Last Updated on May 5, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 477
Mike, Denny’s coworker, appears in the parking lot at the hospital where Enzo is sitting with Denny. Enzo hears Denny tell Mike that there is some kind of mass growing inside Eve’s head. No one will know if it is a tumor until they go inside, Denny says. Denny does not know how long Eve will be in the hospital, but makes plans for Mike to take care of Enzo until he finds out.
When Enzo arrives at Mike’s house, Mike’s roommate, Tony, takes the stuffed dog Enzo likes to sleep with and puts it into the washing machine. Enzo feels humiliated and wants to hate Tony for defiling his toy dog. Of course, Enzo also feels a little embarrassed that he still sleeps with the stuffed animal, the first toy Denny bought him as a puppy. He watches his favorite toy whirling around and around in the dryer, not knowing for sure how he will feel about the new smells of soap and water. But when Tony returns the stuffed dog to him, Enzo is surprisingly pleased. It smells good.
Now Enzo is at Mike and Tony’s, Eve is in the hospital, and Zoe is at her grandparent’s. Enzo feels depressed because the family has been so badly torn apart. Even when Denny takes Enzo back home, the family does not feel right. Denny does everything differently from how Eve used to do things. Denny is not even like he used to be before Eve. For instance, Enzo is no longer taken on walks or allowed to romp at the dog park. They rarely go out, and Denny never once orders pizza for dinner.
Eve’s parents note the strain on Denny’s face and offer to take Zoe for the weekend to give Denny a break. So the family members return to being just Enzo and Denny. But even now things are not the same. Certainly they are not like they had been in the beginning when it was just the two of them. But Denny does take Enzo for a few runs, and they even visit the dog park once. But while they are there, some fierce dog continues to threaten to eat Enzo, so he has to stick close to Denny’s side.
When Labor Day rolls around, Eve is still not home. The day after the holiday weekend, Zoe is scheduled to start kindergarten. Enzo and Denny walk Zoe to the bus. While they wait, Zoe informs her father that he has to kiss her before the bus comes. She does not want any of her friends to see them. After the bus leaves, a man who had been standing next to Denny asks if Zoe is Denny’s first child. Then the man says that watching the first leave for school is always the hardest.