The night I came back from Germany, Cairo jumped from the floor and leaped up to smother my face with slobber. She ran around my legs and licked my ankles and barked at my face. She ran around the living room barking at the walls, the fireplace, the windows, until I knelt down to hug her. She pounced me.
“I can’t remember the last time Cairo’s been this happy,” Dad said.
“I didn’t know she could move…” Ana said.
“Wow! She lives!” Marina, the French girl, said.
“She’s turned into a bear,” I said, laughing and wiping globs of slobber from my cheeks. “You’re a bear, aren’t you Cairo? What have they been feeding you?”
I brought my suitcases upstairs and slept on the air mattress. Ana and Marina slept on the bed. Before we turned off the lights, Cairo ran in and didn’t stop until she pounced on my face. Lick lick lick with that pink and black tongue. “I love you too, girl. I love you. Awww, yes, I’ve missed your big kisses.” I looked at my shirt. Gold-colored fur balls.
Mom finally had to drag her out so Ana and Marina could sleep.
Since the night I got back, Cairo checks on me every night. She walks to my room, sits at the doorway, and stares at me straight in the face. Don’t you think about leaving again, I hear her say. After she finishes the staring contest, she sits up, gives me a couple licks on the foot, and walks back to Mom’s room. It is the funniest and cutest thing ever.
It’s been almost a year and Cairo still checks to make sure I’m in my bed before I go to sleep.