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Friend for life
“Daddy will you ever buy me a puppy?” A little boy asked his father as he sat down to his bowl of cheerios and tall glass of orange juice. The boy was only 8 years old at the time but he was smart for his age. He knew that if he was constant about the puppy he would eventually have one. Seconds ticked by and he waited for a response. Deciding that he was no longer going to be unnoticed he climbed down from his chair and stood by his father’s side. The boy was now practically itching for an answer.
“Daddy C’mon don’t you want a puppy? His eyes now becoming full of tears.
The father looked away from the news paper his full focus turning to his son.
“Hmmmm... Well you know son, a dog is a lot of work. You have to feed it, walk it, pick up after it, give it a bath, play with it, and make sure it’s healthy. That’s a lot of work for a 8 year old. Trust me I have had a dog and its work. I don’t think your ready for the responsibility.” He looked away from his son.
“But dad! I can take care of a dog! I’m old enough to have some kind of responsibility around here! I’m not a little kid anymore. Let me prove it to you! How about I watch Mr. Nelson’s dog while he is in Texas? And if I do fine with his dog you let me get my own dog. C’mon you at least have to give me a chance.” The boy quickly looked at the clock and realized that the big yellow bus would be coming any second to take him to school. Not waiting for a response from his dad, he picked up his extremely heavy backpack and sauntered over to the front door. Thinking about that one dog he would have someday.
After the boy had gotten on the bus the day flashed before his eyes. He couldn’t even remember if he had learned anything new today. He couldn’t remember even going out for recess or talking to his best buddy, Zach. His mind had been somewhere else all day long. Perhaps on one thing, the dog issue. He was so busy thinking of ways trying to persuade his father to get him a dog. That he wasn’t even aware that he was in school.
“Alright kids I’ll see you tomorrow, have a good night and don’t forget about the history project that is due in three days!” Mr. Nelson tried shouting over the buzzing class as they vanished from the room. The room was vacant except for Mr. Nelson and Trevor.
Trevor was the last kid in the room. Just waiting to find the right moment to ask Mr. Nelson about sitting his dog. His heart hammering against his chest, for some unknown reason. He took a single breath and got up and started walking to Mr. Nelson’s desk up front.
“Mr. Nelson … Ahh... I was wondering if you had found someone to sit your dog when you were gone?” He finally choked out the words. Silence followed as the teacher looked up from his vast pile of test. He took of his glasses and took a breath as he looked around trying to understand what his young student had just asked him. Trevor trying to make eye contact pulled up a chair by his desk. And sat on the opposite side of the oak wood desk. Finally the teacher and the student made eye contact.
“Well … you know I believe that I have not found anyone to take care of my dog while I’m gone. I suppose if you think you’re up to it, I can let you take care of Boots. I’m going to be gone for two weeks. Just to let you know. If that doesn’t work I can always find someone else. And I can pay you 20 dollars. She needs to be fed twice everyday and you need to take her out at least three times so she doesn’t have any accidents in the house. She likes to play fetch and chew on bones so give her one of those too when you leave. So you have your work cut out for you. Think you can handle it?” he said as he was almost out of air. A grin broke across his face a twinkle in his eyes. Without hesitation Trevor immediately blurted out the answer, happy that he would have a chance at owning his very own dog.
After the short meeting with Mr. Nelson Trevor ran home and could not wait to tell his dad that he was that much closer to having a dog. That night at the diner table Trevor went on and on to his mother about: what breed of dog he was going to have, if he wanted a boy or a girl, what he was going to name it, what types of tricks he was going to teach it, where it was going to sleep. Basically anything that he could think of .Eventually he ran out of wind and had to stop for the night and head upstairs to get ready for bed.
“Mom do you think dad will ever get me a dog? I really want one and I know I can handle it. Don’t you think I can handle it? I mean I’m almost nine! I’m not getting any younger. You never know I could wake up tomorrow and be 56 years old, you know how old that is?! Just between you and me the girls really dig the lonely bachelor and the dog. So you see if I never have one now I might never own a dog. You see my dilemma?” the boy tried to elucidate to his mother one last time, as he climbed under the warm, welcoming covers.
Amused by her son’s discussion with her, she gave him a kiss and strolled over to the doorway. Light framing around her slim figure. She paused for a minute looking at her son in a joyful way. “Trevor... honey... I’ll see what I can do about the dog. I love you.” after she had said that she leisurely shut the door behind her.
“Cooper … Trevor really wants that dog. And well I think he can handle it. He’s almost nine and every young growing boy needs a good dog by his side. Granted I really don’t know that much about dogs, but I think having a dog would be good for all of us.” the boy’s mother whispered as she began to fall asleep in bed. Cooper did not respond as he was sitting by the window watching the rainfall outside. Oblivious that she was even talking to him. His mind was wandering back when he was a young boy. One of the many things he remembers from his childhood is his hunting dog, Booker. Booker was his best friend right until the very end. They did everything together; there was no better hunting dog around. But then everything gets old and ages in time. Booker died at the ripe old age of 14. After his death Cooper swore that he would never own another dog as long as he lived. He said that a dog is very good for some people, but when they die it will tear their world apart. And ever since then Cooper has never wanted another dog. For fear that a new puppy would reopen old wounds. The truth was that he wanted his son to have a dog. But he thought that he would be doing him a favor by saving him from the pain he knew would come at some point and time. But the real truth was that he knew that sometime he would have to get a dog for his son. He just didn’t want to see his son hurt like he was when his dog dies. Going back and forth in his head that night Cooper laid there for hours. Finally he turned out the light.
It was the first week Trevor was to take care of Mr. Nelson’s dog, Boots. And boy it was a lot of work. Taking care of that dog was like taking care of the whole zoo! The dog was nuts every time he came into the house she would bounce up and down inching closer and closer to his face. Once she had settled down he would dare to take her out to the yard and let her run around, chasing the ball maybe stopping midway to sniff a bush. After awhile he would hook her up on a leash and take her for a walk which turned into a run around the town. Eventually she would tier out and the run would turn into a pleasant stroll. Once at Mr. Nelson’s house he would let her in, give her fresh water and while she was occupied with a rawhide bone he would sneak out to the garage for two cups of dry dog food. Once inside again he would add three small spoons of wet dog food. Trevor would then quietly place the bowl of dog food on the floor. Then he would run because as soon as Boots realized there was food on the ground nothing would stop her. If Trevor was in her way she would plow through his legs, putting him on his butt. With Boots preoccupied with her food he would slip out the door shutting the door quietly behind him.
20 min after he had left Mr. Nelson’s house and the crazy dog. Thankful that nothing went horribly wrong he entered his own house. The warm welcoming smell of sugar cookies lured him into the kitchen. His mother standing over the sink doing some few dishes.
“Hi honey, how was Boots? Did everything go good?” she asked him still washing the dishes.
Laughing under his breath he said “That dog is so crazy and has so much energy that it’s crazy! I don’t know how Mr. Nelson can own a dog like that! I hope my dog never turns out to be that crazy. I just have one thing to say, I can’t wait until the two weeks are done!” sitting down at the table, kicking off his shoes, picking up a fresh, warm cookie.
“Well what do you expect Trevor? Its dog. What did you think it was going to sit in a corner perfectly? Did you think it was going to listen to your every word? Did you think this was going to be a breeze? See you have to do all of this when you get your own dog, And more then likely you will be doing it yourself when dad and I go back to work. But you give your dog what it needs and it will love you forever, no matter what you do, who you are, how mean or nice you are to it that dog will always love you.” she said in a some what mockery voice. Trevor picked up another cookie and walked to his room, his mother’s words humming in his mind.
The two weeks went by faster then Trevor could blink. Though he had a tough time admitting it sometimes he was sad that Mr. Nelson was coming back and that he wished he could spend more time with Boots. The first week was rough. But then the second week was great. Once Trevor really got to know Boots, the two got along just fine. The walks that use to turn into runs, stayed as walks. The once hyperactive dog when food was on the ground became the soft calm dog that no longer put him on his butt. He loved that dog now. He wished that he could keep Boots, she was Mr. Nelson’s dog and she didn’t belong anywhere else besides there. But maybe since he did such a good job with Boots, dad would let him get his own dog. After all he was very responsible with Boots. He decided that he would go out into the shed to talk to his dad about the agreement he had about the dog.
“Dad... Umm…I think that I deserve that dog I have wanted for the past three weeks. I have proved to you that I can be responsible for a dog. I have showed you that I know how to take care of it. I demonstrated that I can balance school, taking care of Boots, and keeping up with the chores around the house. And you said that if I could do all of that, you would get me a dog. I even have 20 dollars saved up. What do you say dad? C’mon it would be so great; you would be the best dad ever in the whole world, the whole universe. Please!” The boy said as he was whishing to hear the answer he wanted.
“Well I guess I wouldn’t be a very good dad if I didn’t keep my promise, now would I? You have certainly shown that you can take care of a dog and keep up with everything else. So the answer is yes. Congrats son, you have done it. You can get a dog. Do you know what type of dog you want? There are tons of choices out there. All you have to do is pick one. And it’s all up to you, I wouldn’t even tell you what kind of dog you have to get. As soon as you know you tell me and I will personally drive you down there and you can pick your dog out. Sound good?” he said as he got down to his son’s level.
“You know it dad! But I already know what kind of dog I want. I have thought about it a long time and I have finally decided that I want a Boxer. That is the one and only dog for me right now. So now that you know I have made up my mind can you drive me to pick up my dog?” his eyes full of bliss.
“Well I suppose if you think you have to.” He said as he laughed nodded
The every next day early in the morning, the every first thing they did was drive down to old Mr. Anderson’s house to pick out Trevor’s puppy. The ride there was only 5min but to Trevor it felt like an eternity. Once there Trevor bolted for the puppy kennels. He unlatched the door and made he was through the sea of bouncing puppies. In a matter of seven min Trevor had found a puppy alone in the corner. He walked over picked it up, as soon as he did that the puppy perked up and began licking him all over his face. Right there and then Trevor knew that this was his dog, his best buddy for life. He came out of the kennel puppy in his arms, his dad paid Mr. Anderson and off they went back to their house.
“So what are you going to name him?” his dad asked as he petted the puppy on the head.
“I think I’m going to name him Jet. He seems like he would be a Jet.” Trevor said as he wrestled with the puppy in his arms.
“Jet is a good name.” he father said as he pulled up to the house.
“Well son remember what your mom told you. You take care of that dog like you’re supposed to and he will go to the end of the world to please you. Plus he will always love you.
“I know dad! Me and Jet are going to be best friends. We are going to do everything together. I’m even going to let him sleep in my bed! I’m going to teach him how to hunt. And I’m going to teach him the coolest tricks you’ve ever seen! Yep me and him are going to be best buds for life.” He said grinning ear to ear as he carried the puppy to the house.
His father still sitting in the truck as he closed the door to the house. He had said those same words when he got his puppy, Booker.
“I know you will be best friends son,I know.” He said in a whisper to himself. A tear rolled down his face.