Broadway had become a familiar place for Charo, he would walk around and enjoy himself, whenever he had the chance.
One day, he was passing by a small bookshop, and saw...
Yes, it was Sirius, the elite police dog.
He was lying in the sun right in front of the bookshop.
He looked up and saw Charo.
Instead of the strong sharp glance, it was a certain calmness in his eyes.
"Charo! What are you doing here?"
"I'm... I am taking a walk. Are you on a stakeout?"
"No, no. I work here as a ... watchdog, so to speak."
Charo was surprised.
Sirius quietly smiled at him.
"Why don't you sit down? You're not in a hurry, are you?"
"No, but... I still don't understand."
"Well... it's a long story. You know how I was sent away for re-training, right? Since then, I worked so hard to win back Catherine's trust. Really hard. But you see, Charo, sometimes, things just don't work out right. I blew it, every time I was given a chance. So here I am, nice and retired.
"Retired! Then you're with... a new owner?"
At that moment, a customer came out together with a woman.
It was Catherine.
"So, I'll phone you as soon as the other books come in."
"Okay, thanks again. Bye."
Sirius barked gently.
"How are you, partner? I'll be finished in a second, and we can go home. Okay?"
Saying so, she went back into the shop.
She looked different, much more relaxed, but still very lively.
"Did Catherine quit, too?"
"Yes. Her parents decided to retire and move out of the city, so Catherine took over their bookshop. She always wanted to. She loves books."
"I thought I would never see her again. But she took me in, the moment my retirement was announced."
"So that's why..."
"Uh-huh. Catherine and I, we've been through a lot together. And I always thought that she loved me as a competent police dog, nothing more, nothing less. I was wrong. I now know that she loves me just the way I am. I am her true parter and will always be."
"There's even more to it. The other day, I was walking in the park with Catherine. I stopped by a small but beautiful flower, and realized how much I had missed out on. Now with Catherine, I can appreciate even the smallest things in life."
Sirius and Charo smiled at each other.
"I... uh... heard about Dread. I'm really sorry. He was a good guy."
"He once asked me to look after you."
"In case something happen to him. He wanted me to help you, with your dream to go back to Japan. That dog, he cared about you."
It still hurt to be reminded of Dread's death.
But recently, something inside Charo had changed.
Rather than Dread's absence, he was now feeling his presence. He felt safe and protected, even more so than before.
"And in order to keep my promise with him, I have been studying."
Sirius led Charo into the bookshop and stopped in front of a shelf.
"See, all of these books are about Japan. I've leaned a lot. Hem, hem. Japan is located in the Pacific Ocean, some 6,000 miles west of California, 14 hours from New York by plane. Staple food rice. So far correct, right?"
"Uh... yes, I think so."
"Recent popular dog types are dachshunds, chihuahuas, poodles..."
"You've studied all this for me?"
"Sure. I mean, if I am to help you get back, I need to know about your country, don't I?"
"Yes. Thank you, Sirius."
Charo was moved.
Sirius' help may not be well practical but it was certainly out of good will.
Sirius cared about Charo and that was enough to make Charo happy.