I’ve shot a lot of dogs. I’m not proud of it, mind you, but when the bombs fell and the EMPs pulsed, well, that changed a lot of things. Dogs not trusting humans anymore being a big one. They kept to their own kind. Packed up. And when they got hungry, they went hunting. Hunting humans — once they ate through the cattle and sheep. They knew better than to mess with the hogs. The hogs don’t bother me much. Problem I’ve got is that I’m about out of bullets and the dogs ain’t even close to being out of hungry.
Russell Hoban’s Riddley Walker is the first and only book I’ve read that imagines a world in which the bond between humans and dogs is broken. That, along with the manner in which Hoban reduces the English language to rubble, has stuck with me ever since.
If you liked this, you might also like Used to Be.