It is midnight in the frigid air, the rabbits push their ears up as they hush in the patches of frosting clover. I am in my room, with nothing but a half packed room, a yellow electric light above my head, and the whirring of the laptop’s fan to keep me company. And my old and slightly senile dog who shoved the door open viciously and laid down in a harumpf at the foot of my bed. He’s laying curled next to me on the floor, deigning the air with the occasional sigh.
He’s no fool, he’s seen it all before, the boxes, the activity, he even notes our own excitement. He knows I’m leaving, he’s seen me leave before. I feel sorry for him, having seen all of us leave, my two older sisters and me, and never knowing the cause nor the reason. How sad and frightening it must be to have your family every growing sparser, just seeming to be lost to those boxes, suitcases, to that excitement. I don’t like to think it, but my puppy is old, he’s, god, I’ve had him since I was eight, thirteen years old. In good shape for it though, he still likes to play, to run, though in his old age he’s taken up a nearly incessant prattle of whines, yips and barks. A bit like a feisty old man… Back in my day…
I remember the day we got him. We had to put down our last puppy Maddie because she went into an epileptic fit and wouldn’t come out. Poor thing she was. A week later my parents surprised us with a ball of Shetland Sheepdog fluff. He was the pudgiest, cutest, softest puppy ever. I loved him so very very much. I made up silly nicknames for him, one sounding like a really childish version of ‘awubbababy’. The things my eight year old mind came up with I swear. Later came the edition of the name Mr. Snuffles. because he makes ‘shnuffle’ noises.
We’ve been through a lot Griffey and I, when I got beat up on the bus and no one was home, who was there with those eyes and that wagging tail to sit with me while I stuck pieces of toilet paper up nose? Flushing it and cleaning up before my family got home. Who was it that pulled me up hills in my roller blades? Who was it that caught the mole that was killing my garden? Who was it that took five hour walks with me in the heat and sun, just so that I had time to daydream? It was Griffey.
Maybe a dog really is man’s best friend? He’s certainly one of mine.