I am old now. They say it’s impossible to teach an old dog new tricks but I’ve had to learn new things over and
over, in my time. That comes from living longer than any dog has a right to, and from having seen the things I’ve seen. My muzzle is grey and my whiskers are stumpy, but I still watch over her; she’s my world. I can barely remember a time without her.
She was just a girl when she found me, still just an ordinary girl. My own mother was newly killed by hunters and I was barely old enough to stop suckling. I was starving and shivering under a silky-leafed Oak tree, in a wood filled with snuffling and screeching things that threatened to eat me in the night. How could I ever forget that?
Then, there she was: a scruffy, smelly thing, her shabby cloak soaked and her clothes badly patched, with hungry big brown eyes too large for her face, and brown hair all matted and dirty to match the smudges on her cheeks. But she looked like a princess to me, peering through the underbrush as if I were the best thing that she had ever seen!
She had been crying. I could tell. Her eyes were red and her face smudged from the tears and dirt of her travels, all mixed in a muddy mess where her hand had wiped them together. It was love at first sight.
I can see it like it was yesterday, although people who don’t know a thing about dogs will say silly things like ‘dogs have no memory.’
Sometimes, when I’m sleeping, I dream that first moment all over again; it always makes me twitch and cry. Often, I wake up, and there she is, calling me, asking if I’m alright. Everything is alright then because she’s still watching over me, just as I know I’ll be watching over her until the spell from the Wand of Time releases me and allows me to slip into another place.
Oh… but haven’t we shared some days; years and years of them! I smile when I remember some of the antics we got up to in those early times, just to put food in our bellies, and I cringe at the places we found to sleep at night and still shudder at the thought. I often wonder what might have happened if we had never met the unicorns….
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