Martin and Buddy were situated in the living room. Martin lounged on the couch, his feet propped up, while Buddy sat tall at his feels. His eyes focused on the outside world.
Martin stared unseeingly at the open newspaper in his hand. He wondered what Buddy was thinking about. What was he staring at outside? Was he planning the day’s activities like Martin did? Perhaps he was contemplating what delicacies he would enjoy for dinner. Martin often pondered the same thing.
Martin reached out a hand and ruffled his dog’s ears, briefly catching his attention. Buddy tried to lick his hand. A wide smile escaped his lips as a pleasant warmth spread from his chest. He loved his furry friend.
Buddy’s head faced the window again. Martin reluctantly removed his hand. A growing worry ate at his heart. Perhaps Buddy feel trapped. Did he remember his mother, from whom he was so swiftly separated? Or his premature departure from his brothers and sisters? Martin was reminded of his own family. He thought about them quite often, although not often enough to actually pick up a phone.
What was the point? They had been apart for so long they no longer had anything to talk about. In fact, Martin realized he didn’t talk to many people at all. He lost touch with his friends long ago–after they married. He wasn’t even sure whether they had kids or not.
What was the point in trying to salvage a dying relationship? Everything dies; it’s inevitable. Why prolong the inevitable? People toiled away their lives. Wasting their youths for little to no reward. They denied themselves the simple joys of biting into a juicy burger, or the thrill of a piping hot fry. But the end result never changes. They still die. Everyone dies.
Buddy shifted onto his forelegs, laying his nose between his paws. Martin felt a pang in his stomach. He looked sad. Was he contemplating the meaning of life? Buddy didn’t have any regular friends either. But Martin made sure to take him to the park frequently. He had open spaces to run and explore the plethora of scents. Not that he ran much. His bowl was never empty either. Perhaps life just meant food. Once the food runs out, then so does his time on this Earth.
Buddy’s wide eyes looked up at Martin, almost pleadingly. Was Buddy afraid of dying? He bent down and surrounded his friend in his arms.
“Don’t worry, Buddy. You’ll be fine. Just enjoy it while you can.”
Buddy glanced up at Martin from his cozy spot on the floor. Was now an appropriate time to give his balls a good licking? Martin usually began yelling whenever he’d try, which was very distracting. But, it’d been a while since he last cleaned them, and it was important he keep them super clean!
Martin’s arms embraced his neck. Buddy thumped his tail. This meant Martin was pleased! He uttered something Buddy didn’t understand, but he knew from Martin’s inflections it was encouraging. Martin must be granting permission! Once he was released, Buddy bent down and did what he best.
“No, Buddy! C’mon, stop that!”
Buddy felt light tapping on his back, forcing him to stop and investigate. Martin was angry.
Buddy lay back down, and looked sadly out the window.