Tubby, the lost and found pup

Published 10:30 pm Friday, September 22, 2017

One day when I was around seven-years-old, I was playing at the park behind my house when a tiny puppy walked right up to me and asked if he could be my best friend. I would’ve said yes if he’d been scraggly and mangy, but he was lovely and fluffy and as plump as he could be! I told him that he had to follow me home because Mama wouldn’tlet me go out and get a dog, but if one insisted on following me home, well how could she tell me no?Mama raised one eyebrow up into her hairline when she saw “Tubby.”  That was a danger sign.

I figured that she was picturing me snuggled up in a cardboard box somewhere if she kicked me out, and deciding whether she liked that picture or not. I held on tight to Tubby and got ready to fight for my new buddy.

Mama said, “What a cute thing!”

She made a few phone calls, and we knocked on neighborhood doors, but no one knew Tubby, so she said that if no one claimed him, he was mine.

The next few days passed in one big montage of best-buddy moments. I fed him on the back steps and he snuggled with me at night. I taught him to sit and to shake hands.

I was pretty sure that if daddy would build us a little platform for him to jump on and mama would make us matching outfits, we could join the circus and be world famous!

It was only a week, but it seemed that I’d had Tubby forever when mama heard the knock at our front door. I guess one of the neighborhood mothers mentioned to another that I was down at the park trying to talk a puppy into jumping through a hula hoop, because somehow word got out and Tubby’s boy came for him.

I listened to them talk from behind the hall door. I hid Tubby in my closet when mama called for me.

I told the boy that I didn’t have a puppy. I said maybe he should try some other kids’ houses. I cried.

Mama let me pitch that much of a fit, but when she gave me “the look,” I went and got Tubby and handed him over. The poor boy was no match for my tears and offered to let me have the puppy.

Mama grabbed me by the back of my smock top when I said “Thanks!” and headed for my room, so “King” went home with his boy, and I got my first lesson in doing the right thing, no matter how much it hurts.