It was another fine Saturday in the park. The older kids played basketball, and the younger kids played on the play structure. Stevie was playing basketball with the other kids rather absently, thinking about the important things he wanted to accomplish in the world, when he heard a familiar bark.
“Hey guys, I gotta go!” Stevie shouted, and tore off in the direction of the dog, amidst cries and complaints from the other boys. No, perhaps Stevie wasn’t a very dedicated basketball player. But who could blame him? He had the world’s most important dog to attend to, and he, Stevie, had helped her owner when he needed it.
Running with all his might, he shrieked, “Rose! Hey doggie, hey girl!” In a moment, she was on him, happily licking him. Many feet behind her, Charlie trod casually into the park, a smile on his face. “Hey Charlie! How are ya?” Stevie managed between petting Rose and receiving licks.
“We are great, Stevie! Just great! Rose got a present today. Take a look.” And with that, he gestured over at Rose’s head and neck area, which Stevie examined with great care.
Etched onto the dog tag were these words:
“Rose (aka Charlie’s Dog)”
Below this was printed Charlie’s phone number.
“Her doggie tag has her name on it! Charlie’s Dog! That’s great!” Stevie exclaimed happily.
Charlie nodded and said, “Yeah, her tag just wasn’t complete without some identification. Okay, girl, get ready!” Charlie brought out a shiny green tennis ball, which he flung down the park lawn. Rose immediately became a race dog, and galloped after it. Within ten seconds, she had returned, panting, and looking up at Charlie expectantly as she dropped the ball at his feet.
He obliged, sending the ball out even further this time.
“She’s a good dog, Charlie,” said Stevie, looking up at Charlie through the sunlight.
“Yes, she is, Stevie. And you are a good friend to both of us. Thank you for helping me learn to take care of her. I couldn’t have done it without you!”
At that moment, Stevie shot out running after Rose. As he did, he shouted back, “What are friends for, Charlie? C’mon Rose, I wanna throw you the ball. Come over here, girl!”