The Story Of a Girl And Her Dog

September 10, 2008
By Merilyn Stuck, San Diego, CA

Several tens of dogs were barking at us as we walked by, as if saying “take me home, take me home. I don’t want to sleep in a cage anymore”. My eyes had been watering from the dust to start with, but I thought I was going to cry now. Seeing all those puppy dog eyes, literally, made me feel bad that I could only get one.

My mom pointed to dogs with one hand, trying to persuade me to get something small and neat. But dogs weren’t supposed to be small and neat; they were supposed to be fun. The other hand she used to hold my sisters little hand. My sister was horrified of dogs, and she was cowering close to my mom, scared by the dog’s barks.

We trudged along down the isles of yapping canines, until suddenly I saw something who took my breath away. It was a moment I’ll never forget. There she is. A smart dog probably, because she is sitting in the shade, on a little green cot thing for dogs. My mom takes a quick glance at her and says “I can’t believe they’d sell wolves, that must be illegal” “she’s not a wolf mom” and I keep staring. She had a long snout, shaping perfectly to her face, which were both perfectly colored. She had shiny golden brown eyes, with a little beige spot above each eye, which looked like eyebrows. I read the little sign on her cage. It said: my name is Cora; I’m a collie mix who’s very smart and loves kids of all ages. But she was saying “take me home. I’ll be your best friend forever, and we can play fetch and you can take me on walks all day long.” “Cora” I said, trying out the name. It slipped past my lips nicely. I said it again. She raised her eyebrows, got up and meandered over to us. She sniffed each of our hands in turn, even my little sister, Michelle’s. I was last in the sniffing line, and when Cora got to me, she did something that won me over. She sniffed a little, then looked up at me, winked, and licked my palm. I laughed and looked at my mom, who looked dismayed. Probably because she knew I’d just fallen in love with a furry mutt that looked like she could eat an ape. “I’ll go sign the papers” sighed my mom.

On any other occasion I would’ve been miserable on that car ride home, but I knew I’d just found my best friend, and I was ecstatic. Even if she was drooling on me. We drove in a pickup truck, my sister in the front, and I squished in the little space behind the seats with Cora. I noticed that her tongue got bigger when it was hot. It felt like it was 95 degrees in the car, and Cora’s tongue was the size of a ping pong paddle. Also, she kept drooling on my knee, which was kind of gross, but I didn’t really mind. So on and on we drove for two hours, my knee soaking, back to a new life.

The author's comments:
In all perfect honesty, what inspired me to write this piece is today a 100 pound furball named Cora, my best friend, also known as "fluffin' muffin". All I can say now is that I believe in miracles and love at first sight because of her.

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