn’t bother them as much as it used to. Bingo was their son, their daughter, their child.

She loved the normalcy of the whole thing. She loved Sunday mornings when Bingo would leap onto their bed with the newspaper in his mouth. She loved how he’d wiggle his ears when she gave him his Sunday bath, an extra special one with aromatherapy dog shampoo. Bingo was crazy about the pet store they went to to get the pet supplies. There was always something there that caught his eye. A ball in psychedellic colours. A smart collar studded with pearl beads. A little stuffed bunny for him to play with. A beautiful woven basket with a soft cushion.

Now, she slept alone in her marital bed. There was no husband. No Bingo. Both were killed tragically in a road collision a week ago when her husband and Bingo went out to the nearby supermarket to buy milk and Bingo’s Saturday night steak dinner. She turned in her bed, her face wreathed in tears. She didn’t know which was worse, losing her husband- or losing Bingo, the only child she ever had.