By Elkie

We are so tuned to each other that words are unnecessary. He senses my mood and knows best how to respond to it. If I’ve been impatient or unfair, he never takes long to forgive me. When I come to his house, he jumps up enthusiastically and presents me with the first “gift” he can find.

We love to go out together, Max running by my bicycle, either to the woods or the river or just to the park round the corner. When we get home we share a bite to eat and cuddle up on the rug. While Max grunts his pleasure, I make my own sounds, made-up words repeated in a soft voice.

One day a vendor came to the door. Max insisted on standing beside me, ready to give his life for me if the stranger was in any way to appear threatening.

When we have to part, Max’s face always gets that anguished look which makes me want to hug him and never let go. Last week I was away for a few days. I had a great time climbing mountains. But I missed Max. My heart felt heavy thinking of him, his sad eyes watching the door, anxiously listening out for my steps on the gravel. It hurt, both of us. I would have explained it to him: “Four days away and then I’ll be back”, but words don’t mean much to Max. He just wants to be with me and I want to be with him and burrow my face in his soft fur. It’s the closest relationship I’ve ever had.

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