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Lucy woke up and smiled to her self as she was yawning, today was her dog’s 1st birthday. After she got ready for school that morning she went outside to give her dog some love and a treat or two. Normally she just went on with her business and went to school, but after all, it was her most important birthday. Off to school she went, leaving through the back gate in a hurry as not to get the newly clean floor muddy or miss the bus.
The day went by as usual, nothing important going on except for the fact she got no homework (very good). On the bus she got to thinking about that morning. Her dog was going to have a great 1st birthday! Deeply racking her brains for something fun to do with her wonderful fluff ball, a horrifying thought struck her; had she left the gate open!? No, she couldn’t have! Did she?
As soon she got off the bus she ran to the back gate in a desperate attempt to get through and see her pup. The gate was shut after all. Running into the backyard relief swept through her, then a growing sense of the cold realization that Shasta wasn’t there. Her only question for that short time was; “WHERE IS MY DOG?” The question seemed to scream into the yard for an eternity.
Her mom heard her and came running out to see what was wrong.
“Mom, where’s Shasta?” Lucy stuttered trying to remain calm.
“What do you mean; I thought that she was with you Lucy.” Her mom said in a confused manner, “Weren’t you walking her around the park where you usually do?”
Then it all became as crystal clear as a D diamond to Lucy, her mom had, without meaning to, locked Shasta outside of their gate when she was gone doing running around the town. What if she had tried to come home and found that her only way in, the gate, was locked? What if she had wanted to be in the comfort of her own doghouse but instead had to go and lay in the park in a bush somewhere for protection? Her poor puppy. At first she was going to blame her mom for this horrible happening, but then her good side found the better of her.
“Where do you think she could have gone mom?” She was near despair.
With a flick of her wrist her mom had the back gate open and was heading to the car to get her keys, explaining to Lucy where Shasta could have gone and calming her own nerves all the while. They exhausted all places where she could have gone and it took all day. (The nearest parks, neighbors’ backyards . . .) By the time they got back it was well into the evening and the stars were starting to peek through the blanket that was the clouds.
When they got back home they were ready to drop, and her mom did, she didn’t give it a second thought as she ran into bed. Lucy, however, decided to go into the backyard one more time, with a false hope in her heart that something other than nothing was there. She looked out the clear sliding-glass door through the curtains and thought she saw a grey silhouette in the porch light as it walked just out of her view. Her heart skipped a beat. No, she thought, it can’t be.
Just incase she was wrong, she ran outside with the tiny sliver of hope slowing swelling in her heart until she knew that Shasta was there. “SHASTA!” She shouted to the “empty” darkness.
She heard a rustling in the leaves. At first she got scared, but then she saw an eager and sheepish grey head run into her view. For the second time in less than thirty seconds her heart skipped a beat. . .
She went in and woke her mom up from her peaceful nighttime slumber with a bunch of wet, slobbery kisses. When she finally came out of her dead sleep she saw Shasta and was just as excited as her daughter, but she was so tired she didn’t know why; “How’d you find her?” she asked, half asleep.
“She was in the backyard, I went and looked one more time and she was right there, just heading to her doghouse and hoping not to get caught until morning.”
“Oh.” She muttered barely awake. She didn’t even know what she herself was talking about, much less her daughter. That’s how tired she was.
That night while everybody was asleep Shasta went to her doghouse and thought about her wonderful birthday trip. Nobody but her would ever know where she went.