Two hounds sat at the bottom of the staircase. They followed obediently when he stepped past them towards the kitchen. They stared as he ate breakfast. They watched as he walked past the cookie tin, past the snack jar, past her empty seat. Sally whimpered then.
They’d been quiet since Friday. He had assumed they understood.
They’d been fed, walked, played with, but he couldn’t look them in the eyes.
“I can’t bring her back.”
The phone beckoned, but he did not answer.
Her voice rang bell-like on the answering machine.
“I’m sorry” he whispered and the dogs howled.

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