Hobo’s Mom, having heard his voice, entered the room to check on her beloved boy. She made sure he had food and water. “Is it time for one of those awful shots?” Hobo asked, referring to the medication he needed every other day. His Mom patted his head and told him no. He smiled. Before she left Hobo took her paw in his. “You know I love you don’t you Mommy?” he asked. She kissed him and told him she did. “And tell the old man I love him too,” Hobo said loudly after smelling his dad milling outside his door. His mom assured him she would. Before she left his mom, put a hand on Lily’s shoulder, and they shared a knowing look.
“Would you like me to read to you?” Lily asked. She nodded to Hobo’s book, “The Richest Dog in Town.”
“Not now my dear,” he said. He looked at the book cover. “What an appropriate title. I am the richest dog in town Years ago I was outside all day tied to a tree when my parents offered to take me from my owner and into their home. From there I became more loved than any dog could be. I don’t think I could have found more perfect parents.” Hobo nodded off. He awoke as if he had not missed a beat. “Then I began my business, partnering with my cats and squirrels, and invested in the bone market. I met so many friends on social media, like you,” he said taking LIly’s paw and kissing it. “I truly am rich.”
Lily patted Hobo’s head and told him to rest but, while his body was failing, Hobo’s mind was still sharp. He began to get out of bed. ‘I have to check on my brother Wylie. I don’t know if he is ready to take over the business.”
Lily put a paw on his leg to stop him. “Wylie is fine,” she assured him. Hobo laid back in bed knowing his wife was right, and too tired to get up “You have trained him well,” Lily assured him. “All your affairs are in order,” she said as her voice broke.
“Now, now Lily, none of that,” he said. “I have plenty of time left, I assure you.” Lily knew he was exaggerating, but went along with his falsehood. Hobo ran a paw along her face. “Lily, of all the things I have done in my life my greatest achievement was marrying you. I don’t know what you saw in an old broken down mutt like me.”
“Everything my dear, everything,” she assured him, and they sat quietly until Hobo fell asleep again.
He opened his eyes to see the sun setting outside his window. “I suppose it will be good to see my old friends again: Tommy, Hattie Mae, Smoochy and especially Angel Foley. Have you read her blogs? She is in desperate need of a good editor.”
Lily smiled. “Do you remember your birthday is approaching?” she asked.
“How could I forget?” he responded. “Tax day. The government’s special joke just for me. I should get up to see if Wylie has everything prepared.”
Lily insisted he stay in bed and Hobo obliged “Another birthday,” he laughed. “How many is this. 17? 18? Maybe I will be allowed to vote,” he laughed.
Lily grinned through her tears. “Come, wife,” Hobo said pulling back the covers. “Snuggle with me. I will keep you warm.” Lily happily climbed into bed and snuggled with her husband,
Hobo’s parents appeared in the doorway as twilight filled the room and Hobo and Lily gently fell asleep breathing in unison.