February 6, 2010
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Another boring day of school had just ended, and I was walking home through a torrent, as rain lashed down upon me. It was quite a ways home, so my shoes were soaked, as well as my jeans and sweatshirt, not to mention the notebooks in my backpack. I was also chilled to the bone. Starting to shiver, I darted without thinking, down a narrow alley to my right, which led almost directly to my house. I was instantly startled by an almost pitiful sounding yelp, coming from further down. I’m pretty hopeless at containing my curiosity, so I hurriedly made my way down to where I’d thought the noise had come from. There, twitching weakly on the ground before me was a medium sized Golden Retriever. The dog’s fur was matted and drenched, and as I bent down next to him, he lifted his head up and pushed his wet nose gently into my hand. I didn’t know what to do; there wasn’t a tag on his neck or anything. With a sigh, I stood up.
“Can you walk buddy?” I said, patting my knee as I spoke. The dog looked at me with sad eyes and gave a small wag with his tail. “C’mon buddy, I’ve decided to take you home, but you’re going to have to walk, cause I really can’t carry you,” This time the dog tried to heave himself up, but I could tell it was taking a lot of effort. Groaning inwardly, I bent down and eased him into my arms. He weighed a lot less than I had been expecting, and I noticed that his ribs were showing, but still it was going to be tough. The dog whined softly, and rested his head on my chest. His soft brown eyes looked up at me, and somehow he looked less sad, and more content. He probably thought I knew exactly what to do. Truth was, I felt pretty lost, and all I knew was that I needed to get this dog home.

My arms were pretty much dead by the time I finally got home. My parents were both gone on a weeklong photography trip, so I didn’t have to worry about telling them I’d brought a dog home. The animal in question was lying on the couch staring up at me imploringly. I felt like I needed to do something, but I wasn’t sure what. Maybe I’ll make him take a bath later on, cause he had that gross wet- dog smell, and it was filling the room.

Later on that evening, I heated up some chicken for dinner. I guess it was dumb to think of eating it all by myself, for “Buddy” as I was now calling him, came racing into the kitchen to check out the delicious smell. He wasn’t looking so sad or lost anymore, and in fact, after eating up more than half of my meal; it almost looked like he was grinning. I think I’m going to like Buddy.

Now that he was content with a full belly, I gave Buddy a soapy bath which he seems to enjoy. The only problem was when he shook off and got me really wet. I couldn’t get mad at him though; in fact I laughed at his innocent grin! I let Buddy sleep on my bed that night and in the morning I was woken up by his wet tongue licking my face.
“Thanks a lot Buddy, just what I needed,” I mumbled lazily as I got up. After a breakfast of pancakes and sausages (which he enjoyed immensely) I decided to take Buddy for a walk, since it wasn’t raining anymore. I felt as if there were a million things I wanted to do with my new pal. I wondered why I never thought of getting a dog before, as this was turning out to be a really awesome experience for me. I was kind of just winging it so far, but I knew that dogs liked walks, so I had to be doing something right.
“Alright, before we head out, you have to promise to be a good dog and behave well, cause I don’t have a leash,” Buddy just cocked his head to one side, and looked at me curiously. I guess that was as close to an agreement as I was ever going to get. Thankfully, he actually did behave himself, and only chased two cats, out of the three we passed. “Okay, let’s head back now,” I said breathlessly. After chasing two cats, he sure looked a lot more energetic than I did. We started on our way back, me keeping a tight hold on the scruff of his neck, whenever we passed a cat, just in case. I started crossing the road to my house, when Buddy stopped suddenly, lifting his paw, and causing me to let go of him. “What’s wrong, Buddy? Let’s cross the road. C’mon!” Slowly he got up and limped slowly towards me. “What’s wrong with your foot?” I took his paw and lifted it up. A large thorn was stuck in his pad, embedded deep in his flesh. With a gentle tug, I pulled it out. “Alright, let’s get out of the road,” Suddenly Buddy stiffened, as a large van came hurtling towards us, veering in all directions. The driver was obviously drunk. My body froze. I was completely paralyzed. If I didn’t move, I was going to be smeared all over the pavement. A wet nose suddenly nudged me hard, and I staggered back out of the way. “No Buddy!” but it was too late. A moment later there was a tremendous thud, a stifled yelp, and I knew Buddy had been hit.
“Sorry man! Almost got you! Came the drunken voice of the driver, as he drove on without even stopping. I couldn’t bear to turn around. I didn’t want to see what I knew was there. Slowly I got up off the ground, and turned around. I stifled a gasp. “Buddy, No! Oh please no!” The limp form of my Golden Retriever whined weakly. His legs looked oddly contorted, and his breathing seemed heavy and painful. “You saved me, Buddy,” I whispered gently in his ear. He pressed his soft wet nose into my hand and gave it a small lick. I didn’t even notice that tears were running thick and hot down my face. His eyes slowly closed, and I felt him go limp.

I pulled him out of the road, to the sidewalk. I don’t even remember how long I lay there, hugging him as if I’d never let go. Somehow I managed to get home, carrying Buddy all the way; he deserved every bit of effort it took. I dug him a grave which was a good outlet for my pent up anger. Buddy needn’t have died! I realized that in only a day, Buddy had become a part of me. That’s how loveable he was.

Later that night, I went to bed imagining Buddy beside me. I’ll never forget him. I can only hope that his last day of life was the best it could’ve been. Buddy will always be known to me as the dog that not only changed, but saved my life.

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This article has 8 comments. Post your own now!

redhairCat This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jul. 21, 2011 at 3:53 pm
Oh - that was so sad!
Shayna121 said...
Jul. 20, 2011 at 3:56 pm
I HATED THIS!!! It made me cry and gurrrr...well actually it was really good but I hate crying :(
julian This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jul. 21, 2011 at 10:40 am
You know, that actually makes me feel really good! I know that sounds bad, but making someone cry over a story I wrote is a high compliment, especially if the story is meant to be sad. I'm glad you enjoyed it!
ZAVERY said...
Apr. 13, 2010 at 7:23 pm
Aww... I love the ending! Nice work on this!
julian This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Apr. 13, 2010 at 7:37 pm
Thanks! I actually wrote this story for a school project, but it turned out pretty good so I decided to send it in.
ZAVERY replied...
Apr. 13, 2010 at 7:48 pm
Wow! That's nice! What mark did you get? [Perhaps A++++++, etc]
julian This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Apr. 13, 2010 at 7:52 pm
Haha,no, but i got an A which I'm happy about!
ZAVERY replied...
Apr. 13, 2010 at 7:59 pm
That's great! Oh, I was kidding about the A++++++. Lol!
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