The only friends the little girl had were her Chihuahua dog and her cat. The three of them played together for hours in the shed behind the old garage. Using cardboard boxes and boards and leftover material, she had transformed the little room into a home.
Piecing together odds and ends of old clothes, she fashioned baby clothes for her pets. The dog and the cat allowed her to try clothes on them as often as she wished. They knew they were loved.
Living out in the country miles from the nearest neighbor was never lonely with the dog and cat running around the acreage with her. When she stepped on a snake the dog would growl and bark and the cat would hiss and meow and they all ran on to the next adventure.
One day a stranger knocked on the door of the house. When she opened the door, the stranger with sad eyes told her how sorry he was, that the dog had run out into the path of his car on the highway. The dog he put in her arms was dead.
The little girl found the shovel in the messy garage, did her best to dig a hole by the shed, wrapped her precious friend in the clothes she had worked hard to sew by hand, and laid her dog in the hole. She knelt down and scooped the dirt over him by hand, she didn't want to take a chance that the shovel would hit her dog.
That was the first and last funeral she ever attended. To this day she has not been at a funeral. When her grandparents died she was not taken to the funeral. Children were not included at those occasions back then. The other grandparents lived too far away so when they passed away she was told about it later.
When a good friend passed away she had already moved to another state.
Now that the girl is within a few years of 70, she wonders if the first funeral she attends will be her own.