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Forever and Ever
Hi, my name is Basil Morano, and I’m here to tell you the story of Sammy. Well, the whole story isn’t about Sammy, except for when he got kidnapped. It’s about his owner, Jo. If you really want to know, I work at the pet cemetery that buried Sammy. Before we closed him in his coffin and lowered him down, I read the letter Jo placed in his coffin, and it just about killed me, how sad it was. Now I’ve decided to write a story about Jo. The world should know how much one dog can affect a little girl’s life. Every pet owner should be just like Jo.
Jo was a tomboy that was seven years old. She lived in Georgia. Her real name is Juliette but she thinks that’s too girly. Every day she wears jean shorts with high mismatched socks and a T-shirt. Well, I’m not so sure anymore. It’s been 4 years since this happened. Anyways, she lived on a farm with her parents and dog Sammy. Sammy was her best friend; she didn’t have any other friends because everyone else thought she was weird. Jo and Sammy went on lots of adventures together. And now our story starts:
One day, Jo and Sammy were running up and down the rows of trees at her father’s peach farm, when all of the sudden Sammy collapses to the ground. “Sammy! What happened!? Get up!” Jo said. Sammy just whimpered. Since Jo was only 7, she didn’t know what to do, so she just dropped to the ground and started crying into Sammy’s furry back. As night fell and the sky got dark, Jo heard her mother screaming her name.
“Jo! Jo! Where are you? Come out darlin’—you’re going to miss the 5th of July fireworks!” Jo’s family had fireworks on the 5th instead of the 4th because her mom believed that people should celebrate the first FULL day of America, not just the hours after they signed the Declaration.
“Momma? Is that you?”
“Yes Juliette, it’s me, and come out of your Daddy’s peach farm before Sammy eats all the peaches!”
“Sammy can’t get up. He’s on the ground and won’t move his legs, and don’t call me Juliette ‘cause my name is JO!” Jo started to cry.
“Well I’m gonna go get your Daddy to fetch the wheel barrel to get him out, and for you, you go on and get washed up. Your Grandpappy’s coming and you know he doesn’t like a dirty granddaughter. And, Jo?”
“Don’t worry about Sammy. He’ll be fine.”
And with that, Jo left Sammy and the peach farm and went back home to clean up. Jo trudged up the stairs to the bathroom. She locked the door and looked in the mirror. Staring back at her was a girl with freckles-- or was it dirt? -- all over her face. Minutes seemed like hours as Jo just stared back at herself in the mirror. “Why is my life so difficult?” she asked her reflection, “Why isn’t Sammy okay?” (Jo is quite a drama queen). She looked up to the ceiling. “Seriously, God? Why? Why did you do this to me? Why, why, why?!?!?!?!?!” Jo started to cry, which slowly grew into a screaming, wailing tantrum. “Why?!?” She picked up the first thing she could find: her mother’s favorite bottle of perfume. She threw it at the mirror. Both the perfume bottle and the mirror shattered, and pieces of glass flew back at her. One piece just barely touched her forehead and scraped her. Blood dripped down her face. Jo still stood there breathing heavily with rage. “When you’re mad, Jo, you close your eyes and count to 10,” Jo said to herself. “1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10.” Jo slowly opened her eyes. She looked around at all the damage she had made. What have I done? she thought to herself.
“Jo! Thank god you’re out here! We’ve been waitn’ longer than a turtle running a marathon! What happened to your head darlin’?” Momma looked concerned at the three Batman Band-Aids that covered Jo’s cut.
“It’s nothing, Momma. I just scrubbed my face too hard when I was washing up.” A lie.
The 5th of July fireworks were a hit. All of their close neighbors came and celebrated with them, including Ricky Lacco’s family. Ricky Lacco, a.k.a. Goldie, is the most handsome boy in the whole 1st grade (2nd grade soon). People call him Goldie because of his beautiful blonde hair that sits on top of his amazing sun-kissed face. Jo has a huge crush on Goldie. She tucked in all her fly-away hairs and pulled up her shorts a little. As she was just about ready to walk over to him, her annoying cousin, Victoria (Vikki) said, “HEY JULIETTE I GOT PEANUT BUTTER IN MY EARS SO I CAN’T HEAR ANYTHING! HA HA! ISN’T THAT FUNNY!?”
“Shut up, Victoria.”
“SO WHAT ARE THOSE BAND-AIDS FOR???”
“Shut up, Victoria.”
“HEY! DON’T CALL ME VICTORIA. I AM VIKKI!”
“See, you can hear, and don’t call me Juliette either! By the way, nobody cares about your stupid ears with peanut butter.”
And with that, Jo stormed off and headed towards Goldie. She was just about 6 feet away from him when there was a strange coughing noise coming from Grandpappy’s direction. “Somebody call a doctor!” Jo heard someone shriek. She was pretty sure his chicken leg bone was stuck in his throat. Typical Grandpappy.
Oh, gosh, Jo thought. Well if everyone is going to pay attention to Grandpappy, I’ll just get out for here! I wonder where Sammy is…
Jo started to slowly back away from the situation. She got faster and faster and finally sprinted off to the back of the peach farm where the shed was. There, she found Sammy in a wheel barrel with ice on his leg. “Hi, Sammy boy! How’ve ya been doin’, huh? Good? Well don’t you worry because I’m here and I’ll get you all fixed up!” Jo climbed on the step ladder and goes the emergency phone off of the top shelf in the shed. She called her Aunt Amanda and asked her to come to the peach farm and enter the back way.
As Aunt Amanda got Sammy into her car, go whispered through tears, “I love you, Sammy. Forever and ever.” Aunt Amanda said her friend would take him to a “doggy-rehab.”
And Jo believed her.
CHAPTER 2- FIRST DAY OF SECOND GRADE
“Bye, Momma!” Jo yelled as she grabbed her book bag and ran out the door. If Jo didn’t hurry she was going to be late to her first day of school.
“Bye, darlin’. Your Daddy’s waitin’ in the car for you. Go on!”
Seconds later, Jo was in the front seat of her dad’s pickup and panting. “Let’s go go go!”
“I’ve never seen you so anxious to go to school. Is this because of Goldie?”
“Ummmmmmmmm...maybe. Just drive.”
Jo’s dad was right. This was because of Goldie. This was the first year that Goldie was in her class and Jo was sure that the 2nd grade would definitely be the best year ever. The only thing missing was Sammy.
“Class dismissed. I hope y’all enjoyed your first day!” Mrs. Fabrey said.
Finally, Jo thought, I get to talk to Goldie. I think I should tell him that I like him. I wish Sammy was here to tell me what to do.
Jo started out the door to the courtyard. Goldie was sitting alone on a bench drinking a juice box. Jo approached him. “Hey, Goldie. I just want to let you know that I…umm….I like you…umm…see you tomorrow.”
“Wait,” Goldie said. “I like you, too.” Then he got up, and just walked away.
“Yessssss!!!” Jo screamed as she jumped on her bed. “He likes me. Yesssss!!!! I wish I could tell Sammy.”
Every day after that, Jo and Goldie hung out after school. It was the happiest Jo had ever been.
After school, Jo walked over to her and Goldie’s usual meeting spot by the tree, but he wasn’t there. She scoped out the school-yard and found his black sweatshirt lying on the bench by the playground. She jogged over and sat down on the bench, just waiting for him. The night crept in and the temperature dropped as Jo sat there, waiting. Goldie was nowhere to be found. Finally, Jo got up and started walking to the bus stop. All was silent, except the distant sound of giggling. Where was it coming from? Suddenly, Jo saw Goldie emerge from behind a tree. Following him came a girl, rather pretty, with three pieces of licorice hanging from her mouth. “Come on, Goldie, come and get this licorice from me! I know you want to!” Jo didn’t break a sweat. Puh-lease! Like SHE’s prettier than me! HA! Anyways, Goldie has control. I’M with him, this weirdo girl ISN’T!”
“Okay, Sugar! I’ll come and get it!” Goldie then ran up to her and took in his mouth one of the pieces of licorice dangling from hers. Jo stood there in awe. How could he!? Jo sprinted away from the tree and ran all the way home; all five long miles. Now her life seriously stunk.
Momma hated it when Jo was upset; after all she was her only daughter, so Momma decided to homeschool Jo so she didn’t have any more social issues.
Months passed as Jo went on with life, being depressed as ever. It seemed as though Jo was fading away into nothing. It had been weeks and weeks since she had last smiled. This was seriously a problem. If Jo wasn’t locked up in her room, she was down in the kitchen being homeschooled. Sunlight hadn’t touched Jo’s face in over 3 months. And, the cherry on top of that was Aunt Amanda never returned Momma’s calls about Sammy. Where was he?
One day, Momma asked Daddy to go to the market to get firewood for the Great March Bonfire for the kickoff of spring. On his way to market, he saw a big brown lump on the side of the road. It was Sammy!
CHAPTER 3- LIFE AIN’T SWEET LIKE PEACHES
“Come on Sammy, let’s go!”
Jo had never smiled bigger. Finally, her only friend she ever had was home! Although she didn’t know where he had been before, she didn’t care. Sammy was her life. She would do anything for him. There was no living without him, but finally, she was saved, and she couldn’t be happier.
They ran through the peach farm for hours and hours, looking for a peach that could have survived winter. Finally, in the very last row of the farm, they found a lone peach lying on the ground. It was a weird green color. “Sammy! Look! We found one!” Sammy made a small, happy bark.
“Sure, boy. You can eat it!” Jo gave Sammy the peach; he devoured it. “Now, Sammy, where did Aunt Amanda take you?” Sammy just sat there staring up at Jo with his big, sagging dog eyes. “Whatever. We can ask Aunt Amanda. Come on, boy, let’s go!” Jo took off in a sprint with Sammy trailing behind her.
When they reached the house, Momma was on the phone. “Who you talking to, Momma?” Jo asked.
“A police officer” Momma mouthed out.
What could she possibly be talking to him about? Being careful not to let Momma hear her footsteps, Jo tried to eavesdrop outside the kitchen to hear as much of the conversation as she possibly could. She couldn’t really make out what the police officer was saying, but Jo heard Momma say, “My sister is a good person! She would never do anything like that!” What was she defending Aunt Amanda about? Jo thought long and hard. Maybe she got a speeding ti--
Jo’s thought was interrupted by a high pitch whimper. Worried, Jo ran over to where Sammy was. He was in the kitchen lying in a puddle of his own vomit. Just then, Momma got off the phone. “MOMMA!” Jo screamed with horror.
“What is it, darlin’?” Momma said, running into the living room. “Oh, gosh. The policeman was right…”
“What was he right about? What does this have to do with Sammy?”
Momma sighed. “Jo, sit down. I have to tell you something.” Jo sat down with a blank look on her, waiting to her what Momma had to say. “Aunt Amanda isn’t…well…a good girl, let’s just say. She takes animals and tests her makeup line on them and then drops them off a mile away from where they came from. That’s why your father found him lying on the side of the road by the market.”
There was a long moment of silence. Suddenly, Jo burst out of her seat in anger. “So what does this mean!? Sammy’s poisoned with stupid makeup and perfume and what not by HER?! AUNT AMANDA?!”
“Yes, darlin’. We’ll do whatever we can to save him.”
And sadly, our story must come to an end. The vet couldn’t fix Sammy. The chemicals in the perfume Aunt Amanda fed him went all over his stomach and intestines and slowly killed his insides, causing Sammy to die. You’re probably wondering how I know all these details, so let me refresh your memory. Jo wrote a very long letter to Sammy explaining how he died and stuff before that and she placed it in his coffin. My job is to make sure nobody puts bad things in a pet’s coffin, so it was my duty as a coffin-checker (and a nosy man) to read this letter. It inspired me to write this story to share with the world how much a pet can mean to someone. And even though I’m not in touch with Jo now, I’m sure she still loves him, forever and ever.