Lily and the Octopus by Steven Rowley

Lily and the Octopus

Steven Rowley

Part memoir, part magical realism, this poignant account of the bond between a neurotic dog owner and his loveable dachshund is hard to resist, especially for any dog lovers out there. As well as a moving tribute to man’s best friend, it has a lot to say about living in the present, coping with grief and how to relate meaningfully to others. Although a very emotional read, it manages to be both amusing and cathartic at the same time.

Extract

'When are you coming back?' Lily would ask me those words every time I had to leave her. The first time was four months or so after I first brought her home. She was fascinated when I pulled my luggage out of the deep closet in the second bedroom. As soon as I had the suitcase unzipped she climbed pluckily inside, and since she wasn't yet fully grown, a few wrinkles of skin puddled around her seated butt.

WHAT IS THIS ! COZY ! BOX ! THIS ! WOULD ! MAKE ! A! GREAT ! BED ! FOR ! ME !
I ! LOVE ! ITS ! SIDES ! AND ! THIS ! ELASTIC ! STRAP !

'That is a suitcase. I have to put my things in it so I can travel.'
'Great. I'm already in it, so you're ready to go!'
'Sadly, I can't have you in it. It's for my clothes and shoes and shaving kit.'
'Why can't I be in it? I'm one of your things!'
I sat down beside the suitcase and scratched the back of her head, between her ears.
'You are, in fact, my most treasured thing.'

Parallels
  • The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
  • Heroic Measures by Jill Clement