There were thunderstorms this afternoon and the electricity went quiet. Our companion is moving food from the fridge into the freezer.
“Hopefully this will keep it cold for longer,” she says.
When the thunders roll on into the distance she gets up to fetch our leads.
“We might as well go for a walk now,” she says.
The beach by the loch looks stunning. Dark blue clouds move overhead and beams of light are bursting through.
I can smell something interesting and find a bone.
“Leave that Eivor, ” says our companion. I drop it by her feet and look at it longingly.
“That’s a chicken bone, sweetie, not very good for you.”
She is making pictures of dogs choking on chicken bones and I understand.
At the far end of the beach a man pulls some wood out of a bag and makes a small fire.
We often see lone men making a fire in these parts. There will be a small saucepan and some lovely smells. Our companion puts us on the lead when we become too curious about the food.
This man does not have a saucepan. He bends down to light a cigarette from the flames and stares over the loch.
He is making dark pictures with his mind. Of fires and of fighting.
I trot over and touch his hand with my nose. Pearl trots around the fire to make sure there is not any food.
“You’re alright pal,” he says, stroking the top of my head.
I look into his eyes and see a lot of sadness.
“People say I need to talk, but I don’t want to talk. I’ve been in the army for ten years, you see.”
He sits down on the sand and I put my paw on his arm.
“I’ve seen things I wish I’d never seen.”
I wriggle down and rest my chin on his knee.
“I’ve just got to keep it all under the lid. I don’t want to talk to someone who makes me lift that lid. I won’t be able to cope with what comes out from underneath.”
I roll onto my back and invite him to rub my belly.
“You understand, don’t you pal? You don’t need to know, do you? You don’t ask any questions.”
I only ask for cuddles, for walks and for food.
“That’s what I love about dogs. You understand things without needing an explanation. I wish more people could be like you two.”
Pearl walks over and licks his face. Tears fall from his eyes on top of my head. This man needs a lot of healing. He needs some pet therapy. We sit with him for a while.
“Lovely dogs you’ve got,” he says to our companion.
“There are plenty more in the shelter where they came from,” says our companion.
“That might be just the thing I need, ” says the man. “An animal companion.”
You will make a good human companion for any animal too.
He waves us goodbye as we return along the beach.
The clouds are parting and the sun is breaking through more brightly than before. The forest smells rich and green from where the rains have been.
When we walk back through the door I can hear the electricity’s quiet hum. Our companion puts the kettle on and gives us both a treat.
I send you all so much love,
Daily Prompt: Understanding