Naomi Moon - Doorway Stories - Door #9
Mrs. Amberg – Lesson #18
Old Dog, Blind Man
My paws fell underneath me as I stumbled towards the stairs. I cursed my old short beagle legs. Pain shot through my joints as I struggled to distance myself from the horrible sea of dirty carpet. "Bello? Bello? Bello!," my master called from his old fluffy chair. I answered with a short bark to let him know I was in good health. Mr. Homer has been my human for a long time, and I help him see the world because he can't. He always feels my fur and accidentally pokes me with his special guiding stick. I don't mind, though, because he is my only friend. We have been companions ever since I can remember. I finally managed to get up and find my way to his favorite chair. "That's a good boy. Are you alright pal? There. Now just come lay down near me." Recently, my whole body had begun to hurt, and Mr. Homer's memory began to suffer. We had become two old codgers, struggling to pull each other from inevitable age.
"Remember when you were a young pup? That woman who brought you to me must've stayed for a week. Didn't think you could take care of me so young, huh?," he laughed, with several throaty coughs. I did remember. They had trained me to help a person with no eyes. Well, that's what the big German shepherd had told me. But now I understand that some humans are just unlucky. Mr. Homer had always found a way to burn water. We were lying on his bed, close to sleep, when it happened. My vision went as black as his, and my body began to shake violently. I couldn't control the spasms and the horrific yelps. "Bello?!" Mr. Homer jumped up and tried to find the machine with voices. Everything was gone in an instant.
I woke up on a small blanket inside of a metal cage. Other dogs and cats surrounded me with their endless whines. There was a lady with a long white coat kneeling in front of me. "Doctor! The beagle-mix is awake." A man rushed in and together they opened the cage. He picked me up and set me on a cold metal table. "I'll be right back with your owner, buddy. Would you watch him please? His state is delicate, and I'm afraid time is limited, " the man spoke with an unsettling tone. Mr. Homer was helped into the small room. He slipped into the table and grabbed me with a strong grip. His eyes were wet, and his nose was runny. "Oh Bello. My old boy. I love you buddy," he sobbed as his hands stroked my back violently. Why was everyone making such a fuss. "The lab results came back, Mr. Homer. Well- I'm sorry to inform you, but your dog has bone cancer."
After the kind vet had transported us home, Mr. Homer never let me out of his sight. He tried to give me the best food he could afford, but it was useless. I couldn't eat it, no matter how hard I tried. Many times, he would lift me up on his lap and stroke my fur. He cried often and spoke of better days. I couldn't help him up and down stairs anymore, which worried me. Although my body was in pain, he still needed my help. I tried my best to serve my master in our remaining days, but it wasn't enough.
I awoke to his strangled scream as his body banged down the stairs. I rushed to him and sniffed his body. Red liquid oozed from his head, and I knew he was first. He had left me before I could leave him. I called out in endless howls to get a human's attention. It was too late. I curled up next to his fading warmth and waited.
Several days later, they dug a huge hole and placed my best friend inside. They covered him up with earth, and I never saw him again. A big stone was placed in front of the newly uncovered dirt. After everyone left, I stumbled over to the ground. I lay down and closed my eyes.