Author's Note,

This story is a bit special. A friend asked me to write this for another friend who recently lost her dog. And so I set about writing something that would help to highlight that special relationship that we can have with our animal companions. This is posted in a total of six chapters.

The sounds of the wonderful Danny Elfman helped me with this one. I listened to the soundtrack to the movie 'Black Beauty' while I wrote this to help set the mood. I was looking for a somewhat bittersweet quality.

This story ended up being a personal favorite of mine. I hope you enjoy it as well.

For Cassie.

In Memory of Tikaani.

And dedicated to all of the pets that we have lost.


Lesson Learned

There are so many things that one can learn from life if they know where to look. I know this well, because I have learned a lesson or two from the things that I have experienced. Many of these lessons came from a place that I was not expecting.

Let me tell you some of her story.

February

For some unknown reason I decided that it would be a good idea to do something before fully thinking it through, and so now I find myself in an odd situation. At my feet is sitting the source of my troubles. But I am finding it harder and harder to keep a straight face as the pair of curious blue eyes looks up at me.

My trouble maker is a small ball of black and white fluff, with two perky ears and a curled tail that never seems to stop wagging. Because, yes, I adopted a husky without stopping to think that a dog, that is bred to pull sleds, would need way more exercise than I have time for.

I live in a small house in the suburbs and I have nowhere near enough room for a dog such as the one sitting at my feet. But when my friend approached me with the wriggling ball in her arms and asked if I would do her a favor, I just couldn't say no. It had been the last puppy in the litter and my friend was having a hard time finding a home for it before she moved. Now I am the proud owner of a furniture-chewing, door-scratching, night-howling terror.

I continue to look down at the little monster, taking in the mess of what used to be a couch cushion, and think about how I am going to fix this situation. The shredded cushion is making me see red, but the curious little face, that is now starting to wilt under my hard gaze, is making it very hard to stay mad. Obviously she knows that she has done something wrong, but is it really her fault? I am the one who is supposed to be taking her out to exercise. I am the one who is supposed to be keeping her mind occupied. Her bad behavior is not her fault, it is mine.

There are times when we do not realize that we are doing something wrong. But it does not mean that we are not at fault. If we find where we are going wrong, a seemingly mysterious and unsolvable problem may develop a solution.

I find I can only say two words.

"Lesson learned."


To be continued...