It's a sudden heartbeat in your throat, faster and faster.
It's adrenaline: you can feel it pulsing in your fingers, making the itch to move even stronger.
It tastes bitter, and you fight to maintain composure.
Breaths come faster and faster, shallow, hyperventilating.
Turn around wildly, feeling the carpet beneath your toes,
Staring at the walls of what now feels like a brightly-coloured prison.
The desire to run is overwhelming.
The soft chords of the music bring you back to reality.
Breathe deeper. Slower. Calm. Fight the panic.
Dappled light is still visible through closed eyes,
Changing the view from black, to pink and red.
A snuffling noise and whiskers on your foot alerts you to the presence
Of a welcome little face, staring up in unconditional devotion.
Kneel down, take handfuls of short hair and folds of skin,
He leans in, and licks my neck - hugging back in the only way a dog knows how.
Oh to live a life where the most important thing is cuddles and the time of dinner.