A Dog Named Boots

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Memoir  |  House: Booksie Classic
A story about a little girl and her sister's dog. And the lesson she learns? One should never underestimate talent.

Submitted: May 13, 2008

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Submitted: May 13, 2008

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A DOG NAMED BOOTS
The first dog in my life was Snooks.He was a working farm dog that herded cows.The second dog in my life was a black Pomeranian with brown feet named Boots. He belonged to my sister Karen. By then we didn't live on a farm anymore. And Boots wouldn't have known a cow if one strolled across our backyard. He was never trained to walk on a leash. He didn't know how to fetch. His bed was a cardboard box ( or a series of cardboard boxes) less than five inches deep. He could easily jump in the box when he wanted to rest or sleep, but when he wanted to get out, he would whine until someone lifted him out.
Boots was about two years old when the Chamber of Commerce sponsored a pet show in my new hometown SilverBay.Daddy suggested that I take Boots to the competition. It was her dog but Karen was going to be a senior in high school and not interested in wasting time on a stupid local pet show. I was going to be in second grade and thought a pet show was exciting, something that Dick and Jane might like.

On the morning of the pet show Daddy and I gave Boots a bath and brushed his coat till it was shinier than I’d ever thought it could be. Mom found red satin ribbon among her sewing supplies and we tied a bow around his neck. Boots didn’t object to this adornment; I think he relished the extra attention. Daddy hooked a short leash on the dog’s harness and the three of us walked the quarter-mile up Banks Boulevard to the shopping center. (Actually Daddy carried Boots most of the way.)
The parking lot was full of cars.People crowded the sidewalk in front of the row of businesses.When it came time for the dog competition, I stood with Boots at my side and Daddy close behind me.A woman judge made her way down the line of dogs and their owners. As she came closer, I recognized her as one of my Sunday school teachers.She stopped in front of me and said “hi” and thanked me for coming.She admired the red bow and asked my dog’s name.As we chatted, Boots sat at attention, doing his best impression of a good dog.The lady asked me if Boots knew any tricks.Tricks?I thought a moment. I’d seen Lassie and Rin Tin Tin on TV.Those dogs knew tricks.Boots couldn’t even jump out of a low box.I looked up at the judge and shook my head, sorry to be wasting her time. “He can shake hands,” Daddy whispered from behind me. “That’s a trick.”
Oh, Daddy. All dogs could shake hands. The judge meant neat things like could Boots save somebody’s life… or at least play dead.One of my aunt’s dogs could do that.But, the lady was looking at me so I told her that the only thing he could do was shake hands.She asked me to show her. I kneeled down next to Karen’s clean dog with the red bow and put out my hand. “Shake, Boots, shake.” Boots lifted his right paw and I shook it.I smiled up at the judge.She smiled back and moved on down the line.
An hour or so later it was time to announce the winners.I was not surprised when white, red and blue place ribbons were awarded to other dogs. Then the judge said, “There is one final category: the dog that knows the most tricks.”All I can say is the smart SilverBay dogs must have stayed in their beds that day. Boots won and, courtesy of the local S & Q Hardware store, Daddy and Boots and I went home as winners of a new croquet set.
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