The Boney Old Dog
David kissed Mum goodbye, as he swung on his coat, and headed out the door.
“Stay safe, David.” Mum called, as he closed the door.
Today he was going on a three mile walk. There and back was six miles. It was late June. The cicadas where humming in the over head trees. The warm gravel that had been sitting in the sun that morning crunched beneath his feet as he walked along the sunny road.
He thought he heard something in the brush behind him. He froze and waited. he heard it again. He swung around on one heel to see what it was. Nothing, or no one, was there. He kept walking, but a little faster now. He began to whistle to keep his mind off it. Then he heard heavy breathing and the patter of what sounded like feet running towards him. He felt his heart skip a couple of beats. He felt the zing of adrenaline flood his body. In less then two seconds, his mind scanned through everything it could possibly be.
“A bear.” That was his first thought. “A moose?” “A deer?” When he saw it, he almost took a run for it,but then he looked closer. It was a dog--an old, boney German shepherd dog. She didn’t look like she was trying to attack. She didn’t growl or bare her teeth. She didn’t bark. She just simply ran towards him breathing heavily. She did not wear a collar, and her bones were very visible and looked creaky
David stooped down and held out his hand to show he wasn’t a threat. She stopped about three feet away from him. She looked at him with curiosity in her eyes. David shifted his weight to his left foot. she flinched and took a few steps back. She looked so scared.
“It's okay, It's okay,” he murmured to her kindly.
She stepped closer to sniff his hand--one small step at a time, taking much precaution. Then, after a lot of sniffing, she used her cold wet nose to flip his hand onto her head. She wanted him to pet her.
“Good girl,” he whispered.
David didn’t finish his walk; he took her home. When David got to his yard , Mum saw him coming. She ran over to David and pulled him away from the dog.
“Get away from her! She might have rabies!”
“Rabies is a 99.99% fatal disease that turns animals vicious, Mum.” said David. “She is very kind.”
Mum looked at the dog with an expression as if to say “I don't trust you, Missy,” but after a little convincing, she let him keep her. Mum bent down to pet the dog. “Only if no one comes for her within the next month.” Only then can you keep her,“We will put up a poster in the corner store, okay?”
“Yes Ma'am!” David said very joyfully.
No one ever did come for the dog. Months flew by. David decided to name her Jolie, in French it means pretty. Jolie became more healthy and less old and boney-looking over the months. Jolie became pals with David's other German shepherd dog, Scout.
Christmas morning came. David opened all his presents. He liked them all, but his favorite one was an early Christmas present he got about one week earlier. David's sister was a veterinary doctor. He took Jolie to the vet's office were his sister worked. David's sister said that in about five weeks, Jolie would have seven puppies. That meant there was only four weeks until Jolie would have her puppies. David was so happy he declared that Christmas to be the best out of the twelve Christmases he'd ever had. And, so it happened Jolie had seven puppies.
Jolie died, five years after David found her. She was thirteen years old. In dog years, that’s ninety-one years old! She was buried in a meadow near the place David found her that day he went on a walk. David kept Jolie's first pup, and named her, Peu Jolie, which means Little Pretty One in French.
(The End in French)
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