Hello. My name is Sport. Actually, I think it was Socrates, but Bill always called me Sport. Bill and Annie were my people.
I remember when I was just a puppy in a strange place with lots of other puppies and dogs. People would walk by and pet me and then go on to pet other puppies. Sometimes the people would take a puppy out of it’s pen and I would never see them again. I always wondered what was on the other side of that door. Then one day a man and lady came in. I really liked them, so I got really close to the pen door and tried to lick them. They petted me and then went on to pet some other puppies. Well, they came back and took me out of my pen! The man picked me up and held me so close. Then the lady held me and kissed me right on the top of the head. Then they put me back in the pen and went through the door. My heart sank.
I couldn’t believe it when they came back a little later and took me through the door with them. That is when they called me Sport. I liked it!
They put me in the back seat of their car in a little pen. I got scared. I really liked these people, but why would they take me out of a big pen and put me in a little one? Soon they were getting me out of the pen and out of the car and putting me in a big yard with grass and a tree and some really pretty things that smelled good. Annie told me “Do not dig in my garden” and she pointed to the pretty smelling things.
They brought me a bowl of food and some fresh water. Everything was so good. The sun felt good. The shade of the tree felt good. The grass tickled my nose when I smelled it. I was so happy!
Later they took me in the house. They showed me my room and where I would sleep. There was even a little door where I could go in and out any time I wanted. I remember the first time I tried to go through that little door. I started out and then decided I would rather stay in. When I tried to back up, it caught me. I got scared and cried. Annie picked me up and held me and talked sweet to me. Then she showed me that if I changed my mind, I had to at least go all the way through, then I could turn around and come back.
It took me a little while to understand that I was suppose to go potty on the grass. I had only been on the hard cement floor before, so it was confusing when I would squat in the house and Bill would grab me up in mid stream and take me into the yard. He never got mad at me. He just said I was a puppy and I would learn.
Annie brought home a whole bunch of toys one day. She said they were just for me. They would hold onto one end of the rope toy and I would hold on to the other and pull really hard. They would always let me win. I liked the ball and the bones too, but the rubber squeaky toy would not shut up when I’d chew on it.
Life was great. As I got bigger, Bill would take me in his pick up. I got to ride in the front seat. He would open the window just enough for the wind to go past my nose. I really wanted to stick my head out that window, but Bill said a bug or dust might hit me in the eye and he didn’t want me hurt. I wanted to ride in the back sometimes and even jumped in the bed when Bill would be loading things in, but he always made me ride up front with him. He said it was for my own safety. Bill and Annie really loved me and I really loved them.
Time just seemed to pass so fast. Bill and Annie would leave during the day, but they always came home to me. They were always as happy to see me as I was to see them. In the evenings we would either go for a walk or we would just sit on the sofa and watch TV. I got to sit in the middle and they would both pet me. Annie said she preferred my head on her lap rather then my tail, so sometimes they’d trade places. In the summer we went on vacations together. They took me to the ocean and the mountains. I loved playing in the water so much that they bought me a little pool to splash in when it was hot.
One day Bill and Annie did not come home. I waited and waited, but it got dark and they were still not home. I got hungry too. Finally I fell asleep. When I woke up, they were still not home. I wasn’t really thinking much about my empty stomach. I was just so confused why they did not come home to me. I waited all day and again it was night. I cried, but there was no one there to hear me.
Several days must have past. I was not feeling very good and slept a lot. Finally I heard someone at the door. I could tell it was not Bill or Annie. Should I bark or hide? I needed to protect the house. I barked, but it didn’t scare them away. Several men came in and I growled at them. One man bent down and laid some food on the floor. I had forgotten how hungry I was. He seemed nice so I ate it.
He sat there on the floor with me for a long time. I finally let him pet me. He was very nice, just like Bill. But why was he here and where was Bill? He put a leash on me and led me to his car. He put me in a small pen in the back seat and took me to a place that seemed to be familiar. It was the place I had lived before Bill and Annie took me home. I got excited. Maybe they were there waiting for me. But they were not.
The people at the shelter were really nice to me, but I really missed Bill and Annie. I heard some of the people talking and one lady said “it is so sad about Bill and Annie to have died so young. The car crash was such a tragedy.” And the other lady said, “Sport is such a wonderful old boy, but it is such a shame that the hardest dogs to get adopted out are black labs. Especially one who is 8 years old.” I really didn’t understand, but I got the idea that I would not be seeing Bill and Annie ever again. I cried myself to sleep.
Please don’t let this happen to your beloved pet. We never know when tragedy will strike. Make a will and include how your pets should be taken care of. Find a friend or relative or rescue group that will look after them. Take out an insurance policy with your pets as the beneficiary. If you cannot find an insurance company that will do that, then designate the beneficiary as the ‘family trust’ or into the ‘family estate’. Then be sure that these insurance benefits are designated in your will for the care of your pets for as long as they live. Avoid concerns about unethical caregivers by stating that when your pets die, any remaining funds will go to an animal rescue group, animal shelter or service dog training organization.
NOW, if you have room in your heart and a little extra corner in your home, see if there is a ‘Sport’ you can give a second chance to. Give this story a happy ending.
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