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Thursday, August 23, 2018

Microstory 914: My Dogs

I thought I had told you this story before, but I guess not. A few weeks before my sixteenth birthday, my parents told me that they would need me for a trip over the weekend. My aunt was in the market for a new (old) car, but was in Spain at the time, and unable to look for one herself. She liked a particular kind at the time, and I know next to nothing about cars, so I wasn’t fazed when they claimed the one they found was hundreds of miles away in Minnesota. I remember telling my whole health class about the upcoming road trip, for some reason, as dull as I assumed it would be. We stayed one night in a hotel, and then drove out to the farm in the morning, where the car was supposedly waiting. My dad said he wanted to speak with the seller, so my mom and I waited in the car. A few minutes later, he walked back out of the barn with a man, who was holding a smol puppy in his arms. Once I was out of the car, he offered to let me hold her, which I gladly accepted. Only then did my parents reveal that this was my dog. She was a nine-week-old American Foxhound, and the most beautiful creature I had seen in my life. The whole thing about the car was a total lie; a ruse to get me up there. On the way back home, my dad handed me a list of French names, and suggested I take one from it, since I was studying French at the time. I chose Sophie, because I was also into philosophy back then. I kept that girl for almost ten years before we lost her to the evil of Billy Rubin, and I’ve never forgiven time for taking her away from me. I miss you, Sophie Love Highfill.

Cut to nearly five years later when I’m finally ready for a new dog. I have my own house, with a huge backyard, and a nice deck. While there are fences surrounding most of the property, they’re not the kinds we want, so we decided to contract a new one. It took my family and me months to prepare for the new pup. We had to clean up the yard, hire someone to remove a few trees, and totally rearrange the first floor of my house. I got rid of the giant dining table, and moved my TV into the dining room, because that’s where the door to the deck is. We bought kennels, and a cage, and a doghouse, and food and water bowls, and everything else the dog would need. I also spent a lot of time trying to come up with a good name for her, ultimately settling on Daisy Quake; after a character in one of our favorite television series, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. On the fourth day of July of this year, my dad and I drove to the other side of Missouri to pick up the six-week-old English Coonhound. I chose her because, while her brothers and sisters were clamoring for attention, she was just chilling in their huge doghouse. As it turns out, she was probably just tired at the moment, because she’s an energetic wild one in real life. She jumps, bites, wrestles, and plays tug-o-war. And I love her just as much as I did Sophie. I regret all the time I didn’t take to spend with my first dog, and I’m determined to not make that mistake again. I never did say that these 99 things that I love are in a randomized order. If they weren’t, my dogs and my family would be tied for first place.

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