Mo could tell there was something different about his human lately. He was no longer leaving the house and he had began to disappear into video games as if he was hiding from real life. And as any loyal dog would, he stayed right by his human’s side and hid with him. It was almost as if he was tracking his human’s every move, which he did by instinct usually, but this time it was different. He could sense that something was off this time and was paying close attention to the person he cared most about in this world. Because when his human suffered, he could not help but suffer as well. Mo had witnessed his human in dark times in the past, but again, this time was different. There was a tone about it that invoked caution, not sympathy — because he was headed down a dangerous path of introversion. His tendencies to stay secluded, allow friends to come to him, and spontaneously take adventures as others presented them to him usually worked out for Mo. He was alright with staying dedicated to one human and leaving the rest to fend for themselves. He had grown attached to his human’s sister, but not in the same loyal way that he was with him. He would walk through fire and back to save the man he cared about most, and he was fully prepared to do so.
But this time, there was no fire for him to walk through and there was no perceivable danger for him to avoid. The danger his human was facing was his own reflection and tendencies, and there was nothing Mo could do to change that. So he accepted his human as he is and provided him the loyalty he needed. He stayed by his side and nudged him to get outside. He dropped a ball at his human’s feet to remind him that the sun was shining and exercise was needed. He finally allowed a whine to be released when his human slept for half the day and kept him trapped in darkness when he had been awake for hours. And he reminded his human when it was time to eat and that food was necessary for both of them. He cared for his human by providing him with someone to care for, and reminding him to serve the basic functions of living. He was the only friend that could do that for him and the only one who understood when he was struggling. If his human friends commented on his lack of activity or motivation to live, it would be met with a self-deprecating admission that he was fucking up. But when Mo approached him with question in his eyes, it was a question of care not one of criticism. It was the concern that was read in Mo’s eyes that made his human listen when he refused to listen to the reasoning of others. Mo knew him better than anyone on this earth and any human he had ever met, and he knew when he was struggling and just needed a friend to accept that and still love him. Mo’s love was the only love that he accepted openly and the only love the he allowed himself to rely upon. He was the only friend that he allowed himself to take for granted because he was the friend that would always be loyal to him no matter what. He did not neglect his best friend out of malice, instead it was out of a struggle to handle his own life. He could not even consider accepting responsibility for another when he could barely take care of himself, and he was well aware of that. But he did not need to take care of Mo. Mo took care of himself and his human. Despite not being able to accomplish the simple tasks of serving his own food or retrieving water from the sink, Mo was able to provide a care for his human that no one else could provide. He reminded him that life goes on and there are things you need to do each day in order to keep up. All Mo asked of him was to keep up. Nothing more and nothing less. And he accepted and loved him no matter how much more he did from there. He had no standards to compare his human to, because his human provided the only standards he needed and the ones he had always lived by. And he was perfectly content with that. His human provided him life, and the least he could do in return was breath life back into his.
So Mo stayed loyal by his human’s side in these dark times, and he accepted it for what it is. He provided love and understanding when others refused to do so, and carefully reminded him of his responsibility to him. If nothing else, he reminded his human that is loved and needed and provided him with a valid reason to want to wake up every day. Mo could not say where his human would be if they were not together, but it was something he never truly considered — because he knew that his human would always be there for him and he would always be there for his human. And that was just a fact of life. He did not have the capacity to consider what might happen in the future, although he knew that times were changing and that life was carrying on. But he knew that every day he woke up, he was with his human, and he trusted that that would continue for as long as he lived. And that was more than enough to satisfy him and more than enough to be thankful for. That’s all he asked of him, was to be there, and that’s all he asked in return.