Like the tides before the moon, we are pulled towards death.
The world of this dying companion beside me shrinks as the mass in his lungs grows until eventually it will replace the air he now breathes.
He still enjoys his walks, though we do not go far now, up to the corner, where he stands, gazing off into the distance as if to see the places he has visited in the past and can only see now through the eyes of memory.
We are his companions on this journey, giving him extra care and attention, holding him close on cold nights, sadly watching as his body fades away, loving him as he has loved us these many years, the always faithful welcomer at the door.
Here on the crackling sidewalk in the leaf-strewn darkness, with the crisp air of the coming winter on our faces, we await the inevitable. He sniffs the air in expectation.
He is tired. This is as far as we can go tonight. I ask him if he is ready and we gently turn, heading slowly back down the hill to home.