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Goldie lay down on the soft grass, her head on her paws. She looked up with bored eyes, as she waited impatiently for her owner to come home. Finally, she saw it--the big yellow bus. It rumbled down the street, then slowed to a stop at the end of the drive way. Goldie leaped to her paws and immediately wagged her tail. She barked with delight, and jumped up, pushing off her hind legs. Her small, golden tail wagged with excitement as she watched Katie step off the bus and onto the drive way.
As the bus drove away, Katie smiled at Goldie, and ran as fast as she could, her two golden braids flying behind her. She finally came to a stop a couple feet away and dropped her school things on the ground. Goldie continued to jump, and tried to reach Katie, but every time, she was snapped back by her cable. Katie ran up to her, and patted her thighs, calling Goldie's name. Goldie ran up to her as far as she could go, and Katie stroked the top of her golden head. Goldie instantly sat. All of the sudden, Katie stopped and pulled her hand away. Goldie looked up in disappointment.
"What is she doing? Does she really have to leave just now?" Goldie thought, "She hardly ever has homework"
Just then, a smile spread across her lips. Goldie glanced up in confusion. Before Goldie could even muster a whine, Katie turned around and ran off in the direction of the garage.Still confused, Goldie sat back on her haunches. She glanced over at Katie's school things.
"Katie would never leave these out here" she thought, "She must be coming back"
Just then, the garage door opened again, and out came Katie. She was still smiling and now she held something behind her back. Goldie got real excited then. She leaped up in the air, and wagged her tail. But as Katie got closer, Goldie stopped.
"Uh oh" Goldie thought, "I know where this is going"
Katie walked up to her with a huge grin on her face, showing where she had lost her two front teeth. She revealed what was behind her back, and Goldie's heart sank. It was a red bouncy ball.
"Out of all the things it could have been…treats, a leash…even shampoo! Why did Katie pick that?"
Goldie would rather have a hundred flea and tick baths then this. Nervousness pricked at her pads, as she remembered what had happened so many times before. Every time that ball comes out, Katie always says the same thing. "Come on Goldie, play ball!" she coaxes in an encouraging voice. But Goldie knew that no matter how many times she would try, she would never be able to catch the red rubber ball.
And every time Goldie didn't, Katie's face fell with disappointment. But then, she would insist that it was okay, and we could play a simple game of fetch, instead of catch. But Goldie didn't want to play fetch, she wanted to play catch.
"I'm only a puppy though, and with these short legs, and Katie's high throws, I'll never do it" Goldie convinced herself.
Though Katie wasn’t about to give up that easy. Every day, she would always encourage her, and they would try again. And every day, they would end up playing fetch, instead. Goldie was tingling all over.
"Today is the day I'm going to catch that ball" she convinced herself.
Katie waved the ball in front of her face.
"Come one girl, play ball!" she encouraged.
Goldie prepared herself, watching the ball closely. Katie threw it--hard.
Goldie ran after it, her paws skidding against the ground. She leaped as she reached out with her muzzle to catch the ball, and it dropped to the ground with a thud. Goldie skidded to a stop, staring at the ball in disbelief.
"Oh, well" Katie said, "We'll try again tomorrow, let's play fetch"
Goldie shook her head, her eyes still on the ball. She picked it up in her mouth and brought it back to her owner.
Katie stroked her head in return, and yelled "fetch!" as she threw the ball in the air. Goldie sat down, refusing. Katie looked confused. She waved her hands toward the ball.
"Go get it!"
Goldie didn't move a muscle. She simply stared at Katie, like she was waiting for her to do something. Katie marched over and snatched up the red rubber ball. She stomped back to where Goldie was waiting.
"We're going to try this again" she insisted.
Katie threw the ball, shouting at Goldie to get it, but Goldie refused. Katie returned again with the ball. She squatted down next to Goldie.
"What's wrong girl?" she asked, stroking her head.
Goldie looked up at her with pleading eyes. Katie appeared thoughtful.
"Hmmm...I guess we could try catch again" she suggested.
Right on cue, Goldie leapt to her paws, and jumped up, letting out an excited yip.
"Okay, ready, play ball!" she shouted, as she threw it up in the air.
Goldie watched it as it sailed in the air. Her paws thudded against the grass as she chased it. Her heart was beating fast, and when she got the chance, she leapt off the ground, sailing for only a few seconds, but for what seemed like forever. She barely got the round, slippery, rubber ball in her mouth, before she dropped to the ground, a perfect catch.
Katie ran over hooting and hollering.
"Hurray! Good job girl!" she cooed.
Goldie dropped it in the palm of her owner's hand as she stroked her head. Goldie wagged her tail in response.
"You did it!" Katie cried, "I can't wait to tell mom!"
With that, she raced over and picked up her school things. After she had swung her back pack over her shoulder, she ran as fast as she could and slammed the garage door behind her.
Goldie sat back on her haunches. Her stubby tail hit the ground, keeping beat to her excited panting. Just then, Katie reappeared, without her school stuff. She was holding something behind her back again. This time, Goldie was actually hoping that it was the rubber ball. But when her owner got closer, she could tell that that was not the case. A delicious scent filled her nostrils. Katie held out a chewing stick, and let Goldie grab it from the palm of her hand. Goldie lay down and started chewing on one side of it. As the delicious taste of bacon filled her mouth, Katie came over to her and patted her head.
"Good job girl, good job" she said warmly.
At that moment, Goldie swore that if she had been a cat, she would have purred as loudly as she could. After Katie had left to tell her mom, Goldie had time alone, with just her, and her delicious chewing stick. She licked her lips and smiled. Now Goldie knew that even though she was small, she could accomplish anything.