White Dog and I sat watching the ebb and flow of the White Dog Army after dinner as they checked each other's bowls, sniffed for dropped tidbits of Michael's meal, and settled down to digest. "Where's Taiko?" I wondered.
She craned her neck to see down the hall. "Maybe he is outside." She hopped down and went out to check. Soon she returned with her brother who stopped at the door to the bedroom. "Come on Taiko! Come see momma," I called. He slowly plodded over and thrust his head into my lap. I wrapped my arms around him and pulled him close. "This is a tough day, isn't it Tender One," I murmured into his fur; he just pressed hard against me. When I released my hold he turned and slowly made his way back to the bedroom where I heard him with a sigh settle onto his bed.
Taiko is completely devoted to Steve. Quinn, when he chose and sent the Kentucky Boy to join our family, specifically had a desire that Steve never be lonely or grieve his heart dog's loss without healing. To Taiko the sun rises and sets in Steve. Steve is perfect in every way and Taiko is seldom far from his side. when he must be apart from Steve it is a painful countdown until his return.
There is nothing any of the rest of us can do or provide to lessen Taiko's separation anxiety. He politely accepts treats, functions as he must and courteously interacts but the minute he can escape, he goes off by himself or lies forlornly waiting on the deck.
Today, some corporate dignitary visited the school and Steve's normally long Wednesday was made longer by the need for pomp and meetings and red carpet treatment. Taiko is like a soul abandoned as we wait.The only thing that makes my boy's unhappiness even vaguely acceptable is knowing the amazing moment of reunion that will come when Tai hears the van pull into the driveway and is there to literally leap into Steve's arms when he walks through the door.
Until that triumphant time, I ache for his loneliness and wish our gentle, well-behaved boy could just go with Steve to work.