Sam wanted a dog. She'd been asking for it for years and when she finally gets the chance, she surprises both her brother and her parents by doing something very odd and bizarre...what is this odd and bizarre thing that she does...? READ THE STORY BELOW AND FIND OUT!
Precious: A Short Story
By Florrie Crowe
A.K.A. Bryanna Michelle Akins
It was something I had been wanting for years and years. Now is the perfect time for me to ask my parents for it. This time, they have to say, “Yes.”
I wanted…a dog.
But it was nothing they weren’t used to; at some point, every kid asks their mom or dad for some kind of pet they can care for. They may say, “Sure, we’ll get you a pet.” Some say, “No. Not now.” I asked my mom and dad four times and they said, “No” every single time I brought it up. I became more and more discouraged and I almost gave up. I was going to ask them one more time; if they gave me the answer I was expecting, I would never ask again.
The first time I brought it up was when I was five. Of course I was too young to care for it myself. They said that I couldn’t have a pet. I cried that day, but a few years later, I understood why they said what they said.
Two other times I asked them was when we moved two, separate times. One time was when they got an apartment. I was about nine when this happened. They said “No” because it was too small and they couldn’t afford it at that time.
I was expecting them to change their mind when we moved into our house five years later. But they said, “No.” Again. I had a hunch about why they declined my proposal; they both worked and I had school; they didn’t want some rotten, misbehaved mutt, tearing up and destroying their place while we were away.
But I kept asking them. I had to. All of my friends had pets.
My friend, Abby, has a cat named Chocolate.
My friend, Josh, had a snake named Grassy.
My identical twin friends, Dillan and Millan, had two dogs, Amber and Copper. They just got them last month.
Now I am in my freshmen year of high school and my mom works from home now and my brother just graduated. Now there were people that could keep an eye on my pet at home, if I ever do get one.
That, and open space, were the two obstacles that stopped me from having a pet of my own that I can love and care for myself. Now they’ve been removed; there’s no way they can say, “No” to me this time.
I was now sixteen years old. It was a nice, mildly warm summer day in June, and I was in the living room, watching TV. I was on the animal channel, watching a dog show. It had been on my mind all day this morning. I was thinking of how I wanted to ask them this time. Since I know they get mad when I beat around the bush, I decided I was just going to be direct and ask them straight out.
Suddenly, I heard the sound of my mom and dad from another room.
“Sam, honey!” Mom called to me.
“Could you come in the kitchen for a minute?” I heard my dad say in his usual, deep and booming voice.
“I’m coming,” I replied as I turned off the TV and set the remote down. I walked into the kitchen and saw my mom and dad, sitting in chairs at the dinner table. My mom’s auburn, red hair was in a side ponytail and her lips were a bright, rosy red color. My dad, being six feet tall with short, dark hair and a big, oval head, had on a blue t-shirt with black pants. My mom was wearing a plain, dark green dress with black pumps.
“What is it, guys?” I asked, sitting down in one of the wooden chairs.
“Well, Sam,” my dad said, “Your mom and I have been talking for a while now and we’ve decided…”
At this point, my interest was piqued.
“We are going to get you a dog!” My mom cried.
My eyes lit up like fireworks on the Fourth of July. I have been waiting for this my entire life! I’m getting my own pet dog!
I jumped up with glee and screamed so loud the shriek reverberated off the walls and turned the whole house into a loudspeaker. I hugged my mom and dad tightly as they wrapped their arms around me. I told my older brother the good news; he was equally overjoyed. Now it’s time to go find that one dog I’ll spend fifteen to twenty years of my life with.
The animal shelter was fifteen minutes from our house and nearby my school. They had a lot of dogs and cats, but not much of anything else as far as other pets goes.
We all got out of our SUV and walked through the doors of the shelter. All I heard were barks, meows and people’s cheerfully loud voices as they walked around, looking for a dog or cat to take home.
I didn’t want just any dog. I didn’t want a Labrador, or a Golden Retriever, or any of those typical dogs that people had. I wanted a dog that was unique, one that was unlike the others. I wanted one that stood out from the pack.
As I walked around the kennels, the dogs I saw were various and diverse. I saw Labrador, Chihuahuas, Jack Russells, German Shepherds and much more. But none that I wanted. I walked all around the kennels, trying to pick one, but none of them stood out to me. I was getting more and more discouraged as each minute passed by like hours.
Then suddenly, I saw a cage in the corner that everyone else around me was overlooking and skipping without giving the creature inside a passing glance. Was there a monster in the cage? Was there a dog in there? Or was the cage just empty?
I got up from my bench and walked slowly to the corner kennel. There was barely any light that could show the creature inside in any way. As I got closer, I saw a darker, four-legged figure, sitting curled up in the corner of the dismal cage.
I looked into the kennel and my eyes gazed into the ones of a dog with most unusual features. It was a small dog, about the size of a cat, but it didn’t have any fur. Instead, it was all hairless, with its dark skin exposed to the light above. The only hair on its body was hair on and around it head and hair around its paws. There was a tuft of straight, white hair on its tail that laid flat on the concrete.
Its hair was white and the hair on its small, apple-shaped head made it look like the dog was wearing a wig. The hair around its feet looked the hair you’d see around a Clydesdale horse’s big hooves. The hair around this dog’s feet flared out like bell bottom jeans. The dog’s face was hidden in shame by the “wig” the dog bared. It looked as if the dog was embarrassed and sad…and alone.
I tapped my hand on the cage, making the metal jiggle and make noise. The dog’s head snapped up as it stared at me in the darkness. Its eyes were very dark in color, and the dim light made two, little, twinkling stars shine in its eyes.
“Hi there,” I mumbled in a high pitch as it tilted its head to the side and panted with excitement.
“Come here.” I called to it. I didn’t know if it was a he or she. But nonetheless, the dog got up and trotted happily towards the cage and sat in front of me, with only the cage separating us.
There were dog treat dispensaries for the customers to feed the dogs as they pleased. I got out my corn kernel-sized pieces of food and put it through the wire.
The dog stretched its head towards the food, sniffed it and happily ate the pellets of food. After that, the little cheery dog got up on two legs and leaned its front paws on the cage, trying to reach for me.
I put my fingers through the slits in the cage, being wary and cautious if it decided to bite me. But instead, it did quite the contrary. It licked my fingers eagerly, sticking its small head through to try and reach my face.
“You just want some love, don’t you?”
The dog just kept licking my hand. This dog was different, unique, weird and a little ugly. But I liked it. She was nice—the dog was a girl—and she was waiting for someone to come along and take her home.
I liked this dog a lot. It was different; it was well-behaved; and it stuck out like a sore thumb compared to all the other furry dogs in the kennel.
“You want to go home with me?”
The dog tilted it head and started yipping and barking with glee and immense joy. It wanted out and it wanted out now.
The dog’s tail was flapping back and forth like a person, waving a flag. The dog turned its head around and started chasing its tail in a tight circle until it fell to the ground, panting tiredly as it focused its dark eyes on my face.
“You’re the one.” I tried to imagine if the dog had a small tiara on her head. In my head, she looked like as princess. I knew right from the moment I saw her that she was going to be MINE…ALL MINE.
She was my dog. My first dog. She was a treasure to me now. She was precious to me. She was a milestone in my life: she was going to be my first pet.
I turned around and my parents and brother were standing over me.
“This is the dog you want?” My brother, Daniel, asked.
“It’s ugly, though.”
“She’s not ugly; don’t say that,” I scolded. “She’s just different.”
Then one of the animal shelter workers knelt down next to me.
“Is this the one you want?”
“Yes, it is.” I said. “What kind of dog is she?”
“A Chinese Crested dog.”
He unlocked the cage and the dog leapt into my arms and licked my face until I was slobbery and wet with dog saliva.
After getting her chipped and fitted for her collar, we shopped for all of her supplies and went to the front desk to get her I.D. tag made.
The machine that made the dog tags was made into the counter and incorporated into it. I looked at all the different shapes: hearts, squares, triangle, diamonds, bones, stars and tiaras. Of course, I chose the tiara for my little princess.
And finally, when the tag was chosen and the worker put it into the machine to be engraved into, he asked me a very, very important question. One that every dog owner had to answer at some point in their life.
I already knew what it was.
“So, Sam…” The worker had his hands ready to type up a word on the machine’s little keyboard. “What are you going to name her?”
“What will I name her?” I picked her up and lifted her up over my head so I look right into her eyes with elation and happiness that I had been longing for my whole life. I cradled her in my arms as I answered his question with confidence and pride and bliss.
“I will name her…Precious…”