The Loyal Companion

by Vinudi Bogahapitiya

I look at him. He is walking on the footpath, in one straight line. I breathe a sigh of relief. ‘He is all safe,’ I say to myself, however this might change at any moment. We approach a traffic light and I stop, dead still, my eyes locked on the lights. 

‘Is everything alright, Barnie?’ asks Bob. 

Of course I can’t talk, but to let him know that he is in safe hands, I reply by barking. 

The red lights turn to green, so I start to walk carefully, turning my head and looking at both sides, to make sure that both Bob and I are all safe. We make our way to the footpath. I look behind to make sure that Bob is still holding onto my leash. After all, it is my responsibility to make sure that my friend is secure. I then look down to make sure that there is nothing on the ground. I suddenly spot a plastic water bottle along the footpath. If Bob steps on it, he will fall down. I stand there motionless and Bob also stays still. I walk backwards and Bob does the same, and then I kick the bottle. We continue to walk casually until… 

‘Excuse me.’ 

I turn around to face a kind-looking roadworker. ‘Sorry to trouble you, but this pathway is closed due to construction.’ 

I understand every word, and to let the man know I bark softly. 

A smile appears on his face, as I turn around and guide Bob to the shopping mall in a different way. 

As usual, we enter into the local grocery store and everyone greets us warmly. One of the shop assistants comes to us and gives Bob a helping hand to collect our goods. After shopping at the local store, the shopping assistant calls for a taxi. We have to wait for some time and then the taxi arrives. The shop assistant helps us put our groceries into the boot, and then off the taxi goes to our home. 

Unfortunately in the middle of the road, there is a car crash. Luckily the taxi isn’t involved, but we have to wait until it is safe for us to go. We arrive home safely and it is really late, about dinner time. We enter and I look at Bob, always alert and ready just in case something happens. 

As Bob enters the kitchen, he walks slowly and carefully, his hands touching everything. He finds my dog food, puts it into a bowl and then hands it to me. I don’t eat until Bob is ready. My eyes are focused on Bob. He is moving safely around the kitchen. He makes his way to the fridge and opens it. While rummaging everywhere he finds the salad leaves, tomato sauce and some vegetables. He then goes to a small cupboard and finds a chopping board and a knife. He carefully chops the carrot, lettuce, capsicum and tomato. Soon a fresh salad is prepared and placed on the table, while Bob toasts some beef patties. After putting the beef patties inside the burger, he makes his way to the table by touching chairs and walls. 

Five minutes later, Bob is munching happily on his dinner, while I eat my dog food. We eat in silence. To let Bob know that I have finished my meal, I bark twice and he just smiles at me. When he is done, Bob goes to the bathroom to brush. I follow him quietly into the bathroom and stand there. After some time he finishes and makes his way into his bedroom. He gets into bed and calls out to me. 

‘Good night, Barnie.’ 

I bark in reply and go to my sofa, thinking about this busy and amazing day. I think about what I did today and how well I did my duty looking after Bob. I don’t need praise for my hard work, I just want to be happy and make others happy too!