The sun is slowly setting in the west. Fading golden light dancing across the porch steps where Frank, Spot, and Sam are sprawled together, a cool winter breeze ruffling their fur as they lay, soaking up the lingering warmth before nightfall.
The house looming behind them is dark and empty and their human family's little blue car is gone from the driveway. They have been alone all day.
"Tell us about the good ol' days, Frank," Spot woofed, nudging the grey whiskered hound to his left. "Not tonight," Frank grumbled, turning his head away.
"C'mon, c'mon, tell us Frank!" Spot begged, nudging with his wet brown nose his floppy black ears perked up. "It was good, so good, remember, remember?" Spot huffed his eyes glazing over in a fog of what-was and his red tongue lolling.
Spot, who dug his way out of the yard once a week to go adventuring around the block, didn't understand the old hound's melancholic mood. Frank didn't blame him, Spot was different, he wanted to play with the neighbors sleek, black terrier more than he wanted to stay home. She was as good a mouser as the Cat. Spot was always looking for that green pasture just over the horizon.
Spot didn't have a Sally.
"Frank?" Sam whined, his puppy-eyes wide and curious.
Frank sighed sitting up, his eyes following a blue bird bathing in his water bucket. Once, oh once, he would have pounced and proudly taken his prize to Sally.
No more. His bones ached and Sally wasn't home much these days. Not anymore.
Frank grinned, swept up in wistful days-gone-by. "There was a time, see, when my human stayed home. And we played - all day."
"It was before your time Sam, so you wouldn't understand. But those were good days for Spot and I. Sally had this red ball and she would throw it, again and again! Can you imagine, running in the yard until we were both breathless, rolling in the dirt, imagine that, Sam?" Frank asked side-eyeing Spot and Sam who were watching him with riveted, wide eyed excitement at the thought of running.
"The sun was always shining, then."
Sam stared at Frank, his grey dotted brows drawn in consternation, his small white ears pricked and his pink tongue poking from his closed mouth. "What happened, what happened to the red ball and Sally, Frank?"
Frank sighed his bones creaking as he lay back down. "Something terrible, Sam," he propped his head on his paws, as the sun disappeared behind the mountains. "She forgot."
Spot nudged Frank and woofed, tail wagging merrily. "It was fun, eh, Frank? Frank?"
He didn't understand why his old friend didn't answer, "Frank?"
Young Sam with sharp eyes and pricked ears understood. Tipping his muzzle to the sky he howled into the twilight grey of falling dark until the neighbors yelled.
Frank couldn't hear them anymore. All he could see was Sally and she had the red ball again. It was just as big and shiny as it had ever been and she was smiling at him like she used to once upon a time.
"Oh, finally," Frank thought, bouncing to his feet he ran into the light.
Sally had remembered.
- the end