“Tough life out here, huh, boy?” She stroked his ears, his thoughts moving up through her hands. He was old, and it hurt to swallow. He had run away from a man who came home drunk some nights and kicked him. It made her throat tighten and her eyes wet. “That’s bad. I’m really sorry.” Some people fed him, but mostly he ate garbage, and he hurt every night when it got cold. He hurt all the time. He wanted peace, and he looked right into her face to say it.