She watched with great confidence as Her Boy got busy earlier in the summer.
She checked on Him as He sorted through the clothes and socks and shoes in the room where He slept all the years since He chose her above all others.
She made sure all the bags and packages and new-smelling things that appeared in the eating room were safe.
She knew some of the bags were the ones He used only when he left the house for more than just one sun or one moon.
She bathed in the extra attention, the talks and rubs and snuggles in the weeks and days before He carried those bags out the side door.
And she wasn’t confused, didn’t wonder or worry.
Because she knew… she knows…
Her Boy always comes back.
For so many suns, He would pack the heavy blocks, the ones He calls ‘books’, and delicious smelling food into his back-bag and ruffle the fur on top of her head just after morning snuggles And He would be back before the man went out for his afternoon hot bitter-smelling drink in a squeaky cup. She remembers that, for a long time, Her Boy used to get into the huge yellow magic box, with lots of other dogs’ boys and girls. Then one day He got into one of the magic boxes that ‘madre’ and ‘paw’ (that’s what Her Boy calls the management) use to bring her and that dud Marshal to other places. He seemed so excited to pilot his own magic box. So she was excited for Him.
He takes her for rides in that box too.
Just her and Her Boy… flying.
When He puts on the funny shoes that smell like Him, the ones she is not allowed to chew, and takes the ball and says “Bye Bunny!” and heads out the door, all she has to do is wait by the window. He comes back and they dance and celebrate, or she makes Him feel better. She doesn’t understand what ‘we won’ or ‘we lost’ means, but she knows what to do either way.
Because that is her job.
He is her job.
And when He has to leave the house to do things out in the world, she is neither happy nor sad to stay behind. She knows what to do.
Walk Him to the door.
Look Him in the eye as he rubs her head. That’s how He’ll know that she will do her job well, and that she takes it seriously. She’ll watch over the house, and all of His people, until He comes back.
She will watch Him go, through the window beside the door… the one closest to the place where the magic boxes are parked.
The one with the best view of Him, as He leaves.
And then she will check the house every so often, make sure everyone and everything is in its place.
And then she will go back to the window.
Rest her head on the sill.
For as long as she needs to.
The day He left for college, He knelt beside her and whispered farewells and promises. Secrets, buried deep in the thick fur of her ruff. They were for her and for her alone.
And still, she didn’t worry.
She whined a little, licked His salty face a little.
Made sure He knew she had this.
And when He walked out that door, I was not there.
I’d driven down early, Her Boy and his dad to meet me later that day.
But I didn’t have to be there to know what happened.
Blaze took her spot by that window, the one forever covered in her nose smudges.
She settled a bit, watched him go.
And then checked the house, made sure everything was in its place.
And then she went back.
Lay her chin on the sill.
Because that was Her Boy who went out into the world that morning.
And He always comes back.
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