Part 2, Chapters 3-4 Summary
A few weeks after Gar’s funeral, Edgar begins to have dreams about his father. In Edgar’s dreams, Gar is doing simple, ordinary things, such as going for the mail or walking along the fence lines. One night Edgar dreams that he and his father are walking through the springtime woods, even though in reality there is snow on the ground. Gar has told him something important, but Edgar cannot remember what it was. He decides he does not want to tell his mother about his dreams; instead, he intends to keep them as if they were memories stolen back from time. She can tell that Edgar has been having dreams of his father, but she does not push him to tell her about them.
Trudy instructs Edgar more fully on the art of training dogs. He learns that he must make it clear to the dog what he wants it to do even before he gives the first command. Trudy is tough on Edgar, but he knows that this is necessary if they are to make a living from the kennel without Gar. Doctor Papineau comes to dinner and sees how tired both Trudy and Edgar are. He states that the job requires three people and mentions that Claude is still in town, helping him at the vet’s office. Trudy refuses to consider Claude as well as any hired help. Doctor Papineau warns her that there is not a lot of slack should something happen. Trudy accuses him of being merely concerned about his “investment.” After Doctor Papineau leaves, Edgar learns that the vet has a ten-percent interest in the kennel, having given Gar a loan when it was needed. Edgar now understands why Doctor Papineau never charges for his visits to the Sawtelle kennel.
Almondine, in her own way, grieves for Gar. She follows his scent along the fence line and through the kennel, each place where Gar had walked. She knows that he is somehow gone and is not coming back. She had watched Gar’s casket lowered into the ground, but she has no concept that Gar is in that grave. She sits by his chair, and gradually throughout the spring, Gar’s scent begins to disappear. Trudy and Edgar are dealing with their own grief and do not think that Almondine is also mourning for Gar.