It will be perfect,
my mother said.
No potty training
or messes on the carpet.
I know you wanted an RL dog
but they’re rare now
Not the one
You’re thinking of the designer ones.
I’ve seen them at the trash depository.
Maybe we could ask the women who work
there where they got theirs from?
I don’t want you speaking to those women again,
my mother said.
They’re nice ladies,
She tutted and turned her face to her manicure.
No RL dogs in this house
but what about this little guy.
She turned her screen to me and
I admit he was cute.
He was sleek, shiny,
with a REAL-FEEL nose
and panting tongue.
His little spring tail
wagged and wagged
and he had one eye—
a camera lens in the middle of his forehead
so he could record his adventures.
Ok, I said.
I like him
and I did.
Deeg and I have been companions for years.
He has got me through the bad times and the good.
He’s my best friend,
just like his box said he would be.
I am a responsible dog owner
Even though my mother thought I wouldn’t be.
I have oiled him
and uploaded his updates
and rubbed his shiny flanks with a dry duster.
I ordered replacement parts for him
when his wore out.
Wanted him to be my dog forever.
I worried that if I died he would be alone but
now they say he is obsolete.
They don’t make them like him anymore.
He needs a new motherboard
but they don’t supply them.
My mother won’t help me find someone to fix him.
Asked me if I wanted a DG-1000.
She says I am too old to cry over a toy.
I told her she is too old
and she locked herself in her capsule.
I don’t want Deeg to suffer
so tomorrow I will turn him off.
I will don my gas mask and go to the trash depository.
I will make my mother take me
and I will disobey her and talk to the nice ladies
and ask them to take care of my dog.
I will tell them that he has been a good boy,
and that he couldn’t have been a better dog
even if he was an RL one
and that he is irreplaceable.
I will ask them to let me pet one of their RL dogs
and on the drive home I will tell my mother
that I can’t wait until she is obsolete.