Twelve

by Tom Swift

He’s got more nicknames than a boatload of sailors.

Barry.

Bonzo.

Barry Bonzo.

Buddy.

Little Buddy.

L.B.

B.

Dude.

Duder.

Doody.

Lately, for reasons passing understanding, I have begun calling him Brother.

Two days ago, Brother Barry turned 12.

Tonight, he and I went on 48-minute loop through the leaves. Even made it down the steps to the path along the river. He always wants to go down the steps to the path along the river.

After our walk, he had enough pep left for a quick game of snout soccer. Not all of the days are like this. But, still, after 12 years, few things give me more pleasure than watching him run. Especially when he’s having fun.

I wonder what I will start calling him next.

I mean, besides best friend.