Location: A charity shop in a small market town in North Yorkshire.
Characters: An attractive, tall, slender woman with an intelligent glint in her eye. Let's call her Jane.
A plump woman with curly grey hair of pensionable age (the woman, not just the hair). She is standing behind the counter and is very much in charge of the till. (Which seems to be getting the better of her.) Let's call her Agnes.
Various onlookers/customers displaying various degrees of impatience.
JANE PERUSES THE BOOKSHELVES AND SELECTS A BOOK OF SHORT STORIES ENTITLED 'EXPLAINING DEATH TO THE DOG'. SHE JOINS THE QUEUE AND WAITS HER TURN. SHE HANDS THE BOOK TO AGNES.
AGNES LOOKS AT THE BOOK, LOOKS AT JANE, LOOKS AT THE BOOK AGAIN AND THEN STARES AT JANE - FOR LONGER THAN IS SOCIALLY ACCEPTABLE. THERE IS AN UNCOMFORTABLE SILENCE.
Agnes: Funny title ...
Jane: Yes, that's what attracted me to it.
Agnes: You wouldn't think it funny if you'd buried as many dogs as I have.
Jane: Er, no ...
Agnes: You wouldn't find it funny at all.
Agnes (PUTS DOWN BOOK AND FOLDS HER ARMS): Last year was a dreadful year.
Agnes: Yes. I lost my husband.
Jane: Oh, dear ...
Agnes: Forty-eight years we were married.
Jane: I'm sorry.
Agnes: And six months later, the dog died.
Jane: Oh -
Agnes: I still miss him.
Agnes: It's why I work here.
Jane: To keep busy?
Agnes: The house seems so empty without him.
Jane: It's very sad.
Agnes: He seemed to know what I was thinking; could read my mind.
Jane: After forty-eight years -
Agnes: No, not him. The dog.