From where Joe was lying, he could see Cerberus’ snake tail wagging wildly.
Suddenly, all fear dissolved in Joe. All that time he’d been worried about Cerberus, and after what Charon had said about him ripping him apart. He looked at Cerberus’ three heads; the lopsided mouths,the long, smelly tongues, the way he was wagging his tail. He very much doubted this dog had it in him to rip anything apart. You only had to see the look on its cute, daft face.
Cerberus was a dog like Lola, just a very big version of a dog, well, a very big version of a dog that had three heads. But what did two extra heads matter? Dogs were dogs, no matter how many heads they had. And, even with three heads, Joe knew he preferred Cerberus to almost all humans.
As Joe was the local dog whisper, he knew he’d got this covered.
‘There’s a good…’ He had a sneaky look under the dog, ‘there’s a good boy!’ Joe ran his hand under the jaw of the middle head. It was soft and wet under his fingers.
The dog began to purr, almost like a cat. ‘Oh, good boy! Do you want to play?’ He stretched his arm out and grabbed a stick. He threw it for the dog.
Cerberus bounded after it.
The stick hadn’t gone far, so Joe quickly stood up and waited for the dog to come back. Which it did a second later, holding the stick in its huge, drooling, middle mouth. The first and last head also had a small bite on the stick.
‘Drop,’ said Joe.
Cerberus’ heads loosed the stick and it landed on the floor in front of him.
‘Oh, you’re such a good boy,’ said Joe, stroking the side of Cerberus’ middle head. ‘Do you want me to throw it again?’
Joe bent down to pick it back up. He was still bent over, hand clamped on the stick when the dog yelped.