When Thunder Rolls at Five

C moved out about a week ago. The exact date was April 21, a Friday. There is no good or bad timing. I had a one-week medical leave and was there almost full-time through the process. During that week, I was counting all the remaining moments with Bailey. Because Bailey would be moving out as well.

A picture of Bailey taken on that Friday late afternoon, home alone, just he and me. He probably didn’t know that I wouldn’t be moving out with him.

Dogs are amazing companions. Just that I am not good with responsibilities when it comes to pets. Perhaps … no, most definitely I have inherited my dad’s genes. My dad is never good at looking after pets. My mom had to do all the daily chores. Turtles, goldfish, birds, rabbits, and a dog. I have probably missed out on a few species. But that is my dad. And here is me. The only thing perhaps both of us were good at was raising butterflies from caterpillars. And I know why. Because dad and I do not need to look after the entire lifecycle of a butterfly. As butterflies flew off our hands, that ended our responsibilities.

I don’t miss the morning noises. Bailey would either wake me up for his morning walk at 7 am and/or during his feeding time at 8 am. He would bark with his undivided enthusiasm toward food. I don’t necessarily miss the late afternoon walk although most of the time while he was living with me, I enjoyed the walk away from work. It can be so refreshing and relieving. The walk was a good cure for work stress. I don’t miss the mess he was used to leaving behind. Like his fur on the floor and on the surfaces (as he was blown dry after his weekly shower). Or his saliva marks. I don’t miss the hassle of having to guard my lunch or dinner or snacks all the time. Because in his mind, we are a pack. And pack shares food.

Having said that, whenever it rains in the morning, I thought of Bailey if he would be okay having his short walk in the rain. Today while I was driving, at the traffic light, I saw a young lady trying to ask her dog – a Singapore Special – to walk with her only to have that brown dog dug in and refused to walk. Just like Bailey often did. I chuckled a little. At times I wonder if Bailey misses me. I don’t know where I stood in his eyes of the hierarchy. To the least, I would think that he saw me as his pack. Whenever I eat apples, I am reminded of how Bailey would eagerly wait for me to feed him apples, resting his chin on my thigh just to remind me that hey, we are a pack.

And when thunder rolls at 5 pm, I would wonder if he would be in time for his eagerly anticipated late afternoon walk. Different people have different ways to cope with losses. For me, I write.

Bailey is a guard dog. I have witnessed on multiple occasions that he made sure no one was left behind. Perhaps Bailey doesn’t miss me per se. He just feels anxious that I am the one who is left behind.

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