You don’t have to do this, he told us. There are ways to go missing. I will place the phone in that spot where I hide my bones. It will be safe and so will you.
We can leave suggestions explaining our absence. That we were thinking of playing a game where we hike through a blizzard with minimal supplies, or through the desert with minimal water. We can suggest that you were testing a theory that you could get all you need from cacti. We can leave visible clues about our plans to to fly over the Bermuda Triangle, and perhaps to various remote islands and mountain towns, accessible only via small planes, and leave notes about the rock-bottom rates we found for flights with independent contractors who used only first names and required a ten-page waiver. We can mail copies of the waiver to those places where you go.
We can go for our walks at night. You can wear your glasses and your hat and that thing over your face. You can carry a cane, put a vest on me. I’ll pretend I’m your guide.
Let me. I won’t even bark if they come to the door. Let’s hide together instead. We can go under the table and wait until they leave. We can keep them away.
Here is my head, take it. And my paw. Here, let me expose for you my softest flesh. Here I am on my back, is this enough?! I have been waiting for you, take it! You can, you can! You can stay. I will wait. Watch me.