She turned her eyes again to the rain.
Unrelenting, persistent rain. Three and a half days of rain, and it was still going, drop by drop, and then many drops together, forming a veil, blurring the vision. No, no vision of a carefree walk in the park; the water in the puddles would splash and stain as he would be inevitably crossing them. Pity. And shame. No, wouldn’t be able to have a wash afterwards. He would be too weak.
I so wanted to have a walk to complete the journey, she talked to herself; but she stared at him. Her heart sank.
He seemed to understand, face frowned, eyes open, ears raised. The mouth was dry and the nose warm, the heart must be going slow. Yet that spirit remained. That spirit of trying his best and not giving in. Perhaps there is a chance to go, after all, it’s what we always do, ideally in the park. She thought. Perhaps that was what he thought, too.
But the rain poured, as the clock ticked.
Probably things would become obvious next week after the vet’s visit. She thought. Then there would be no chance, really not possible to go for a walk. What would the vet say?
Can he have a walk before… please? The vet would probably say, “can’t be right… The sooner the better. No further suffering.” Is it not good to try to have a bit of fun outside, greet the buddies, see the birds, smell his favourite scents? She would innocently ask.
But definitely not in such weather. She looked at the sky, the washed trees, the grey world out there; and she sat down on the floor next to him, stroking his back. She felt peace.
But he got up, limping to the glass door, watching the rain. He turned his head to check her face. Their eyes met, then she dropped hers. She knelt and embraced him. For a while, only the rain was in action.
There was something about him that she could trust. He knew himself well. She held his face to check again the messages from his eyes. There was the usual unmistakable determination, but also a naïve wish of a little child of a fantastic dream coming true; at the same time it was a message of joy to be with her… Ah, our ritual, she realised.
He would do it for her. And for them. The vet might not understand.
The sound of rain became softer, and the drops were now little. She got up, took the leash, and told him, “Let’s go and have a little fun in the rain.”
He stretched himself and puffed out the heavy air. He moved one leg forward after another, carrying a sick and frail body. But his eyes shone with excitement. She put his raincoat on him, tied a small scarf round his neck, and gave him a little scratch on the cheek. The fat long tongue stuck out, a smiling Thank You.
She would never forget that walk in the rain. Messy, cold, wet, windy; it hurt, it pained, it got tears running; struggle, hard work, endurance; and there was joy completing a beautiful journey.
It was their last walk together.