I like dogs because among animals they are the most loyal friends of a person. It’s even difficult for me to live and work if I do not have a good dog at home. I always grew them myself and brought them up.
Soon our chief expert in dogs and judge Alexander Alexandrovich Chumakov called me on the phone and said that there is such a dog in the city of Orekhovo-Zuevo, not far from Moscow. The dog, as Alexander Alexandrovich said, was very handsome and strong, and called him just like my last dog friend, Tomka.
For a long time without thinking, I went to Orekhovo to buy a dog.
I liked the huge setter at first sight. To meet me, he only slightly lifted his smart, shiny head and, on the orders of his master, stepped forward, severely and with dignity. The owner set a short price and, not looking any more at me or at the dog, turned to the wall.
I did not bargain, counted the money and put it on the table, took the belt leash extended to me by the owner’s wife, and he himself fastened it to the dog collar. On the street, to the car, we went out together with the owners of the dog. Tomka sat in the back seat, by the right window. I sat next to him. When the car started, Tomka shuddered and looked back. After Tomka, I also looked back. His old master was standing at the gate, I thought, thoughtful. The owner’s wife was wiping her eyes with a handkerchief. A strong wind blew.
All the way to Moscow the dog unexpectedly quietly sat in its place. He went up to my apartment as if calmly.
All day Tomka lay motionless near the table, next to the window, laying his muzzle on the low window sill. At dusk, when it became difficult to distinguish the faces of passers-by on the street, he got up, approached me – I was sitting on the sofa, at another table – and suddenly he dropped his heavy head to my knees. I was afraid to move.
Five minutes passed, ten. By the light, slightly noticeable swaying of the dog’s body, I realized that Tomka was dozing. Twenty minutes had passed, half an hour. My feet became numb, it was becoming harder and harder to sit, and at last I could not stand it.
“Tomka,” I said plaintively, “wake up.”
Dog only sighed in a dream.
“Tomka,” I said, a little louder. – Tomka! I’m tired.
I took it by the collar and gave it a slight shake. Tomka snorted, trustingly reached out to me with his whole body and... only then opened his eyes. And suddenly. In the dog’s dark pupils, horror flashed. Tomka bared his teeth and snarled angrily and irreconcilably. I tried to persuade him, to calm him down.
– Tomka! Honey, good.
The growl grew like thunder. Tomka was raving. He had just dreamed of a home and an old, beloved host. And now he saw that he did not have a home and his friend, whom he had devotedly devoted to so many years, did not, either, perhaps never.
He growled again and rushed. I barely had time to grab his collar. In my hands, he seemed to have calmed down a little, but all night long he lay alert and spiteful near my sofa. When I moved, Tomka roared menacingly, the wool on him rose on end. The man who deceived him and took him away did not dare move with him.
On the third day of our life together I realized that I would not be able to tame Tomka: he loved his old master too much. For three days Tomka lay in a corner, by the window, without sleep, without touching the food. He missed and tormented like a man. I was also tormented. I already fell in love with Tomka for being faithful.
Towards the end of the third day I gave a telegram to Orekhovo-Zuevo: “Come and take the dog back.” She can not get used to me. ”
The master came for his dog immediately, by night train.
Tomka was the first to hear his steps on the stairs. He still did not believe that his beloved man comes back. When I opened the door and the owner entered the room, Tomka did not rush to him, did not bark and jump. He just wagged his tail, lay down on one side and closed his eyes. Maybe he was afraid to wake up again. Then he turned and, like a little puppy, fell over on his back. In a canine way it meant, probably: “You see, I can not live without you. It’s good that you came back.”
The same night, Tomka left with his friend, the landlord. Tomkin master realized that friends do not sell, but I – that friends and do not buy for money: friendship and respect must be earned.
At parting Tomas reconciled with me. He approached me and touched my hand with his cold, wet nose. He seemed to apologize for his behavior. Disappearance of the host was temporary and not terrible, and there was nothing to hate me for.
I went out to see them off. The car came up. They left. Now I stood at the gate and watched them go.