There is one more piece of news from our friends on Pine Street, from this fall of realignment to a new set of rules, a new framework for their lives.
We’ll tell this part of the story from the perspective of Precious, the old dog, as this could be her last appearance. She’s elderly and tired, but she cannot leave Leo and Franny, Douglas and Louise, Allison and Kassandra, David and Sasha without knowing they will have a new spirit to watch over them.
Leo takes her for a walk. Their walks together are slow these days, with many stops to sniff and rest. Leo, who typically races from one place to another without noticing the details of anything he passes, relishes the way walking Precious forces him to slow down.
Precious feels his joy through the leash, and she relishes that sensation. Dogs are never happier then when they know their humans are happy to be with them.
One warm late autumn afternoon, Precious steers them both toward Marilyn’s house. She lived there with the art professor for many years, and knows when it is time to visit. Leo is content to follow the scruffy dog and her plume of a tail as she sniffs out their path forward, lost in his thoughts, noticing the way the sunlight slants through some dead tree branches hanging over the sidewalk.
It takes a few moments for Leo to realize the bustle occurring at Marilyn’s house. He hears raised voices, pauses, tenses for trouble, then recognizes the voices are raised in celebration.
Precious picks up their pace. She hears the voices too, and wags her tail as vigorously as an old dog can.
The human conversation that takes place when Leo walks by Douglas, David, and Sasha out in the little garden is irrelevant to Precious. She senses the change that is to come.
“I’m so happy for you both,” Douglas says. Seeing Leo, he calls out: “I’m going to be a grandpa!”
The little old dog yaps out her congratulations. The new spirit she’s been waiting for is on the way, and Precious can now lay herself down for a deep, long rest.