The dog is getting boney in her old age. Her ribs sit right under the surface of her chest. The meat along her back has deteriorated and her spine sticks up like some fresh mountain range. Her round hips are now full of cliffs and hard edges. She’s eating fine and is in good spirits. This weekend, she spent a great deal of time under the privet, digging around, playing happily, which she hasn’t done in ages.
Still, I find her more often just standing in the yard, doing nothing–not staring, not sniffing–just, almost, like she’s waiting.
Last night, as I was drifting off to sleep, I had a dream that didn’t seem like a dream. I was walking Mrs. Wigglebottom down a hall. The hall had wooden paneling, but grass and dirt instead of a floor. And Hel came down the hall toward us, wearing a large, gray robe that hid her from view. I held out Mrs. Wigglebottom’s leash to her and she reached out with her skeleton hand, and took it. They then walked happily off together, like I’ve seen the dog walk beside my parents or the Professor or anyone she knows and trusts. She didn’t even look back.
And it’s upsetting, now, to recount it. But in the dream, I was happy for her, watching her go off with a friend. And it seemed so real that I was surprised when I woke up and found her snoring away, curled up next to me.