Hi guys! I found this story that I wrote for ninth grade English, which I got an A on. It's cliche and not a romance, but instead about my fave subject in the world - DOGS! Hope you enjoy, and I apologize in advance if it's got any bad grammar/flow. Please leave a comment if there's something that needs fixing or if you have any suggestions. Thanks. :)

--MaAgEc

PS: Even thought my list of favorite names was made this year, one of the names was used in the story. Hmmm... My choices don't change much, do they?


Ghostie's Thanks

The last time I saw Ghostie, he was lying on the table, ready to be cremated. Or at least, that was the last time I thought I would ever see him. Luckily, I was wrong.

As an only child, I was very lonely growing up. My dream was to have a pet dog, a friend who lived with me and could play with me. Every Christmas, every birthday, I asked for a dog. Unfortunately, my parents considered dogs to be books, crayons, iPods, and everything else but an actual living, breathing, tail-wagging puppy. I suspect my mom didn't like dogs, and she convinced my dad to not give me a puppy. I think she preferred babies more, as she worked as an obstetrician at the nearby hospital.

One day, when I was ten years old, I was walking through the woods to a friend's house. Her name was Emily, and she had two dogs, a Lab and a Chihuahua. While pondering which type of dog I liked better, I noticed a patch of white behind the bushes. I went behind it to investigate. There, behind the bushes, was a small, squirming puppy, wriggling in the dirt. It was completely white colored. No spots, no markings, nothing. I looked around for any sign of the mother or any other siblings the unfortunate pup may have had. Nothing was found. I knelt down beside the pup and carefully lifted him up to my face for a closer inspection. He was rather heavy, heavier than I expected. "Hello there. Where's your mommy?" I asked him. No reply. My ten year old self took his answer as "I don't have one". "Okay," I said. "I'll be your new mommy. Your name's Ghostie, 'cause you're a white doggy, okay?" I had, back then, a tendency to name call any animal by its name with an added "-y" at the end. Mommy. Daddy. Duckies. Horsies. And now to my list, Ghostie.

Ghostie made a soft little whimper. "Are you hungry? I bet you are." He whimpered some more. Translation: "Duh. What do you think?" I stood up and cradled him to my chest, and sprinted back home, making sure not to let the puppy shake from my running.

I entered my house through the back, one hand holding Ghostie and the other closing the door as silently as possible. Luckily, most of the doors in my house didn't creak. I crept into the kitchen, feeling like a real life spy. Then I poked my head around the corner to check for my parents. All clear. I placed the puppy on the table and grabbed the milk carton. After watching so many animal rescue shows on Animal Planet, I knew what to do. I found an eye dropper in one of the drawers. The puppy drank the entire two cups of milk I fed him.

"Wow," I said, in admiration and disbelief. "You're really hungry."

"Who's hungry?" My mom appeared out of nowhere.

"Mommy! You scared me," I said, stepping in front of Ghostie. Too late.

"What's that?" She asked, stepping towards the table. "Is that a… Oh my goodness! Corynn! Why is there a dog on my kitchen table? It could have rabies! Or fleas! Or ticks!"

Before she could do anything, I pulled towards me, so quickly, that he yelped.

"Pleaseeee mommy? Can I keep him? Pleaseeeeee?" I turned Ghostie around so he could face my mom. "Look at that adorable face! Please can I keep him?"

She sighed. After all, I got my stubbornness from her.

"Let' s take him to the vet first, and then I'll decide."

We made a little carrier for him out of a cardboard box and newspaper. My mom agreed to pay for his first check up. I decided that it was not a good time to tell her that since he was here to stay, she would be paying for the rest of his checkups, for the rest of his life.

The vet told us he was a male Labrador Retriever, probably about eight weeks old, which happens to be the perfect age for adoption. "See mom?" I told her. "It's a sign." The vet then declared Ghostie to have a clean bill of health. No ticks, fleas, rabies, and heartworms, or any other parasites.

"This puppy was not born in the wild. He looks well fed too. And you found him in the forest?" Asked the vet dubiously.

"Yup," I replied cheerily. "Sooooo… mommy. Can we please keep him?"

She looked at the vet. "Do you think this type of dog is good for a first time family?"

SCOREEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

The vet nodded. "Actually, Labradors are one of the most common pet dogs in the United States. They are very good first time dogs."

"Okay." It was all she said. And that was how Ghostie came to be my very first pet dog.

We were inseparable. Best friends. I took him to Emily's house to play with her dogs. I took him to the local park. To the playground after school. Anywhere dogs were allowed. That was how it was for the next two years. My mom eventually adapted to him and sometimes I caught her talking to him about her workplace. Everything was good.

And then, Ghostie was hit by a car. He died immediately.

A few months after his death, I was playing around in the creek in my backyard. The tree by the bank supported a tree house, one of my gifts to replace a puppy back then, where I had stored quite a collection of memorable things. Pictures of Ghostie, my collection of shells, broken friendship bracelets, and other knick knacks. It had rained the night before, so the rocks and the rope were all a little slippery. As I was climbing up the ladder, my hands slipped, and I fell down, hitting my head on something hard.

It was dark, where I was, but there was a light in the middle of my field of vision. And it was annoyingly bright. Also, for some reason or another, the light was barking.

I woke up in the hospital.

My mom was crying and my dad looked exhausted. The doctor told me I had a minor concussion, as I hadn't been that far off the ground when I fell. He said I was very lucky that my parents had found me so quickly, else it would have been worse. Both my parents were mad that I had been careless, but they were both relieved as well.

I was released shortly after. That night, my mom entered my room to tuck me in. She looked extremely sad, something I usually didn't see. My mom sat herself on the side, and looked at me for a long time. "Corynn," she finally said, "do you know how we found you so quickly?"

"Mom, what're you talking about?"

She blinked as if she was confused, and then shook her head. "For some reason, when you fell, something told me to look outside the window. And you know what I saw out there?" She laughed suddenly, a disbelieving, painful laugh.

"I saw Ghostie. And he was barking at me, like he was trying to get my attention. I ran out there and he ran to you."

She let me absorb the story. "And that's how I found you."

"Are you serious?"

"You might not believe me, but I thought you should know."

"No, mom. I believe you. It's just that, when I fell, I heard barking."

Pause. "Oh." Another pause. She laughed. "Then I guess Ghostie repaid you for saving him, didn't he?"

"Yeah," I said, smiling. "I guess he did. Thanks, Ghostie."