What time is it? Hmm, still light out. Must be day time. It’s been forever since Master was home. I miss him. I miss him so much. I guess I’ll take a nap until he comes home.
Jack spun in a circle three times and settled in on the floor. He let out a chuff and closed his eyes. He dreamed of rabbits in the backyard. They ran fast, faster then he could. Darting left and right, always just out of reach. Then Master was there. He had dark hair, and a face full of expressions. He was so happy to see Jack, just as he always was. He crouched down on the ground and called Jack over. Jack ran to him, tail whipping back and fourth. He snuggled up close, nuzzling his owner’s neck, then kissing him with his tongue all over the place. Jack couldn’t smell Master. He never could smell anything in dreams. It was how he eventually knew that they weren’t real. Then, it started to rain.
Jack awoke on the floor. He stretched out his legs. He opened his jaw wide and let out deep yawn.
Have to pee.
He went to the small door inside the big door that led to the backyard. The chilly evening air blew at his face. He craned his head and breathed in deep. A wealth of sensory information filled him.
The dog three doors down was in heat. If he hadn’t been neutered, he may have been more interested. A new family of squirrels moved into the tree of the neighboring yard.
They’d get the message.
In two days, it was going to rain. A boy of ten had walked past the house while he was sleeping. He had a cold.
He went to his favorite corner, sniffed to make sure he was in the right place, aligned himself with the Earth’s magnetic poles, lifted a leg, and let his bladder release.
Once he finished, he looked at the sky again. It was getting dark.
Master should have been home by now. I’m so lonely. Where is he? He wondered.
He sat in the center of the yard.
He sniffed around the perimeter, looking for anything of interest. Nothing exciting existed in those odors. He found a stick, dragged it across the ground, but tired of it quickly.
He returned to the house and slept once more.
In this dream, his Master was missing. He searched and searched, but couldn’t find him. He looked at the house, the park, even braved the vets office to find him. But he was no where to be seen.
Jack woke. It was light out. He walked into Master’s bedroom. He wasn’t there. The bed was still made. He went to the window and propped his front feet on the sill to look out. No car in the driveway. He smelled the air. There wasn’t any recent trace of his master’s scent. He hadn’t come home.
Jack went to his bowls and lapped up the last of his water. He had finished the food the afternoon prior. He went outside and released his bladder again. Then his bowels. He went to the front of the fence.
His tail wagged wildly as a car approached, but it sagged as it continued past the house. Not his master. He sat at the fence for some time, he couldn’t tell how long, and waited. Another car, another burst of excitement, another disappointment.
He slept, he checked his bowls, he went inside and out. It got dark again. He was getting thirsty. He was hungry. Squirrels squeaked in the next yard. A young one was out in the open, right in the middle.
I could hop the fence, eat it quick. It can’t make it back to the tree. I’ll get in front of it, between it and the tree.
He salivated at the thought.
No, Master would be mad if I left the yard. I can wait.
He went back inside the house. He laid down at the foot of the master’s bed, and waited.
Three more days passed like this. Still, no Master.
Jack was feeling weak. So thirsty, so hungry. Torn on whether to stay or go. He was getting so tired. Back in Master’s room, he used the last of his strength to get up on the bed.
Master would be angry if he knew I was on the bed. But I miss him so. I need to be near his scent.
He snuggled his head against the pillows, and breathed in deep. He would wait. As long as it took. He would wait right there.
“Any update on our John Doe?” a nurse asked the doctor.
Machine’s beeped as Jack’s Master breathed with the help of a machine. He lay unconscious in the hospital bed.
“I’m afraid not. The police don’t have his prints on file and he the thief took his ID and phone. They’ve canvased the area, assuming he worked nearby, but it’s a large area, and no one has been able to identify him. We’re going to do another series of cat-scans today, but it doesn’t look good. His coma is likely irreversible. If someone doesn’t claim him soon, we’ll have no choice but to remove the feeding tube, and let him go.”
“I’m sure that someone, somewhere must be missing him.”