I confess to you, my friend, that I love you and that in my airy dreams of futurity you have been my constant friend and companion.
-Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein
As I grew and became stronger, I began to venture outside the house and network with dogs in my neighborhood. I soon made friends with Sawyer, a dog just a little older than I was, who lived across the way. Sawyer was everything I wanted to be, and I looked up to him; he was strong, shiny, tall, friendly, and he always got the tennis ball when we played fetch with the humans. Sometimes I reached it first, but when he came over, I always gave it to him.
The seasons changed, and Sawyer and I remained close friends. We shared our secrets and our favorite pastimes. For a time, he filled the hole in my heart left by Orange Boy.
Sometimes, Sawyer would even come on walks with me when I went with Woman or Man. I would be on my leash and Sawyer would run ahead of us and then circle back and gallop past us, only to run ahead once more. When he ran past me, even though I knew I shouldn’t, I lunged forward on my leash, my heart leaping with the excitement of running, which both Sawyer and I understood. Woman and Man, though they enjoyed Sawyer’s company in our yard, were not always happy when Sawyer accompanied us on our walks.
We had to leave Sawyer behind when we left Alaska. I still miss him and think of him often, and of that time in my life. I had imagined that Sawyer and I would be friends forever. Man and Woman were almost as sad to leave Sawyer as I was. In my dreams, I still leap and run and play with Sawyer.