Companion

Author: Emily Courtney

Should I wake him up? His hand light block thingy usually makes that noise and wakes him up but sometimes he pokes it and it stops and he keeps sleeping. Maybe I should just nudge him a little. He snores so loud. I know we should be going today. He pulled out all of his stuff last night, those weird tall boot things, his collar with the noise makers on it, my vest, that magic stick that makes the loud boom and knocks the quacky birds out of the sky. Still haven’t figured out how that works… Today’s the day, for sure. He was talking to me so excited last night, he’d be so disappointed if he overslept… Just a little nudge… That did it, we’re up now, oh pets and ear scratches, I did good! Oh yeah, who’s a good girl? I’m a good girl. Okay out of bed. What now, Dad? Oh. He wants me to eat that stuff. Hmph. Any other day, fine, but today I know he’s having a bacon biscuit and if I give him the eyes he’ll give me some, so I think I’ll pass on the little fake food pebbles. Ugh he’s insisting. Okay, okay, just a nibble.

Now where’d he go? Door is open, must be out here putting stuff in the truck. Oh yeah, nice and brisk this morning! He’ll be happy about that. Oh there he is! Hey Dad! Did you get my vest? I’m ready to go, are you ready? Can I get in the truck? Oh, back inside, okay. Oh yeah, warm up your biscuit, right. I’ll wait. Is it nice and warm? Bacon nice and crispy? Looks tasty. I’ll just sit here and watch you eat that and lick my lips. Oh yeah, there’s my bite, mmm so fluffy. Ok? Ready? Load up! I know those words! Let’s go!

I wonder where we’re going today. Short ride or long ride. Well, either way, nothing to see back here. Might as well settle in and rest up. What was that? Did we stop? Oh hey Dad, are we here? Must have dozed off… Just a stretch… I’m ready, Dad, I’m ready! Let’s do this! Oh yeah, my vest! Paws through, don’t catch my fur in there, there! Okay, vest on, time to work. The next part is the worst part. Just don’t think about it, just do it and get it over with. It’s just what you have to do to get to the fun part. Just get in the boat and think about a quacky bird in your mouth. Okay, load up he says, I’m going, I’m going. My vest will protect my insides from the icy air. Just think about the quacky birds and how happy it makes him…

Made it! Boat ride over. Dad, are there icicles on my nose? Okay, you want me to get in the big box thingy now? Gladly. There’s a heater in there. Wait, where are you going now? Oh yeah, the plastic quacky bird things. Still don’t understand that either. Does he put those out there just to try to confuse me? Oh well. I’ll just wait here. I wish he had turned the heater on before he left… It’s ok, though. I’m tough. I gotta be ready for the water. Actually, it’s best not to think about that either. Just do it when the time comes and focus on the quacky bird. Oh, he’s coming back now. Good. Hey, Dad! Hey! I’m so happy to be here with you, Dad! This is our favorite spot, huh? Calm down, I know, I just can’t help it sometimes. Oh, ear rubs, I’ll sit still as long as you like if you keep that up. No don’t stop… Oh, I guess you have to do your noise maker things now. I think I have it figured out. He makes it sound like there’s sick quacky birds, then the other quacky birds come to see what’s wrong with them. I don’t know, but here come some. Nah, those are too high in the sky. I don’t know why, but when they’re that high he won’t point the magic stick at them. Oh, I think they’re gonna fly lower. Yeah, looks like he’s getting ready. Ok, watch them close. If one falls, you gotta watch it. He doesn’t always know where it is…

Gosh, I forget how loud that is. Alright, it’s my time. I saw it fall, I think he’s pointing me about right. Just jump in. QUACKY BIRD!!! Cold water, cold water, quacky bird, sniff it out, come on quacky bird, cold water, just keep paddling, quacky bird, quacky bird, sniff it out, cold water, quacky bird, keep going, almost there, cold, cold, bird, smell bird, bird, smell bird, QUACKY BIRD! I GOT IT! Okay, gotta get back. Paddle fast. Don’t drop quacky bird. Don’t squeeze it too tight. Paddle, paddle. Find the ramp. I made it! Look, Dad! I got the quacky bird for you! Oh, he’s so happy! Yes, this is worth the boat ride. This is our favorite thing. Let’s do it again, Dad.

Dedicated to our girl Milli, and all the companions that have served us well and moved on, may they forever have a bird to retrieve and a warm blind to return to.

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