Hahona finished examining George then looked over at
Mr Jeffries and said, “He’s in a lot of pain. The injuries are
too severe for such an old dog, Mr. J. I am sorry…”
Mr. Jeffries knew this was coming, but actually hearing it from
Hahona caused him to panic. He rolled back the
sleeves of his starched white shirt and placed both hands on
George’s bristly coat, holding back tears with all his might.
George laid there on the mossy ground, his small tail rising
toward Mr. Jeffries’ face. His ears moved back as he looked
up at his old friend with warm, willful eyes. And the man, as he
closed his eyes and looked down at his dog, felt a rush of both
pride and grief as he turned toward Hahona and nodded.
Hahona wrapped George in a black towel and carried him
away. As the small terrier looked at Mr. Jeffries and the
back of the candy store, he realized that this was farewell.
He disappeared with Hahona down the back alleyway, eyes locked on Mr. Jeffries until they turned the corner.