Welcome back to Part 4 of Joe’s story—easily the best part! Joe has met Ethan, and the kid is bound and determined to bring home the big dog. Ethan’s mom, however, has a different idea.
I was just about to fall asleep when that new smell came back to the door of my cage. There was the kid again, looking in at me, a big smile on his face. I can smile too, let me tell you! I sat up straight and proud, tail managing a few wags despite being mostly stuck on the floor, a grin from ear to ear.
“Mom!” yelled the boy, looking over his shoulder. “This is the one I want! It says his name is Joe, and he’s perfect for a knight’s dog!”
One of the volunteers at the shelter was talking to the kid’s mom. She was looking at the husky. “I’ve always wanted a husky. She’s beautiful! Ethan, did you see this one?”
The kid, Ethan, rolled his eyes. “Mom, you said this was my dog. And I want this dog. He’s big! And look at those teeth!”
Ethan’s mom looked at me with something like alarm, and I realized that my friendly grin might be a little intimidating. I try not to show off to humans...it makes them feel bad about their small teeth and useless nose. I dialed it down a notch.
“Joe was surrendered to the shelter a few days ago,” the volunteer told her. “His owner needed to move into an assisted living home out of state. He’s really very gentle, doesn’t pull the leash at all when we’re walking.”
I chewed on that for a second. Didn’t pull the leash? Walking? Don’t take this personally, but full grown humans seem to have low standards when it comes to dogs. Still, I stood up, wagged my tail even more, and headed towards the pen door. Ethan giggled and looked up at his mom through his eyelashes.
“Please, Mom? He’s probably sad about leaving his last owner. And he’s a gentle giant, right?”
Ethan’s mom wasn’t going to be a pushover, I could tell...at least not for me. But apparently she couldn’t withstand that look from her kid, and quickly gave in. I couldn’t blame her—I wouldn’t be able to withstand it either. Did I mention how great this kid is?
“Alright, alright! What do we need to do?”
The mom and volunteer wandered off to do whatever they needed to do, but Ethan stayed right there, grinning at me. I grinned back. We were going to have a great time, I could already tell.
“You’re gonna love our new house, Joe!” he said, hopping from one foot to the other. “It’s a lot bigger than the apartment, and it has a yard! Plus, I have my own room.” He paused for a moment, peering at me and smiled even bigger. “Of course, it’s our room now! I don’t think Mom will let you sleep on the bed, but you can be in there with me all night! This is awesome!”
That’s how I met Ethan. He hardly ever stood still, and he didn’t stay quiet for long either. But I loved watching him and hearing him talk. Everything he said was so interesting! And he talked to me a lot, which isn’t always the case with humans.
That was the best day ever! Joe’s parents had a big truck parked outside of the shelter, and I hopped right in. They rolled down the window on the way home, and I stuck my head out, letting my ears flap in the wind and grinning again. I couldn’t help it! You stick your head out the window without smiling, I dare you! Ethan laughed and laughed.
Even though he’s a youngster for a human, Ethan is smart. He said I’d love our new home, and he was right! I met Bella, and I loved her too! She pulled my tail and my ears and I finally learned to love her from a safe distance.
So this is my life now. Ethan, Bella, Mom and Dad. We go on walks almost every day, but we always play in the yard. I think about Larry sometimes, especially when Ethan’s grandparents come over, and I hope he’s doing okay. But I’m happy, and I don’t want anything to ever change.
Make sure to check back tomorrow for the final part of Joe’s story...where things do change just a little bit. But that’s life—you have just to stick your head out the window and grin about it!