A Dog and his Child walk across the cracked asphalt of an abandoned city. The Child, a young person when the Dog was brought into the family, is now an adult wrapped in the thick jacket and hard wearing leather clothes of a Survivor. The Dog is smallish, white and shaggy; well cared for but still ragged…and old. The two move together with the air of long familiarity and understanding. The Child keeps one hand on the butt of a revolver tucked inside the jacket while the Dog keeps both ears cocked for the sound of movement. An observer, if one were so inclined to watch this pair, could tell that they’ve been through this routine a time or two before.

It’s been years since the War that changed the world, but this Dog and this Child have been together through it all. The Riots, the Plagues, the Ash Winters and the Purges and every other thing the decay of civilization could throw at them and through it all they have remained a Dog and his Child. The bond of love keeping each other warm through vicious storms and safe through dangerous encounters and hard years when damn near everyone else they knew was lost or betrayed or forgotten.

Finding a mostly intact building they start to set up their camp for the night. Small tent, small fire, warm food and drink and things feel like home…or at least like the home they make for each other, the only home they’ve known for years. While the Child cooks their supper his Dog watches on, a guardian angel with four paws and pointy ears. A small and contended sigh escapes the Dogs lips, a woof of joy…and loss and longing and hope. The Child looks up from the fire and smiles and reminds the Dog that it is loved. Dinner is served and the pair fall asleep, curled up with each other for warmth and comfort.

The day dawns with a beautiful sunrise; the light bouncing off clouds of dust still lingering in the atmosphere and radiating in brilliant hues of orange and gold. Crisp morning air and the sounds of birds wakes the Dog who then uses the time honored method of all dogs everywhere to wake its Child, i.e. a cold nose to the face. Laughing and yawning the Child ruffles the Dogs fur, stretches and begins the morning chores. After breakfast and packing up the camp they continue on their way…

A Dog and his Child, together…

**Written for Buddy the Wonder Dog…we’ll miss you.**


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