Back at the house, I put a chair on the porch outside my room, and sit in the shade for the afternoon, transcribing the morning’s recording onto my laptop. I’m almost at the end of the interview – listening back, it sounds like a catalogue of suffering – when I’m joined by the two dogs of the house. One is a little white thing with smudged pink eyes, a miniature poodle of sorts whose name I can never remember. Her son is Alberto, a long, low, blond, the spitting image of a Dandy Dinmont. I’d find him hard to resist were it not for one particularly unpleasant habit he has, a daily indulgence often performed in front of me. Here he comes, sidling up to his mother, now cowering by the wall. He edges closer and closer then throws himself on top of her, proceeding to hump his hips against her head for several long and painful minutes, pausing briefly to catch his breath, then to slightly alter the angle of assault by shuffling his hind legs in a frantic pirouette. Finished, he trots off to the flowerbed and flops on to his ribs, panting and contented beneath the shade of a bush. His mother, now pitifully sad, is pawing at the dollop of semen between her ears and repeatedly sneezing. What I find most disturbing about this performance is that she never attempts to defend herself from her son, not even to run away. She simply crouches down, her stained tail tucked hard as a bullet between her hindlegs, and waits miserably for the business to begin.