English translation by Valentina Penzo

Hi Arianna! How are you? I called you twice but your phone was on answering machine. So I’m writing. I’m sorry you couldn't make it to your brother’s birthday yesterday. It was a nice party. I met his new girlfriend, Lori, finally. She’s pretty and she is a true dog lover. I offered my help with organization, but she just wanted to do it all by herself. This could be the reason that there were almost more dogs than humans at the party.
             The food was awesome and the idea of celebrating at the park was definitely pretty good. It was a perfect day to keep in touch with nature. Even if it wasn’t always easy to relax, to be honest. Having a peaceful meal, for example, was impracticable. Every time I tried to put something in my mouth, there was a big young Rottweiler that took it personally and showed me how pissed it was for that. Also I missed the banana bread because Rosco, a black Labrador with its penis constantly on display, urinated my jeans.
             Except for me, all those invited were definitely into dogs.
             A young girl, I can’t remember her name, spoke a lot about the stressful perinatal environment experienced by her dog and its consequent lack of fulfillment in recreational activities. This was the starting point for an enthusiastic discussion about leadership between dogs, nature of canine play and most importantly, how to recognize behavioral cues that indicate that play is escalating into a dangerous fight.
             I guess they've been talking about dogs basically the whole fucking time.
             I don’t want to justify the pictures you might be seeing on Facebook today. But yes, I raised a glass, more than once, with that fox terrier. I was already drunk at that point. Probably I drank too much to fit in. And to alleviate the boredom of conversations, too. So today I can’t distinguish between what actually happened and what was just a figment of my imagination. I’m pretty sure that, when the dances began, I saw Robert tying his boyfriend Markus to a tree and joining the dance floor alone. But what about cake served into dog bowls? Did it happen or was I tripping?
              Actually It could all be a dream as I blacked out a couple of times on the grass. I remember waking up feeling the cool and refreshing relief of a cold pack gently placed on my forehead. Never knew a Labrador's ballsack could be that refrigerating.
             Reading the comments, it’s a matter of fact that when it was time to say goodbye I started to bark very loud, and aggressively. As you can see, everybody is still arguing about the reasons. I don’t want to interfere because I can’t remember anything of the barking part. Lori says that she will ask her dog trainer and post his opinion.
             Can you please ask her not to do it? 

Daniele De Serto lives in Roma (Italy). His work has appeared in journals such as Fiction Southeast, Granta Italia, Cactus Heart Press, Linus, Thickjam, Cadillac Magazine. He also worked as an author for TV shows.