The bell over the door made it's little jingle noise and in ran the little blond haired boy who named Duke. He ran straight over to the pen but he only saw two of the puppies, No Duke...and his little heart sank and he turned and looked up at his mother with her kind blue eyes, little button nose and curly brown hair and he says,

"Mom, Duke is gone"

His mother then says,

"Somebody bought him honey, he is in a new home"

Tears come to his eyes and he says,

"Awww"

His mother bends down and wipes his small tears away then says,

"I'm sure he is in a nice new home where the boy loves him just as much as you do"

He sniffs then asks,

"You think?"

She shakes her head then says,

"Come on, let's go get Swanee some food and go home, your brother and sister are waiting"

He shakes his head and they go to get the bird food and leave.

At that time, Duke is wondering the streets. His little paws are cold and tired of walking on the pavement. He looks around at the people going up and down the street and sees how they ignore him, his little puppy tummy gives a low growl that tells him that he is hungry, he looks around and sees no place to eat so he keeps going.

He later walks into a cheerful area with children running around, making noise and sees them getting onto things and playing. He feels the grass under his paws and how it feels good to him as he walks around then he sees a man and woman sitting down and eating so he decides to sit down and watch.

The food smells wonderful and he remembers the people at Reggie's house calling it 'fried chicken'. He licks his mouth and wonders if he'll get any so he slowly walks up to the woman and man. The woman has long blond hair and blue eyes and she says,

"Oh, look at the doggie!"

The man turns and looks and he says,

"Hey little fella"

She laughs and says,

"I think he smells our chicken"

The man laughs then says,

"He is wondering why we are having a picnic in the middle of winter"

She laughs then reaches in and gets a chicken leg and throws it to him then says,

"He deserves a picnic"

The guy laughs then says,

"Let's go"

She asks her boyfriend,

"Should we take him?"

The guy picks up the blanket to fold it then says,

"Oh, he belongs to one of these kids running around, let's go"

She gives Duke another chicken leg and leftover mashed potatoes then gathers up her picnic supplies and they leave hand in hand.

Later that night, the little boy is in his room sitting on his bed and in his notebook, he draws a picture of Duke the best he can in the cream and tan colors that Duke has, the only difference is that he puts a yellow and red checkered scarf on him.

'Jingle Bells' plays in his room from the C.D. player and his bedroom door opens and in comes a 10 year old boy with brown hair and he says,

"Kevin, mom says supper's almost done"

Kevin up at him and says simply,

"Okay"

The boy listens to the music then he makes a disgusted face then says,

"What are you listening to that for?"

Kevin says,

"I like it"

The boys makes a face then says,

"It's almost new years, only dorks listen to jingle bells now"

Kevin stands up, turns off the player then says,

"I'm not a dork!"

His brother says,

"Are too!"

Kevin gets up and turns off the C.D. player and runs for the door and says,

"Mom! Craig is calling me a dork!

Craig takes off after him yelling,

"Tattle tail!"

Meanwhile, Duke walks around in the dark. He looks at the trees and the grass and he spots a particular smooth patch of grass that looks good to lay down on and he looks up and sees a sign over the spot but he doesn't know that the words say, 'Welcome to Crosby, Texas'.

He circles and circles and then lays down in a perfect spot.

A few hours later, he wakes up to a popping sound...the popping continues and gets louder and louder then he looks up and he sees fireworks in the sky. Some that look like flowers, some that look like rainbows and he barks since it frightens him but he still knows that something great is about to happen.

A/N-Happy 4th of July to all! And much thanks to our servicemen and women in the Army, Navy, Air Force and everywhere else!