I could never understand why Boss had to go out every night but he did, always at the same time. He would change into clothes different from the ones he wore during the day and tell us all he would "see us later". I wonder where he went on all those occasions, night after night as the seasons changed and one year followed another. It was something called "work" but I did not really know what that meant.
I knew Mrs. Boss was not happy with him going out like this. I could sense the change in her, she was somehow more tense and I think she was lonely as well. Humans needs other humans. So I would lie next to her with Bonnie, one of us on each side, letting her know that she had us and we would keep her safe. We accompanied her when she locked up the house for the final time after giving us our last run in the garden and we would listen to every sound, every tiny noise in case something should go wrong.
Mrs. Boss was not so well these days, she did not come with us on our walks anymore and she had to take little round things several times a day. Sometimes water would run from her eyes and I would run over and nuzzle my face against hers and that always seemed to cheer her. So, when Boss went out on these nights, although I had never been allowed on the bed before, one night I jumped up next to her and she did not tell me to get down. I stayed with my back against hers all night and from them on it became a regular habit.
Mind you, I always knew when Boss was coming home. I sensed "the car" long before it turned into our road. I always knew the time and about fifteen minutes before he was due home I would leave the bed and sit by the front door, eager and alert. He always made such a fuss of me and Bonnie when he got in and then would take us for a short walk before he went to bed himself. He would be in bed for a good part of the day. I suppose he was tired from being out all the night. I knew he had not been with other dogs though, that he was faithful to us, because I never ever smelled another dog on him.
So, life went on. Nothing much changed until one day Bonnie had to go to the vet. I had come to know the vet over the years because he stuck that thing into me every so often that I did not like and regularly checked me over. He was kind, gentle and spoke very softly. I was surprised when, one morning, Bonnie went to the vet on her own and boss returned without her. The previous day, Mrs. Boss had been giving us a bath. I had had my turn and was sitting patiently waiting for Bonnie to come out when I heard Mrs. Boss call out to Boss. She sounded alarmed and pointed out to him something she had found on Bonnie.
Well, I was so worried. Where was Bonnie, why had she not returned? I heard Mrs. Boss on the contraption she put to her ear talking to somebody and I heard Bonnie's name mentioned. Then I heard her tell Boss that "everything had gone well." I missed Bonnie that night, I knew she would be lonely without me. I was so happy to see her back the next day but she was sleepy and not too steady on her legs. When she laid down I noticed a mark on her stomach that had not been there before, quite a long one and she told me she was very sore so I knew that something had been very wrong.
However, although getting very old now, Bonnie was a strong dog and she was soon almost back to her old self. The following week she went back to the vets to have something called "stitches" removed. I knew that Boss and Mrs. Boss had been so worried the whole time and they made an extra special fuss of Bonnie for a while. I did not mind because I knew that something unpleasant had happened to her, even if I did not know what.