NOTE: VERY OLD! Fifth grade!


"Grandma, tell us about your dog, Laddie, again."

                "Ahhh.  I remember that dog well.  I remember walking home from   school on the third -- no the second day -- of sixth grade and seeing a movement in the bushes.  I heard a whimper, so I had to see what it was.  He was a mutt that's for sure, but he definitely was part Collie.  This dog, though, was shiny black with tawny ears.  It looked up at me with sad eyes and whimpered again.  It had no collar but it looked like it belonged to someone.  It was pretty well fed and clean.

                "I decided that his owner would probably come find the dog and figured I better get home and hurried on.  That night, I couldn't forget the dog.  The next day I remembered that, in my dreams, I saw the mutt hiding behind the trees, and wondered if it meant something.  I got ready for school went out the back door and headed off.  At recess, my best friend and I were playing catch in the school yard.  I missed the ball and it rolled toward the forest nearby.  There at the edge was that dog again.  It picked the ball up in his mouth and brought it back to me.  I was surprised!  My teacher asked if it was my dog.  I sat down next to it, pet him behind his golden ears, and said 'Yes!'.  The teacher said to tie him to the open gate and come back inside for school.

                "After school, my friend and I raced out to see the dog.  He was trying to bite through the rope so I untied him from the gate.  My friend asked why I had said yes to owning the dog.  It was something I just couldn't explain.  I shrugged my shoulders and said that he just seemed like he was my dog.  I knew it was wrong, but I couldn't stop myself.  My friend and I headed toward home checking back every now and then to find that the dog was following us.

                "When I got home, the dog raced right on into my house.  There and then I decided that Laddie was a perfect name for my new pet.  The dog sat in the middle of the kitchen.  My parents were in the dining room and couldn't see him yet.  I walked into the dining room and shakily said to my parents, 'You want to meet Laddie?'  They said, 'Sure, who's Laddie?'  I replied, 'I'll show you but I want to ask you one question first.  Can he stay?'

                "My parents were very confused.  They answered, 'OK' and I brought him in.  'What's that dog doing here?', my mother asked.  I answered, 'L-Laddie is my n-new dog?'  'No way', said my dad.

              " 'Please!' I said, but it did no good.  My dad just wouldn't change his mind.  To prove his point, he put the dog outside.

              "Several days went by and Laddie waited outside the school building and walked home with me every day.  I finally went back to my parents and said, 'Laddie walks home with me every day.  Can't I keep him?  He doesn't seem to have anywhere to go?'  My dad answered, 'I'll make a compromise with you.  You look in the newspaper everyday, and you put up posters to see if anybody owns him.  If you do this for an entire week, and nobody comes forward, we'll see.'

                "I worked hard that week.  Every day I came home and checked the newspaper.  I drew posters and put them in the general store, the barber shop, the post office and all over town.  I talked to all my friends and walked up and down the streets with Laddie asking everyone if he was theirs.  At the end of the week no one had claimed him.

                "My dad had said 'We'll see' and then he said 'Let's wait one more day.'

                "The very next day a man came from a nearby town and said that he had lost his dog and had seen one of my posters.  Laddie was his lost dog Blacky.  I went out back to get him.  I was practically in tears at the thought of losing him.  I bit the inside of my lip open trying not to cry that day.  The man was extremely surprised when he saw that I hadn't put him on a leash.  He asked me how come Blacky had stayed by me and I told him that he had waited for me everyday for the past week and walked home with me from school.  The man said that Blacky was a real problem for him always running away and refusing to be on a leash.  'Blacky must have known,' said the man, 'that you were meant to be his owner.'

                "I got to keep that dog Laddie and we spent many wonderful years together.  Dogs are a woman's best friend!"