A guy of about eighteen was walking in the park. He slightly dragged both legs, making his walk seem a little strange. But his back was straight, his step was confident, his gaze was straight and firm. He was holding a dog on a long leash. She was very old, it was noticeable both in her slow, uncertain walk, in gray hair, and in her watery eyes. They walked alongside, and it was immediately evident that they were together.

    - Mom! Look dog! - The sonorous children's voice tore the familiar hum of the big city. “May I give her my sandwich?”
    Mila sighed heavily. It starts again. Dima has already tortured her with a request to buy a dog. Right kid and some Carlson. But Mila was categorically against it. First, endless puddles, then wool ... In addition, she perfectly understood that all the worries about the dog: walks, feeding, vaccinations, etc., would fall on her shoulders. Dima was still too small to be able to care for another living creature.
    - Dima, you know there is no one to look after the dog. I’m at work all day, you’re at school, and besides, you’re still too small.
    - And dad?
    - And dad, - here Mila’s voice treacherously trembled, fortunately, Dima because of age could not pay attention to it yet, - and dad didn’t have time to come to us to walk with a dog.
    Dima frowned. Mila sighed again, took out a sandwich from the bag, stocked up in case Dima got hungry during the walk, and gave it to her son. The boy went to a lying dog and carefully laid a piece of bread with sausage next to his face.
    The dog was already very old. He just lay on the grass of the park and waited for when this bright light, which irritated his sore eyes, was so dark. Suddenly, a little man appeared in front of him. He held out a piece of something that smelled delicious. The dog carefully took the treat and gratefully licked the sweet-smelling palm. The boy ran away and left, looking around all the time. The dog suddenly felt very warm. He closed his eyes and fell asleep.
    Forever and ever.
    A few days later, Mila went out with Dimka for a walk to the playground. Children frolic, roared, chased each other, rolled downhill. Dima also ran with everyone, laughing joyfully. He climbed the horizontal bar. Mila wanted to stop him, but did not have time. Dima fell down, flopped ridiculously and could not get up.
    Three months later, Mila, blackened with grief, brought Dima home. In a wheelchair. Doctors admitted that not everything was lost, but it was difficult to believe in it. Most likely Dimka will never be able to walk ever again. And Dima ... in an armchair ... serious and quiet, even at the age of eight, realizing that something very bad had happened ... He was no longer crying and was not afraid ...
    Mila rolled the carriage into the corridor.
    She sighed.
    And she opened the door to the next room.
    From there, funnyly waddling on short, crooked legs, a furry red puppy crawled out. He funny wrinkled his face and poked at everything with a wet black nose.
    “Dima,” Mila said, as she managed strictly, “you promised that you would raise the dog yourself.” It's time to keep the promise.
    Six months later, Dima got out of his chair. He got tired very quickly and sat back, but he could take several steps. And after a couple of months, he went for a walk with a puppy (now an adult dog) named by the ridiculous and incomprehensible name Bendik. Dima walked very slowly, holding Mila’s hand, uncertainly crossing his legs. But he was walking. Itself.
    10 years have passed. Bendik grew old, and already with difficulty moved his paws. And Dima, now Dima, was walking beside him, ready, if anything, to pick him up. And Dima knew that he owed this dog what was going on.
    They walked alongside. A young limping guy and an old dog. And they felt good together.
    © ZamDuD

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