Megan’s Paws

Jeremy Harding

I moved out of London around the time the Clapton Park estate in Hackney got a lick of salmon paint. That was in 2002.

Sudbury Court, Hackney (left 1997, right 2002)

I left our dog Megan with my uncle in Marylebone. When she had pups in 2004 he kept one and they called him Asbo.

Last week my uncle was on a Flickr site where citizens upload photos of New Labour’s successes: buildings, sports grounds, more buildings. Good, bad, indifferent. As if no other party in history had commissioned so much as a public toilet. My uncle was distressed and so were the dogs. Asbo started to howl and then Megan did a runner. My uncle saw her heading out under the Westway. He tweeted a lost-dog alert. A fish-farmer in the Maldives got back about a different dog.

Megan’s missing now, but most of the places she fetched up are on the record. She was first identified on CCTV, hackles up, pacing the north-west corner of Grange Primary School Ealing at 9.45 pm on 21 January:

Grange Primary School, Ealing

By the morning she was outside Didcot Girls’ School, baying at the new hall, which she may have taken for an abattoir:

Didcot Girl's School

The trail went fuzzy after she ducked south to Thanet Campus:

Thanet Campus, Thanet Reach

By now she was a phantom dog pin-balling round the country with bared teeth, cracked paws and pale green eyes the size of artichokes.

She briefly materialised butting the glass panels of the Youth Centre at Thornaby-on-Tees on the 23rd:

Thornaby-on-Tees Youth Centre

Hours later, she was filmed behaving in a confused and inappropriate way outside the University Campus, Suffolk:

University Campus Suffolk, Ipswich

The story of her round-Britain excursion is told in Change We See, the site my uncle was browsing the night she lit out. You won’t ‘see’ Megan anywhere in shot. She’s already undergone a ‘change’.

It looks from the photo-stream like Megan found a two-legged friend out there in the wilderness of brick and PVC. You can see that person in a mauve outfit with a black scarf, directing her to the East Building of Driffield School:

Driffield School

And there’s that same person, a day or so later, waving our dog into the Alfred Bean Hospital for a spell in the (experimental) canine unit:

Alfred Bean Hospital

Unlike our dog, the unit’s not yet up and running. It wasn’t ready and she wasn’t either. That’s why we’ve had no news of her.

New Labour are the only people with a record of the places our dog visited on her incredible journey around Britain.

My uncle says New Labour are probably the only people who can tell us what came over our dog in the first place.


  • 29 January 2010 at 4:50pm
    astott says:

  • 31 January 2010 at 2:57pm
    BillWilliams says:
    ... paws for effect!