The Companion (Short Story)

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Her dog was more aware than her. It was subtly heart breaking.

I rode my bike by the shipping container where folks of often low or no means can safely store their belongings overnight.

A young woman was leaving the line with a noble but concerned looking white and tan pitbull in tow.

The dog was not budging, in turn holding the woman back and out of my way via a taut leash.

In that moment I surmised that that beautiful dog was more than a pet. That dog was a guide, a partner, perhaps tragically so.

The woman, though young, was disheveled as one might be after sleeping roofless. Her face had sores.

She tugged delicately at the leash and pleaded sweetly for her companion to proceed, but the dog stayed in place, keeping the woman just out of my lane.

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