Care-giving Dog

A story that reveals what truly is the best thing in the world...


     The best thing in the world is… Now a question of honesty, let’s just say it, only a child could truly answer that, not a wise man.
     When wisdom domains, everything without sense is disregarded; but a child grabs reality and intertwines it with their myriad imaginations. Thus, logic shall not confine my thinking to a dull world presented to me and my vision will not betray what my heart longs to see.
     My words might be bias as a child’s love has raised me into believing what my wishes carry, waiting for a shooting star to grant it. But it is wonderful how they decide on this and that. When failure occurs, they either start over and succeed or try to fix the damage and further worsen the case, in which their innocence can get the better of them, and therefore, to choose from what the best way is, cannot be possibly done.
     For on the second option, though victory slips from their hands, they gain something the first suggestion could never offer; a lesson. A lesson to not repeat the same mistake twice and that when their shoulders start to slump from losing, they could stand again. They could walk and find me.
     Dwaine, the chubby boy who always pulls a wagon full of toys behind him looking like Santa Clause, rounds a corner. He yells after spotting me, “Wago! There you are!”
     I wag my tail real fast and pant hard to let him know how happy I am to see him, and like usual, this makes him laugh even though I could faintly smell the salty scent of drying tears. Dwaine sits down beside me under the shade of a big tree and strokes my dirty white fur, forcing a smile that was as fake as fool’s gold.
     I whimper, inching closer to him.
     “Oh, Wago, I don’t know anymore. My mom nags at me all the time, my sister gets all she wants and dad never gives me a single useful advice.” Dwaine throws out all his troubles verbally, continuing to the issues he’s going through in school. I growl when he mentions something about a bully hitting little Chelsea.
     “Don’t worry.” He bends down and hugs me, resting his head on top of mine. “She’d been brave, fighting for herself. I wish I was like her.”
     We stay like for a while till his mom calls him in for lunch. Dwaine sighs as I help him up. The two of us slowly walk back because I was being extra careful not to disturb his balance with his robotic left leg too heavy for him to lift.
     Mrs Sanchez gives me a bowl of dog food and they all sit around the table.
     That afternoon, I play with Dwaine all the small games he’s allowed to do while keeping a close eye on his condition. Whenever his breathing becomes somewhat restricted, I bark loudly to warn the family and it always gives me relief when he returns to normal.
     Dwaine pats the space next to him on the couch and when I’m sure his mom isn’t around anymore, I leap right beside him. We watch all the funny cartoons expensive cable could provide. Dwaine says, “I’m so happy, Wago.” I think he knows we both are.
     But I know it wouldn’t be like that for too long.
     Night time falls with my happiness drifting away with the cold winds; I did my best, I convince myself.
     And that moment when Dwaine was lying on the hospital bed, still whispering his thoughts to me, only me and no one else; has proven my accomplishment.      But I wish I had the ability to save him. It buries my spirit far gone whenever a child I’m assigned to takes a painful breath one by one and murmurs silently with all the energy they had left, “I wish I could take you with me.”
     After young Dwaine’s funeral a week later, the center shifts me to England. This time to take care of a little girl with cancer; my job is to give her joy and happiness while her time isn’t up yet. She has the sweetest laugh and brightest blue eyes. Every morning, as soon as she wakes up, she calls out my name so that she could tell me all about her dreams.
     Karla was a great girl… I wish I was able to save her too.
     But the next thing I knew, she was mumbling against my ear; “I wish I could take you with me.”
     The best thing in the world is every little thing that comes along. And the worst thing in the world is having to let them go.

The End

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