A walk home ~ Part 5
Casper rested his soft golden head on his paws. He lay near the heat register enjoying the warmth that it washed over his body. Radar’s words disturbed him. He said he was taking someone on a “Walk HOME”. The night outside was miserable. Casper had heard that the humans had closed the roads due to the blizzard that roared beyond the walls of this sanctuary. It was not a night for man nor beast to wander out. The wind howled and the windows rattled. In his old tired heart, Casper knew that Radar meant something other than a real walk. He knew that Radar was not just with him to observe him; he was there to prepare him for something.
“There is an extra blanket in the sun room,” He heard one of the staff saying,”We could spread it out for Casper to sleep on. That cold floor can’t be good for him.”
The momentary distraction of one of the humans making him a bed helped. He shoved the blanket to just the right place with his nose and body that he was comfortable. Resuming his post watching the hallways, Casper wondered where Radar was. He hadn’t seen the little white dog for sometime. Was there anything the old dog could do to prevent the events that might occur this night? He wondered. Would he be blamed for the “walk” So many times in his life with Alastair and Spook, the cats, he had been blamed for things that they had set in motion. Was Radar his responsibility? Would the humans think he had anything to do with this. His mind raced.
The lights hummed over head briefly as they were dimmed for the night. His mistress had been set up with a bed somewhere, but he would not settle, so the staff kept him by the front desk. Casper wanted a vantage point to see what, Radar was up too. He had a bad feeling about all this. As he adjusted his position, he caught sight of the little white dog entering a room down one of the halls. Casper struggled to his feet, his body aching as he rose. It must be about too happen. With his tail hanging behind him he walked toward where he had seen the dog. The door to the room was open and a soft light glowed at the bedside. The elderly man that lay in the bed was peaceful. His face was relaxed. Radar sat on the chair near the window.
“What are you going to do?” Casper asked.
“I wait.” Radar replied. “When he is ready I will know…he will know.”
“Does he have to go?” Casper couldn’t stop the question
“It’s his time. The old ones move on to make way for those that need to come.” Radar stared at the sleeping man.
Casper approached the bedside and gently nudged his head into the mans hand. It was his way of saying goodbye. For a brief moment he felt the warmth of he man’s hand. A simple twitch of the fingers in his fur.
“You have come to take me home…good boy!” He heard the voice faintly.
There was as sudden chill as if someone had brushed by him that had just come in from outdoors. Casper knew it was not a good sign. He looked to Radar and there beside him he could have sworn he saw the man that was laying in the bed. The years were melting away from the man’s face. He was reverse aging. His twisted fingers became straight, his sallow complection changed to a glow. He was young again.
“You’ve been a great friend.” The man nodded at him and though Casper heard the voice, his lips never moved.
A leash lay on the bed over the man’s resting body. The spirit picked it up and Radar got up from where he sat. The leash was attached to a collar that had suddenly appeared on Radar’s neck. Casper watched as the man and the dog walked toward the far side of the room.
“I am ready to go for my walk home.” He heard the voice. He also heard a noise coming from behind him in the corridor. An alarm had sounded somewhere and the staff were coming. Casper watched as the man and the dog disappeared threw the wall. He knew that no matter what was done now the man was gone. He turned his head back and nudged the cold hand. There was no spark any more.
One of the staff led him from the room. Out in the hallway he turned to a window and watched the swirling white snow as it danced beyond the pane. The storm was lessening. The night was calming. It wasn’t a bad thing to make a final journey home….when one was ready. He wondered when Radar would return ~ if he would return. Was this the lesson he was to be taught? His mistress appeared in the hallway, her hair messed from sleep. Casper went to her and sat at her feet. She was his human. Was Radar that man’s dog? He was full of questions now. Would he get to ask them of his little friend?