I've read books in which dogs mourn for their master. It always made me sad to imagine a faithful dog sleeping by the chair of the man who owned him but now will never return.
Or waiting patiently for the sound of his master's automobile.
I thought that was a fictional dramatic scene authors put into their manuscripts to create emotion in me, the reader. But now I've seen it first hand, and I know it really happens. Rocky was miserable Monday night when I came home without his master to our little house on the side of the mountain. After I fed him, played with him for awhile, he found his hedgehog, the only toy he ever likes, and began walking all over the house crying like he was in pain. He went to the door of the bedroom where Barry had slept for months now, shutting Rocky outside when we had to worry about infection or when Barry feared the dog might bump his painful leg.
The door was open, but Rocky stood there and cried with his toy in his mouth.
"Go," I said. "You can go in now." He finally entered the room, but quickly came out again. Still crying with his hedgehog in his mouth, he meandered down the hall and back again.
"Come on, baby," I said to him. "Come in here."
He came and stood beside me, his brown eyes begging. I knew what he wanted. He wanted to jump on the bed with Barry as he used to do before the cancer got so bad. But Barry was not there.
I scratched his ears a bit and moved over. "Come on up here. Bless your heart, you are grieving, too."
The ten year old dog with the graying muzzle didn't need any extra urging. In just a moment he was snuggled beside me. In minutes we were both asleep. I wonder how long before he will transfer all his love to me, perhaps begin to ease the sorrow of his loss. At least we made a start.