John Diamond lay awake again to the persistent barking from his neighbour’s dogs. From the small nerve wrenching yappers to the big booming frightening barks of the hound next door, he heard the whole range of dog sounds. It was driving him crazy. He lay next to his wife, who added to the disturbance with her constant snoring, and wondering what he had done to deserve this torment. It was never supposed to be like this. He had worked hard for forty years, looking forward to a relaxing retirement in Spain. As he lay, his anger building, he determined not to give up on his retirement dream. He conjured up a plan.
The following day he bought a poodle. He knew that a poodle would be greeted by Glenda. She loved the ugly things. “John darling, whatever made you change your mind about a poodle? I thought that you hated dogs.”
“Anything for you my sweetheart,” he smiled through gritted teeth. “I know that you always wanted to have one of your own.”
For the following six months John Diamond suffered. He hardly slept, except under the parasol on the beach during the afternoons. The neighbourhood dogs barked consistently. Mornings, he was often seen out walking the poodle, talking friendly with the neighbours, asking them about their own dog’s welfare. He demonstrated to them such a kind affection for dogs, that he had half convinced himself that they really were a man’s best friend, until the night came and their incessant barking.
Finally the day came when he would realise his cunning plan. Months earlier he had obtained a vial of arsenic from a discreet friend. He had stored it secretly until this moment. In order to be sure to avoid any possible clues, he drove fifty kilometres to a small village where he bought three kilograms of their best stewing beef. Back at home he diced the beef into compact bite-sized cubes and, using an old syringe, injected five milligrams of arsenic into each one. He packed them into a plastic Tupperware box and hid them behind the flower pots in his old wooden shed.
As dusk came John casually put on his old mac and flat cap. It was raining slightly. “I’m just off to walk the dog. See you in half an hour or so“, he called as he walked out of the door.
He slipped into the shed, grabbed the Tupperware box and set off down the road. The dogs heard his footsteps as he walked by, throwing two pieces of meat over each front fence. The neighbour, with the large German Shepherd got three for good measure.
Arriving back at home he carefully placed one piece of the poisoned meat in his poodle’s dish with the evening portion of dog food.
That night he slept well for the first time in months. He slept in a quiet neighbourhood with the knowledge that no-one would suspect him.
Well would you poison your own dog?