Left behind by those who were forced to move to their assigned small apartments in highrises, with what little from their previous households that they could fit into the allotted about 100 ft2 per person, their dogs simply stayed.
Howling in a wasteland, many of them kept watch over the ravaged patch of land where their house had been. Raising a heartrending lament for the masters who were no longer.
Some dogs remained loyal to the ghost of the house that they continued to see with empty, haunted eyes. Others invented a purpose for themselves – desperately they ran after cars and buses, to
chase danger and ugliness away from people.
A generation or two later, an atavistic instinct of survival revealed itself. The survivors gathered in groups, becoming packs of city dogs, occasionally murderous: especially at night.
For night is a different world.
Our neighborhood dogs now know how to cross boulevards, they obey the traffic lights.
They stay with people who scavenge in the garbage, sharing the goodies they find in the depths of the cans and dumpsters.
They choose new masters, mostly the homeless, and they sleep in the streets side by side with them. They beg together, dog and man, they keep each other warm, no matter how bitter the winter.
Down passageways, on sidewalks, on steaming manhole covers around the city.