This is fiction. For now. River has cancer, so much cancer, but for now she seems happy and healthy but the lump on her throat is growing. She’s the love of my life.
She’s been gone for three days now. My husband thinks I’m a fool, but I have to know. They advertise on television: “Ghost Hunters! You lose ‘em! We find ‘em!”
Yeah, well, I’m running out of hope. We’ve searched the neighborhood, put up flyers, and even ran an ad on the local stations, but we’ve come up short. You would think a beagle dog wouldn’t be that hard to find.
She’s getting up in years. I’ve found a couple lumps on her. Vet says there’s nothing that can be done. So I just make her comfortable. She gets every T-bone, cleans every plate. She’s a worker when it comes to doing the dishes, I tell you what.
Anyway, she’s been gone for three days, and I fear the worst. Erase that, I know the worst. I just need to find her. Bring her home and put her in the ground.
I know she left to save me. Save me from the most difficult decision I would ever face.
The Ghost Hunters come to my house. I give them her food dish, something she loves almost as much as me. It didn’t take them more than a minute to come up with a vision.
“Is there an oak tree nearby?”
“There’s a couple on the top of Knob Tree Hill. We used to go chasing rabbits up there.”
Well, she chased. I did a lot of yelling for her to come back. She never listened to me much, especially where rabbits were concerned. Rabbits were hardwired into her DNA.
Knob Hill was a place we loved, me and her. She would sound, sending her voice across the valley, echoing into forever.
I found her there. Laying peaceful, just waiting for me to find her, surrounded by leaves and acorns. She knew I couldn’t make the decision. She saved me, you see. She didn’t want me to suffer. Somehow they know, animals. They know, and they want to die alone.
I take her home. She’s buried behind the old barn. I sit with her now and then. I tell her about the rabbits that been stealing from the garden. I add a bone to the pile.