Spring broke late and none too soon for Old Chuck. Winter, always hard, almost killed him. He’d lie sighing by the fire, trying to warm those old bones that had carried him over field and furrow, always by my side.

When morning slanted through the shutters he came and laid his grizzled muzzle in my lap in that familiar way.

“Sure thing, old boy.”

I got up and opened the front door. He tottered out on stiff legs, eyes milky in the sunlight as he sniffed the fresh new air. He did his business slowly, climbed onto the porch and lay still.


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