Each morning I wake him up with a lick on the nose.
He loves it. He laughs, and we wrestle, and he falls out of bed.
I sit next to him at the breakfast table, and when his mum isn’t looking, he drops pieces of bacon and toast. They are the day’s best treats. Stolen treats are the best.
He gathers up his books and leaves through the front gate; I’m not allowed to go with him. I so want to go with him. All those happy children to play with.
One day, he didn’t shut the gate properly, and I was able to prize it open with my nose. I followed his scent to his school and his classroom. I sniffed at his door and barked; just a few barks, so he would know I was there. His teacher opened the door, and I rushed in.
It was wild!
Some of the children were screaming because they were afraid of dogs; what the hell is that about? And, some were screaming because they like dogs; that I understand. I got lots of pats, and I got to lick lots of children; children taste great.
Eventually, his teacher caught up with me while I was being patted by a very pretty little girl. She made him take me home, and she asked the pretty little girl to go with him.
I got into all sorts of trouble for breaking out of the front yard, but I didn’t care. I now knew where he went every day, and at the first opportunity, I was going to find him again.
Mostly I wait patiently for him to come home, which he always does. We play, and he gives me some of the sandwiches that his mum makes for him.
Today, something is wrong. He’s crying. He is clutching a small piece of paper, and it is making him sad. He hasn’t told me what is wrong, but I am going to sit here with him until he feels better.
That is what I do. I stay close by, and I wait.
He is my best friend.
Painting by Jim Daly.