Jimmy was only twelve. And…he was gone…forever. Yes, gone from this world. He lived with his dad, Richard, who was quite busy with work most of the time. An unfortunate accident occurred, after school, when Jimmy was on his way home. A public bus never saw Jimmy on its way turning right at the corner. If the driver saw him, it was too late…
Richard was a single father and he was more focused on his work and paying the bills, than the welfare of his son. Several times a week, Richard would arrive home after 7 PM. That would leave Jimmy alone at home for several hours. Richard would even do some overtime on the weekends. Jimmy did not mind and he tried his best to not show negative emotions to his dad. Jimmy knew that his dad worked hard to provide food, clothes and a home.
There was one major weakness of Richard. When things would not go the way he wanted, he would start drinking. A lot. At a point that he would fall asleep on the floor of the living room with the television set on. The apartment would be in a disarray. Vomit on the floor at times. Beer bottles lying around.
There were some times when Richard almost hit Jimmy. It came close. He did a few times shake Jimmy. Jimmy always took the blame on him. He never quite understood why his dad was in rage sometimes but he knew that it must have been his fault because he was not a good son.
When things would get ugly, Copper, a Golden Retriever, would come in front of Jimmy to protect from the assaults from Richard. Many times, Copper got kicked by Richard and sometimes, Copper would bite Richard’s ankles or his hands. The dog just knew that this cannot be allowed.
Now that Jimmy is gone, Richard is neglecting the dog. The father did not care about the dog when Jimmy was alive. There is no reason why he would start caring now. Copper has lost weight. Malnourished. How long this will go on?
There are times when Richard would kick out the dog out of the building. Copper would sleep outside the door steps of the apartment building. None of its occupant would dare to care for him or even call the municipal authorities to help.
This would go on for weeks, for months. Some nights, Copper was lucky to sleep in the apartment. Some nights, he was abandoned by his owner. During the day, there was a better chance for Copper to be indoors.
Jimmy’s resting place was at the St-Andrew’s Cemetery. A good 20-minute walk from where Richard and Copper live. Patience is good but too much patience can be fatal. Especially in this case. Copper was left on his own and no one to rescue. The fact that he did not stay too long in front of the building during daytime did not help his cause. Perhaps if Copper stayed out longer, a good citizen might have called on animal protection services.
Our friend, during the day, was wandering a little farther from his house. Along the way, he had made a few allies. Business owners would feed him and bring him water. Copper would stay immobile in front of some restaurants or groceries with a hungry sad face. That, kept Jimmy’s friend alive and just enough healthy.
When our Golden Retrieved was not being abused by his owner, or fed by the local shop owners, he was paying a visit at the St-Andrew’s Cemetery. Copper was there to assist the burial of his best friend. That day, the dog would not leave Jimmy’s grave. It took over twelve hours of convincing after friends and family left. Father Thomas was able to guide Copper outside the cemetery and give him a ride back home. However, at this point, home was no longer home. It was a shelter to barely survive.
Richard was returning home from work much later now that Jimmy was gone. Richard had no place in his heart for Copper at this point. A dog left alone all day and almost the entire evening. With no proper food and water. All beings have a breaking point, or a point of no return.
On a cold winter night, after six months since the passing of Jimmy, Copper was again kicked out of the apartment. This time, he was limping. He able to take away a blanket before being shown the door for the nth time. Copper looked in a way to his master where it seemed like he was not going to ever return home again. He lied on the front exterior door stairs of the building for a moment, then ran away to see Jimmy.
The temperature was well below the freezing point but Copper had the warm blanket that Jimmy would put on him before bedtime.
When Copper arrived at the cemetery the gates were closed. Copper kept howling for a good hour till when a bystander, opened the gate for him. Finally, he was in, and went to the grave sight of his best friend that took care of him. He lied beside the grave, and tried his best to cover his own body. His face was sad, emotionless, body shivering, eyes closing…
Copper was going to stay beside his friend. His true master. No matter what. How long can this friend of Jimmy can stay longer here, out in the open, in this weather?
Another sunrise came but this time, our friend did not open his eyes. Before falling asleep for good, the Golden retriever has spread the blanket on top of Jimmy’s grave. Thinking that he might get a cold perhaps. Man’s best friend was there till the end, but who was there for him.
Father Thomas, later during the day, was visiting the cemetery and he heard about the story from the ground’s keeper. The pet was not to be saved but Father Thomas made sure this gets out to the authorities to investigate Richard.
A dog cannot be buried in a cemetery for humans, but…Father Thomas, paid off the staff. He committed a sin perhaps, but he thinks God forgive him later for this act. Will he be content two separate these two friends? They buried Copper just behind the tombstone of Jimmy. It was done at night, during the week, when least people are out here, except for the lost souls wandering where they will never return to their homes again. We hope Jimmy and Copper reunite in this after life in their new found home though.