General Poetry posted March 25, 2022

This work has reached the exceptional level
A story about my best friend.

My Last Dog

by prettybluebirds

National Puppy Day Contest Winner 
I had made up my mind, no more dogs. I didn't want to go through the heartache again when it came time to let them go. It was 2009 and we had just buried our beloved dog, Snozzer. Besides, I was sixty-four and my husband was eighty. We already had four cats, and I was sure they would disapprove of a strange dog on the premises. If we got a pup, there was a good chance it would outlive both of us: Nope, absolutely no more dogs.

Then in 2010, some low-life form of humanity dumped two kittens off, and we became the parents of six cats instead of four. There certainly was no room for a dog even if we wanted one, which we did not. We were happy with our feline family and they were glad to let us live with them. However, fate can foil the best-laid plans of men and cats.

When our farm veterinarian Gordon Gilbert called and asked if we would consider taking in a red-heeler pup, my immediate response was, "Uh-uh, no way, no more dogs."

"Oh come on, give the poor pup a chance," Gordan said. "She has been abused and needs someone to nurse her back to health and restore her faith in humanity. She is skinny and traumatized; you have a way with animals, that special touch this pup needs. I'll spay her for free when she is old enough. Todd is coming that way today and will drop her off. Thanks, bye." Gordon was born with a silver tongue.

Nothing would change my mind. I vowed to send Todd and the pup away when he came. I said no dogs, and I meant no dogs.

An hour later, Todd arrived. With my prepared speech in mind, I opened the door and said, "Look, Todd, I told your brother..." Todd put the pup in my arms then stood there, arms crossed, with a 'got ya' look on his face. The pup looked at me with big, sad brown eyes; What chance did I have against teamwork like that? Todd boogied on down the road after he left me medicine and instructions. Arrogant vets.

The pup looked odd, white with red speckles all over her body, except her ears, which were solid red. She was skinny and frightened of the whole world. She did indeed need care, and more importantly, someone to love her. I raised the white flag and admitted defeat.

The feline members of our family surprised me by calmly accepting the puppy without a hiss. The two dropped-off kittens ( Mutt and Jeff ) fell in love with her. After the pup regained her health and zest for life, it became common to see the three frolicking in the yard. They would run past the windows with Pup in hot pursuit of the kittens and returned with Mutt and Jeff chasing her. When they tired of their games the three would stretch out under the willow tree and sleep. And, Yep, we named her Pup.

I'm seventy-six now, my husband is gone, but Pup and all the cats remain. They can be a trial sometimes but my life would be empty without them. Pup is showing her age, but heck, so am I. We still take long walks, only a bit slower than we used to. Pup often chases the squirrels in our yard, but they know they are safe. She is too slow to catch them. I know the time will come when I must say farewell to Pup; it's a sad fact of life. Until then, we intend to enjoy whatever time remains to us. Pup will be my last dog.

Writing Prompt
... is March 23. Write a poem or short story involving puppies. All genres, including religion, politics and horror, are permitted. 2000 words max.

National Puppy Day
Contest Winner



Years earlier we had a dog named Dog and I had a horse named, you guessed it, Horse. Gordon Gilbert and his brother still have a veterinary clinic in Big Rapids, Michigan. Gordon is older than me.
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