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  • "Are you taking him with you?"

    The cleaner was looking at my dog. The question took me by surprise, which was probably her intent.

    She had been trying to convince me to pay more to have my house fully cleaned in order to get it ready for sale. She couldn't understand that what little money I had was earmarked for my trip to NY, to find an apartment. I knew I had to do everything I could to sell the house; not only because I was moving, but also because I was facing foreclosure. The walls of fear and uncertainty were closing in on me; I cried nearly every day out of anxiety, and I was crying now. The cleaner was obviously uncomfortable.

    "The dog. Are you taking him?"

    I thought she meant am I taking him on my trip to find an apartment.

    "No," I responded. "Someone will keep an eye on him."

    She was astounded.

    "You're not moving with him? You're just leaving him?"

    I suddenly realized what she meant.

    "No, of course not! He is definitely moving with me." He had been my companion through the worst of what I've been through; the unexpected departure of my ex, the issues with the bank and the lawyers, the bills and the money issues, the cold nights with no oil and only a wood stove to keep us warm. He was there.

    "He's the only one who stayed with me."
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