Excerpts from the Book:

 Hal (The Dog)

“Biscuit,” Hal said.

“Why don’t you ask nicely?” I asked. He shot me a look. “All right Edward, could you please get me a fucking biscuit? You know, it’s this whole opposable thumbs thing. It’s difficult! I could haul out the box, maul it, and leave crumbs everywhere, but I know how that pisses you off. So I ask. Why does everything have to be such a production?”

Obviously, things weren’t going well. And I thought dogs were man’s best friends.

“Fine...” I said. “You don’t have to bite my head off. I did just give you one.” Hal was an addict. That was the real problem: denial.

“Edward! That was an hour ago. Give me a break!”

“That’s a lot of bones, Hal.”

“You know what? I’m not the problem here. At least I know it.”

“I care for you,” I said. “Go to hell.”

Dickens (The Bear)

He clicked on New Document, then fished in the kitchen table drawer. How had he known that my souvenir of a long-ago trip to Churchill Falls was in there? Canadians are usually so well- mannered. Not this one. He lit the end of his rollie, a few loose flakes flaring at its tip. Small motes of ash fell onto the silvery white of his forearm. With a majestic disdain he flicked them off. Then he inhaled, and began typing.

I cleaned up the poo. What else could I do? He rolled his own cigarettes. He typed 120 words per minute. People still ask what it was like to live with him. I don’t tell them it was like living with a teenager that outweighed me by 600 pounds. They don’t want the truth.

Cyril (The Chickadee)

A few days later I bumped into Cyril at the Thalia, at a Herzog retrospective. We shared my popcorn, and watched Aguirre, the Wrath of God together.

“Not a lot of birds in that movie,” I pointed out, as we strolled along Houston.

He cocked a pleased yet sardonic eyebrow.

“But quite a few monkeys,” he said.

“Are you implying Herzog is anti-bird?”

“Not at all,” he replied. “Herzog is Herzog. He is inimitable.”

I invited him over.

Paul & Pauli (The Hamsters)

In the morning I came down to find twinned pairs of red leather hot pants on the living room sofa, and two tiny black leather masks with zippers where the eyes and nose--and mouth--went. Making coffee, I caught them screwing underneath the kitchen sink. When I went to shave they were copulating on the curtain rod. One moment one was on top then—presto!—like a coin, they flipped. I rummaged through their suitcases. I found miniature whips and handcuffs, and a vibrator the size of a lima bean.

Estelle (The Penguin)

I had an interlude with a penguin. The little bird looked lonely. She was carrying a parasol, with the words Carnival Cruise Lines imprinted on its polyester. One could understand her need for shade, Canal Street was boiling; it was a blazing ninety, in our temperature. Where her black and blue plumage met the white on her shoulder, she twirled the spines of her umbrella. Slung from the other shoulder there was a Hello Kitty handbag. She fished—sorry, but there’s no other term for it—in her handbag. She pulled out a Chapstick. She coated her gums. When she waddled into the sunlight yet again I found myself a sucker for the full-figured gal. Like Rosie, Estelle wobbled like one of those inflatable toys that pop back up no matter how long you hold them down. Her feet were petite fans, and she spun her umbrella like a southern belle. When you think about that, she was about as southern as they get.

Dr. Brandon Ayre has been an Emergency Medicine doctor in and around the Northeastern US—and British Columbia—for over 30 years. He has had multiple stories and humorous articles published in numerous literary journals, as well as The Medical Post. Before going to Med school, he made his living as a singer-songwriter. He's studied writing at The Vermont Studio Center, The New School, and The New York State Writers’ Institute. He has two children.


"...I know the work of Brandon Ayre and I know that this has to be good."
Leonard Cohen, Singer-Songwriter

"Brandon Ayre is a magical storyteller. In Edward's Animals, he invites us to follow characters both outrageous and touching, as they navigate a world of love sought, lost, and uniquely found. You will come away with a surprisingly new appreciation of what it means to be human."
Shawn McKenzie, author of The Dragon Keeper's Handbook and Dragons for Beginners

"Edward's Animals is a sweet, strange, compelling love letter to New York and its unique inhabitants. Brandon writes with a singular wit and grace, his prose confident, intelligent and direct.
John Goodrich, author of Hag and I Do Terrible Things