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Monday, March 14, 2011

A Matching Dog

When a young man named Dan and his family moved into their house, they were surprised to find that the previous owners had left them a scrawny, mangy doghouse and a matching dog. The golden labradoodle was nearly starved to death, starved of both food and attention. Dan wanted to put the dog down, but his wife, Chantal, and his three children insisted they first try to nurse it back to health. In what seemed like no time, Georges the dog was fat and happy.

Dan had disliked Georges from first sight, and now that the dog was happy and healthy, the man was dour and grumpy. Georges held no grudge and adored Dan, perhaps more than he adored the rest of the family, whom he also adored. Chantal was keenly aware of the mismatched affection between the man and the dog and set out to correct the mismatch, one way or another.

Once the family was satisfied that Georges was healthy, they set out to repair Georges' doghouse. Georges was an atypically large labradoodle, and the family was anxious to free up the space he was taking up in their house. When the day finally came that the large, repaired doghouse was ready to accomodate its matching dog, Dan drew the short straw and was tasked with coercing Georges to sleep there.

Reed, the youngest child, was overly concerned that his father would bump his head on the doghouse roof, so Chantal knelt down to Georges and said, "Georges, make sure Dan doesn't bump his head, okay?" Georges nodded, apparently understanding.

Dan grumbled all the way out to the doghouse, but Georges went in without even a hint of argument. As Dan approached the steps to his back deck, a sudden, intense, torrential rain began. The flash flooding in that particular area was comparable to the flood for which Noah built his ark.

Reed, terrified, ran out onto the deck to make sure his father was okay. Running on the slick deck, Reed slid and flipped over the rail. More terrified than ever, Reed clutched his Action Dan toy to his chest with both arms.

Georges launched out of his house and grabbed Reed's shirt in his teeth, swimming toward the deck of the family's house. Reed lost consciousness and dropped his doll. Georges kept an eye on the doll as he continued to move toward the deck.

Suddenly, Georges dropped the boy and swam for the toy, catching Action Dan just before he would have bumped his head against a deck-post. Dan the man jumped into the water after his son, but Georges grabbed Dan the man in his mouth along with Dan the toy.

As the water continued to rise, Reed was nowhere to be seen.

"Don't blame yourself," Chantal whispered to Dan; "this isn't your fault."

"I blame the dog," Dan growled bitterly. He was sure his son was dead.

"Look!" exclaimed Ash, the only daughter in the family. "On Georges' roof!"

There, on Georges' roof, Georges was licking Reed's face, and Reed was starting to wake up. Despite all of Georges' intelligence, dedication, and courage, Dan never did like that dog.

"The end," old Mr. Rashi punctuated as he closed the story book.

"The end!?" whined his class.

"I wish I had a dog like Georges," one boy proclaimed. Dan Rashi grinned.

That evening the boy went home to find a matching dog, a golden labradoodle with the name "Georges" inscribed on his collar.