Gard's Dog

November 15, 2008
By Isaac Preiss, New York, NY

As the freeway's painted yellow lines blended in with the black pavement, Gard thought his last thought before going into a seemingly hypnotic state: I want to say goodbye to Scott.
Beauregard Victor, commonly known as Gard, opened his eyes. Everything was blurry. He blinked a few times. Still a blur. A man walked into the room that he was in. "Hello, Beauregard," he said. "I am Dr. Mitchell. Do you remember me?"
Gard frowned. He couldn't remember Dr. Mitchell at all. He couldn't remember the brown blob in the white coat that was standing in front of him.
Gard shook his head, and blinked again. Still blurry.
"Beauregard, I have been your doctor since you were born, okay? I'm Dr. Mitchell. I know you can't see me well, but I am African American, I am wearing a white coat, and brown sneakers. My eyes are brown, and my head has very little hair on it. Can you picture me, Gard?"
Gard squeezed his eyes tight and tried to picture it, but he couldn't see.
"I'm glad you're awake, Beauregard. Did you know that you have been asleep for a month now?"
Gard bit his lip.
"No? Okay, you've been asleep for a month now. You were in an accident, okay? We, honestly, didn't think you would make it, Gard, but you did. We need your body working soon, so I'm not going to wait to tell you this."
Gard sat up, confused.
"Beauregard, after the accident, you cracked your skull, and a fragment of it punctured your optic nerve. You were going to be blind."
"I can't see well, Doctor," Gard groaned.
"I know. The important thing is that you can see."
"I know, Gard, I know. We are going to see if we can fix that with, er... further surgery."
"Further? Doc, I didn't get surgery, did I?"
"Yeah, uh, Gard, you did. Major surgery, in fact. Brain surgery. We had to fix your optic nerve."
"I don't think you're ready for this information, Gard. We're going to give you a little shot and you're going to go to sleep, but-"
"No you're not! Tell me what happened!"
"Beauregard, please!"
Dr. Mitchell cleared his throat. "There were two options, Gard. Blind or visually impaired, uh, at another's loss."
"Who lost their sight, Dr. Mitchell?"
"Nobody lost their sight, Gard. We had to replace your optic nerve with, uh, somebody else's, so we had to, uh, disassemble their brain."
"An organ doner?"
"No, we had to use a live brain, and it would be illegal to kill a human."
"No, no, no. You didn't-"
"It was an animal, Gard."
"We had to get a safe one to use, and the only safe brain that we could use was, uh, a dog's brain."
"So you killed a dog to give me sight?"
"What dog?"
"Gard, you can't take this right now, come on."
"Gard, we had to use Scott's optic nerve."
"What? All I wanted- all I wanted in my whole life was to be with Scottie. You killed him?"
Gard started to sob.
The machine next to his bed showed his heart rate speeding up.
"BEAUREGARD, SNAP OUT OF IT!" Yelled Dr. Mitchell.
Gard started shrieking, and wheezing. He flung his arms every which way.
Dr. Mitchell clutched Gard's arms to hold him down, but the energy started pulsing in his legs, and he kicked Dr. Mitchell off of his feet.
Gard kept on kicking and flailing his arms and screaming for a few minutes, and then he stopped. He stopped crying, his arms stopped flailing, his legs stopped kicking.
A constant buzzing coming from the machine by Gard's bed, and the doctors left the room.

"SCOTT!" Shouted Gard.
The twelve-year-old blood hound came scampering over to Gard.
Scott lapped at Gard's face as Gard giggled with glee.
"The best part about this," Gard thought as he kissed Scott on the snout, "is that my best friend and I can see the same way now."

The author's comments:
This piece takes place in the future when this kind of medical technology exists. It is about a boy who learns that his dog died for him.

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