Buck, my StarBuck


Ab abnitio a potbellied mill-bred runt was StarBuck. His pelt was a quilt of rose-petal mange, his belly a cluster of stem-fruited hernias, his non -opposable paws had torn dewclaws. A sad pup was StarBuck. Yet, his tail wagged. And so, we brought him home, fixed him up, unmanned him. He loves us, I think.

Despite his ignoble start, StarBuck soon grew into a handsome hound. Now, as he’s getting older though, the spawned defects of that vile trade revisit. He bleeds and ulcers, his teeth are yellow, his back sway. Pigment leaks blossom in his eyes and from his sweet neck baccaceous cysts hang like bunches of tempranillo grapes.

The most recent misfortune comes in the shape of a chest-burster the size of a pheasant egg. For one long night I lay in horror, imagining a hundred-plus-legged creature – a stowaway sneaked in with the transfer of the potted lemon tree for winter – that blinked at me with languid-lashed eyes, slipping out from beneath the pot at night while we were sleeping, and nibbling at the mutt’s tri-colour tum. Appalled, I pictured the beast’s head burrowing into StarBuck’s hernia scars and slowly hollowing him out from the inside, so I would not know whose eyes were looking into mine in the morning.

Sleepless night over, the poor hound is coaxed into the back seat of the small convertible, and with lots of cooing brought to the vet. The able professional lifts my poor old dog effortlessly onto the steel examination deck. StarBuck effortlessly empties his anal sacks. A little wide-eyed, a little later, having squeezed and scraped the repugnant witch’s nipple on the hound’s stomach, the vet pronounces that it is indeed a tumour.

Now we wait to hear if it is malignant or benign.

(Okay, I confess: I came across this lovely list of luciferous logolepsy.)


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