The big dog was never far from her side, when she ventured beyond the confines of her house. She was seen clutching his leash as they walked through the park, or tethering it to a conveniently placed light pole outside the corner store.

It was the same every week â“ the dog would become a heap of shaggy brown fur, with only the tip of his nose moving, twitching as he scented everyone and everything near by. Inside the store, she would purchase the same three things: chocolate milk, milano cookies, and a single twelve-inch bully-stick, the last a treat for her canine friend.

She would clutch the brown paper bag in one hand and the end of the leash in the other, and the two friends, one with a sloppy grey ponytail, and the other with a scruffy plume of tail curled over his back, would make their slow procession down the block, through the park, and back home.

It came as no surprise that on the day she died, the large brown dog passed on as well. He was lying at her feet, when they found her locked in forever-sleep, still sitting in her favorite chair.

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