the one that got away

I met a man who decided to become a dog.                    he walked on all fours, ate                    meat and wandered around the neighborhood. he was naked                    and growled and howled. he fought other dogs. he chased                    cars. there was a complaint. he was put                    in jail for public indecency. as a dog                    he wasn't able to defend himself.                    he had to make the decision                    to either cease his dog-ness and prove                    that he was not a dog                    or not. he only would pant and lag his tongue. they put                    clothes on him and then                    released him back into the wild. he made friends                    with a milkman and butcher. after three years                   the milkman would play games with the dog at the park,                    and the butcher would sit, drink his coffee on cold mornings and pet slowly and over and over again, scratching under his bearded chin.                    The milkman would replace his ragged clothes whenever they disintegrated to the point they fell off. he didn't want his dog to go to jail.                    if it weren't for his wife and children, the milkman might consider bringing the dog home, but he feared      ...          well he feared that the dog wasn't really a dog.                    and at about the fifth year of their friendship, the butcher was petting his friend one morning,                     and the dog ran out into the street and was struck by the milkman. the milkman sobbed, and the butcher                    felt it too, and together they did                    what everyone does with a dog, they buried him                    in the forest. they resisted all the temptation to treat him                 as a human at his funeral. if he was a dog                    in life, then, they decided, he would be a dog                    in death. there, the butcher and the milkman with shovels in hand,                    growled and howled like only humans can.