Yesterday evening on the sidewalk one street over, I met Byron. He saw me from his driveway when I was still a couple of houses away, then waddled with his short legs in my direction, pausing first to moisten some plants by the curb, his ears almost reaching the ground. “Byron,” I said, “is that you?” And he replied with his mournful, gleaming, basset hound eyes, “Oh, what a world.” So I encouraged him with a scratch behind the ear and a rub on his head and nose. Then we walked together to his driveway. The garage door was open. A light was on. But no one else was about. The door into the house was also open. I raised my voice a bit and called, “Byron is out.” No answer. I continued on. Byron, though, stayed behind. He knew not to follow. And anyway, he isn’t young, and a few yards for him is a mile. Just as a mile for me is a precious, beautiful lifetime.