The last time he’d seen Hugo was in that dream, which ended all too soon. Such a rush of excitement to see him again. He wanted to jump up and run over to him. To start a play fight so Hugo would chase him as he gleefully ran away. Sneak up behind him and slap his bum just to irritate him. But he was tired. How could that be? He’d only just woken up here, wherever here was. As he thought about that, he looked around and knew it wasn’t the middle room where, just as Hugo had told him in his dream, Kevin and Simon sent him on his way. They were with him, sad, but loving and holding him close as the nice lady spoke softly to him. They were indeed the last people he saw before he felt a slight sting then closed his eyes.
He wasn’t in the middle room. Where was he? There was a lush green meadow thick with long and waving dark green grass that he’d never seen before, with trees and flowers that could never have lived in Texas. A bit further along, there was an old house in the distance with two pecan trees out front that didn’t look quite right next to the meadow. None of it made sense.
Then, just as he thought he’d lost his mind entirely, he saw it. There was the bench in the old house, in the window. The sun, that wonderful late-winter afternoon sun at just the right angle was shining right where he and Hugo used to lie together. And there, just a little past it, was the cushion on the patio at the new house, where he and Hugo snoozed together more and more, as they aged gently side by side. Kaydon remembered the cars he and Hugo chased as they drove down the alley, a wooden fence thwarting their victories. What a memory. What a team they made! He hadn’t thought of that in such a very long time. Hadn’t been able to chase those cars for quite a while either. Then there were the birds that dared to land in the back yard. He’d make quick work of scaring them off. Ditto with the squirrels. Hugo never bothered much with that – always was Kaydon’s job.
He tried holding onto those memories. Such lovely memories of a time with Hugo, a time that felt a little empty, lonely, after Hugo left. He still protected the house, and Simon and Kevin but it wasn’t the same without his best friend. He tried but it was no use. The drowsiness, wrapping around him, cuddling, soothing and warming was too much. As his eyelids began their gentle descent, he saw Hugo and that other, bigger dog walking toward him. He wanted to talk to him. So much to talk about.
Instead, eyelids now shut, before slipping back into the gentle welcoming sleep, he heard Hugo, in a reassuring voice that he knew would take some getting used to, whisper gently, knowingly, “Driver and I will be right here when you wake up. We have lots to talk about and there’s plenty of time for all that. For now, go to sleep. Sweet dreams my little buddy.”