“They both died?” Mel asked, looking at the shaggy mutt lying on her sister’s kitchen floor.
“Yeah,” said Tess. “She died two days after his funeral. It was so sad.”
“Wow,” said Mel. “Do you know how she died?”
“Maybe it was from a broken heart,” Mel added, looking back at Sammy, who hadn’t been his old active self since Tess adopted him after he lost his owners, the old couple who lived next door.
“Maybe,” said Tess.
“No wonder he looks so sad. He must miss them so much. Didn’t they have family who could take him?”
“No,” said Tess. “There wasn’t anyone else. I didn’t want him to end up in a shelter. I was probably the only other person he knew. I used to stop by and take him on runs with me a few times a week.”
“He doesn’t look like much of a runner,” said Mel, motioning to Sammy who had barely moved since she arrived.
“He hasn’t seemed very good lately,” said Tess.
“Can dogs get depressed?” asked Mel.
“I don’t know,” said Tess. “I took him to the vet yesterday. Just in case he’s sick. He’s not eating much or moving much at all. And it looks like he’s losing some fur on his belly. I guess it could be stress. But the vet did some tests and I should hear from her today.”
“I’m sure he’ll be…”
“Oops, hold on,” said Tess, checking her vibrating cell phone. “Speak of the devil.”
The room went quiet while Tess listened to the test results from Sammy’s vet.
“Yeah,” said Tess, still on the phone. “I’ll bring him in tomorrow.” She ended the call.
“Well?” asked Mel.
“Mold,” said Tess. “She said he’s sick from being around black mold.”
“How bad is it?”
“It sounds like he’s lucky,” said Tess. “He only started showing symptoms recently. I’m taking him in tomorrow to start treatment.”
“How did your neighbors die again?” asked Mel.
“I don’t know,” said Tess, knowing what her sister was thinking.