Good Girl

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Amy Robillard


An act of aggression by my nine-year-old dog triggers me to contemplate the relationship among touch, communication, and violence during a pandemic. More specifically, after I let her run (illegally) off-leash at a park near my home, my dog, Essay, attacked another dog for what seemed like no reason. I was horrified, and, having grown up in an abusive home, had to come to terms with being on the other side of an attacker/victim dynamic while I waited to hear whether the other dog would be okay. This prompts me to consider what it means to control our dogs, whether words can touch us when we cannot touch one another, and what it means to be a good person during a pandemic.

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