Derby and Hilde spent Halloween night together in the garage as we entertained a dinner guest and the horde of ghosts and goblins that trampled our front steps. This worked much better, than listening to Hilde’s yaps from her kennel every time little hands rapped at our door. The only time we heard from them was that moment when every evening when some stray dog runs by the side of the house and stops to investigate the back porch. When the excitement of the evening ended and Hilde came in, the storm hit for real. The roof rumpled as the wind trampled over it and the rain rapped on the windows. I heard Derby whimpering then and brought her into the study with me. After a while with me and kiss for our guest, she was happy to head to bed. The morning we rose in the dark on the tail of the storm and began our walk. A young black Labrador came to visit us. It was skittish and wouldn’t come close. I encouraged it with words and Derby with the wagging of her tail, but it vanished into the dark. Regardless of Derby’s insistent calls it wouldn’t return and I dragged my “pretty little girl” on down the road. We moved away so naturally it had to follow. We got to the empty lot at the end of the road and we waited for Derby’s friend to catch up. It zoomed on by and ran towards the other end of the side street.. In the rain and bluster Derby could see it watching us from the shadows at the far end of the street. But, all her whimpering and tail waging couldn’t summon a new friend.