The sniffing at the door never came as a surprise to me. It was always about half an hour before lights out would I hear two paws pitter patter onto the laminate flooring and the wet sniffing at the door. Tonight was no different from any other night, but he seemed a lot more desperate to get into the bedroom than ever. He knew that I had been crying for hours before this and with a sore face I got up from the mattress and pulled open the door. The little black and white spaniel licked my bare legs and hopped onto the bed, wagging his tail while he sat patiently waiting for me to lay back down. I rubbed my face with the sleeve of my shirt and followed him but wrapped my arms around him and surrounded myself in his fur. I could always count on him being around.
I grew up with my furry brother; I saw him every day before and after school. I brought my toys to him every day and while he was never interested in my human and off-limits-to-chewing toys, he would sit and watch me play with my plastic ponies while I made them climb over him as if he was a big friendly monster-slash-mountain. He wasn’t always a good pup and made sure that I knew when I had crossed my boundaries, which was mostly at his dinnertime. I remember pulling his ear whilst he tucked into a meal of beef and soon learned my lesson as he grabbed my arm between his teeth. I never told on him because I knew it was my fault and as soon as he finished his food and found me crying in my beat-up playhouse, he was sorry enough. We were the kind of best friends that could never stay mad at each other.