Buster Black is still curled up in his bed, even though it is late morning for us and I have been up for a while. I stooped down to touch him a moment ago, wondering if he was alive and breathing. He lifted his head and rolled into my stroking, then curled back up again. I wonder if he is depressed.
I know how he feels.
Yesterday, he wandered outdoors and inside, from room to room, sniffing, looking. Then he laid down on the floor with his head between his front paws, eyes looking around before they settled on me. He was looking for Buster Brown, I think; but he would not find him, for Buster Brown died yesterday, and is gone.
I will miss, oh how much I missed this morning, Buster’s massive head and chest lowered to meet me in our morning greeting, snuggle, and settle.
He could be counted on to give a morning greeting. Always.
He could be counted on to greet everyone who came into our home. He would predictably waggle his back end in excitement, sniff his hello, raise his left paw to “shake,” lick his slobbery acceptance, and then assert his massive body into the middle of his “pack,” settling contentedly at our feet.
He could be counted on to have a good nature with children. No one ever worried that Buster would snap at the granddaughters as they practiced newfound motor skills by crawling over his body or pulling at the pink tongue that hung from his crooked jaw.
He could be counted on to come for an ice cube every time we engaged the refrigerator ice dispenser, to love rides in the car, to bark at the deer in the front yard, to follow me everywhere.
Buster could just be counted on.
Goodbye Faithful, Constant Companion.