A New Friend

            A few months ago, my family shifted from the house we had been staying in for the past 8 years, into a new duplex with a landlord staying on one side and his son (thereafter referred to as  the Neighbour) staying in the house above. Unfortunately I wasn't around to help my parents shift in, but when I did get back into town, there were a lot of boxes to unpack and things to be lifted around, lights to be repaired and opinions to be given on how to decorate the place we would be staying for the next few years or so.

            Its at this time, that I made a new friend. He stayed next door, and I had heard quite a bit about him from my mum before I was introduced to him. He was quite a pleasant sort of chap, always happy to talk and ever eager to play for a bit. His parents were quite eager for him to have a friend and soon enough we were out and about exploring the surrounding area and playing on the beach. He started coming over and spending time at our place and was quite happy to be over, often unwilling to go home. It was about a month later, the neighbours had a baby girl and hence were quite busy, due to which he would spend quite a while with us. We bonded extremely well, and soon, were getting used to the nuances you notice every person has once you get within a certain closeness with them. For instance, he would throw tantrums at being left alone, and would demand to be around someone all the time. Coming over to our place meant he was always in the mood to play, even if we werent, and would try his hardest to get us to before giving up and settling down. Still, he was starting to become quite ingrained in our lives, and my family were starting to treat him like on of our own.

            Our relationship reached a new level, when one day, having fought with my family and a friend, I asked him over to get my mind of everything. Unlike his usual where he would want to play, he stood around, observing. He seemed aware of my mood, though I was, on the outside, quite normal. Which is why, when he suddenly came up and hugged me, it left me quite surprised, one might even say, mildly shocked. It certainly was comforting. He stayed like that for a while, and once ascertained that I was indeed feeling better, it was back to business as usual. But from that day on, there was a new level of closeness we shared, and I would tell him what was on my mind and how my day was as we sat together basking in the sunshine. I was aware of him observing me, at all times, out at the beach, or at home. He would always make sure he knew where I was, and would follow me around at times.

            When my brother arrived for his vacation, we were pleasantly surprised to find them mixing quite well. This was surprising as my brother isn't one who mingles much with his sort, but they seemed to be getting along together really good, frequently spending time sitting outside or watching TV, or playing around. All of us really enjoyed his company, and he was truly, almost a part of the family.

            Which is why, when we got news that he might be going away, it left us quite saddened. This happened last week, the neighbours were away on a camping trip when we were made aware that an incident had occurred. There were said to be some sort of injury done to a little boy and this had put everyone on the edge. The neighbours were about to send him off and had asked us if we knew anyone who would be interested. We were shocked really, he wasn't the type to get into this sort of trouble, and he definitely was not the sort to hurt anyone. Me and my family did not believe this news much, but nonetheless it affected us all. It left me thinking quite a bit, about all the times we spent together, and how it really wasn't enough. Who would I take out for a walk now? Who would come up to me, put his front legs around me and give me a hug? Who would demand to be petted all the time or come to us with his rope in his mouth and his tail wagging away? This smart dog, had come into our lives and given us a lot of love and laughs, and was suddenly going away? It didn't seem fair.

            Eventually though, the matter was cleared up. It turned out to be a misconception, Daemon had not attacked the child, the child had gotten hurt and the mother had freaked with Daemon jumping around and assumed he had attacked. The neighbours decided they weren't going to give him away after all, so that was good news. Daemon came back home day before, but all was not okay. He seemed thinner than before, and very weak. He had been put on medicines, and was very woozy and weak. When I saw him again, he didn't run up and jump, and this made me very worried. We gave him his favourite food, and he drank some water and slept again. He slept all day, but when he got up in the night, he was much better, coming up to the window and whining. Today, he was almost back to his normal self, barking and in his usual playful mood, though he was still weak, he came over and played before sleeping for a while.

            But just now, he gave me cause to think all over again. I was upstairs, watching a show, everyone already in bed, when I heard him barking and howling. I went down to see him, and as soon as the window opened, he trotted over, the questioning look on his face. I climbed out and sat with him a while. He played with the frisbee for a bit, but suddenly, dropped, came over, put his head in my lap, pressed himself on me, and stood. I was surprised, obviously, but petted him and scratched him he way he likes it. But he didn't move. He stood there, so I bent over and gave him a hug. And still he didn't move. And like that we sat. It must have been 5 minutes, or 10, I don't know, but what I do know was that he was scared. And so I told him, there was nothing to be scared about, he wasn't going anywhere, and we all loved him. And after a while, he got up, shook himself all over, went and lay down, and promptly went to sleep.

            Weve only known him for 3 months, and yet hes become such a big part of our lives. Hes given us love, and made us smile and laugh, and though he might be someone elses pet, He feels like a part of our family. And me and him? We have something that only a boy and his dog can share, its a bond of love and trust that cannot be mimicked by anything else.