the small white-and-black French bulldog cocked his prominent ears, swiveling his head around as he did so. he sensed the front door opening and the vibrations of his master’s feet traveling through the floorboards to meet his paws. his flat, scrunched-in nose twitched as he padded over to the door to greet his human.
his human - who had picked him out of his litter and took him home, also fed him, bathed him, and allowed him to cover the furniture with a fine sprinkling of black and white dog hair. for that, he was grateful and he showed his gratitude by playing along with the demands that his humans asked of him.
when they said sit, he sat. when there was the prospect of a treat, he went through the motions of cocking his head and acting ‘cute,’ because he knew it pleased his humans.
he was grateful to his humans, really - he never pooped in the street, only in the easy-to-reach places.
they walked on saturday mornings with their small French bulldog.
the dog looked like a clown, but he (the bulldog) was really quite perceptive - he knew when to “shake hands,” when to yap at precisely the right time to elicit delighted responses from old ladies and young ladies, and of course, when to stare dolefully at a morsel in someone’s hand.
they were a young couple, so it was alright to be childless - their small French bulldog was their “starter child.” nonetheless, they were happy together, he and her, with their small white-and-black dog. the three of them shared a cozy apartment in San Francisco, airy and light, filled with some sweet vintage 60’s furniture inherited from his parents, and inhabited by succulents by the window.
they would wear matching white-and-navy striped Breton sweaters - always Saint James, of course. on any other pair, it would look contrived, but they always looked just right.
she always rolled up her jeans about a quarter-inch above her ankles, the folding always precise and snug. she also never wore socks with her boat shoes, citing convenience as the main factor. really, she didn’t mind the smell, and neither did he.
he adjusted his raybans so that they would fit more comfortably on his face and watched his significant for a moment.
she had stopped to let their dog do his business in an adjacent bush - while she waited, she checked her phone, brows furrowed under her sunglasses. they were large, vintage-styled frames - on other women, the frames would have been labeled pretentious, but they complimented her round, childish face. a convenient breeze ruffled the neat edges of her precise bob.
not bad for a pair of yuppies - he was a software engineer in SoMa, and she worked as a consultant in the Financial District. he was banking on his startup to IPO in the next year, and they were so close to doing so - he could feel it in his bones. she’d been at her firm for a while, returning after she did her MBA back East. luckily, the firm had sponsored it, so rather than paying off student debt until time immemorial, she’d be able to start in on their 30-year mortgage.
it had been a hard two years, being away from him, even though she did love Boston and the rest of the eastern seaboard. but she was back now, in the foggy, quiet beauty of San Francisco, and with a mortgage to worry about.
the mortgage was manageable, with his parents’ help. sometimes they wished they hadn’t picked such an expensive part of san francisco to set up house in, but it was a wise investment, wasn’t it? even if the tech boom sputtered out, there’d always be people who’d want to live in the city, or so they hoped. at any rate, they knew that his parents might want to live in the apartment when they got older, so it would work out, she thought. he loved SF and unlike his fellow techies, he imagined staying here for the long-term.