My human walked through the door, and I excitedly ran to greet her. She had only been gone a few hours by her way of measuring it, but to me it always felt as if she had been gone for a long time. I jumped on her to bathe her in kisses as I normally do, but for some reason she pushed me gently away. “Not now,” she said, with a slight quiver in her voice. This was unlike her as she usually greeted me with happy smiles and lots of rubbing of my ears, but today she just walked by me and into the room where she slept. She sat on the edge of her bed for a moment, then laid down on her side facing away. Something was wrong. I could smell the salt from tears that had dried on her cheeks.
I stood in the doorway and watched her for several moments. I watched as her shoulders began shaking and heard soft whimpers as she began crying again. Slowly walking up to her, I nudged her shoulder with my nose. She waved a hand at me to go away, but what sort of companion would I be to leave her alone? Instead, I trotted around to the other side of the bed and rested my head on the fluffy blanket. It was difficult for me to see the tears streaming down her face, her beautiful face red and scrunched up from an inner turmoil I didn’t yet know. I let out a little whine and she buried her head in her pillow. Oh, no, this would not do at all, I thought to myself. I jumped up on the bed, curled up next to her and began licking her face, showering her with all my love. After a few brief moments, she wrapped her arm around my neck and delivered her sobs into my golden fur. Resting my head on hers I patiently waited for the tears to subside. When they did, she fell silent and stroked my fur for a while before drifting off to sleep. I remained at my post, keeping vigil over my beloved human, and waited for her to wake and tell me her problems.
The sudden ringing of the phone woke her, but she didn’t answer the call. She listened to it ring with a vacant expression on her face. When it began ringing again, she rolled onto her back and pulled the pillow over her face. When it once again ceased ringing, she removed the pillow and looked at me with such sadness. She sighed, then sat up on the edge of the bed, staying there for several moments before standing up and walking out. She stopped in the kitchen for a cup of coffee, then I followed her outside where she sat in a swing. I had some urgent business to take care of, but I didn’t go far from her side. When I came back, she was in the same place watching the sun go down. I sat down and put my head in her lap, and she put her hand on my head while we watched the sun sink below the horizon until it was no more.
“She’s gone, Sadie,” she said to me as a tear slid slowly down her cheek. “My mom is gone.”