“Stupid dog! Now look what you’ve done.” With her arms around Jett and her head buried in the thick black coat, Maggie cried – for T.J., for her parents, for the ranch, for herself – the tears came like a flood, washing away all of the pressure and sorrow that Maggie had let build up over that past weeks. Wiping away the tears with her flannel sleeve, Maggie took a deep breath and got to her feet. Taking her mug of coffee to one of the lawn chairs strewn about the yard, Maggie sat down, and Jett laid his head in her lap.
“What are we gonna do, fella?” Maggie stroked Jett’s gleaming black head. “I get so tired of fighting battles day in and day out. Maybe I’m never going to be able to make a go of this dude ranch business; I just don’t know. I want to do what Daddy would have wanted; I just don’t know what that is.” Jett kept his black eyes on Maggie as if he understood every word she was saying.