Just like that as dusk was descending, the bitch disappeared into the darkness, never to return. We never fought or quarrelled and she never seemed to complain. She merely slipped through the back door without any warning.
Each day from school I found her looking through the window anxious for my return. Then she would scamper down the steps to lick my face. Viva was her other name. Viva from vivacious because that was what she was! I enjoyed her company immensely although it was a potential distraction whenever I wanted to concentrate. She liked to swim and had learnt some hilarious dance strokes that she liked to show off whenever we got visitors.
I still wonder why the bitch left. Was it lack of affection? I don’t think. I always caressed her hairy back daily. Was it food? It couldn’t be. I always left enough food and fed her myself at times. We even went on walks in the neighbourhood almost daily. They were silent peaceful walks I thought she liked.
I sit at the steps to my door each evening, chin-in-hands like a man who has lost his mother in law, hoping to see her run into the yard and into my arms. Maybe one day I’ll understand that I am not one of her kind after all. That the constant gaze that she had over the fence was a longing for something I had selfishly denied her.
Could it have been that dog that was always peeping over our fence that lured her away?
Didn’t she see that she was one of the few dogs that sat in the front seats of their owner’s cars? Perhaps she didn’t. After all, she was merely a dog. (even though I know how self-defeating that consolation sounds )