Last Updated on: May 6th, 2014
THIS IS A ‘TRUE TALES TUESDAYS’ POST
A Short Story, Written by Lorraine Reguly, in 1998.
Intended audience: preteens and teenagers
Title: My Best Friend
Snoopy was her name, and I loved her immensely. She was a tiny, grey dog; part Chihuahua, part Poodle, and part mutt. She belonged to my grandparents, who lived next door, but I always thought of her as my dog, because I was the one who took care of her, especially when my grandparents went on vacation.
Snoopy and I were best friends. We were almost the same age; in human years, she was one year older than me. I fed Snoopy, played with her, made her do tricks, took her for walks, and even changed her dirty, stinky newspapers that she used for a toilet. (I didn’t particularly enjoy doing this, but I wanted to show everyone how grown-up and responsible I could be. So I did it almost everyday, holding my breath until the acrid smell was safely contained in a garbage bag.) It was during these times that I felt special; loved, wanted and needed. The bond between us grew stronger until she loved me as much as I loved her. She was always there for me, and always would be. Or so I thought.
One day, when I was twelve, Snoopy died. She was thirteen, or ninety-one, in dog years, and had lived a full life. Her time had come; I still had a long way to go. It just didn’t seem fair.
I had come home from school and, following my usual routine, went next door to see my little “Snoopers.” When I called for her and she did not come running, I immediately became worried. I asked my grandma where Snoopy was, but she didn’t respond. She was sitting in her rocking chair, was very still, and looked sad. My grandpa was sitting next to her, in his favourite chair, and replied, “She’s not here.”
“Well, where is she?” I raised my voice and looked around for her, but I did not see or hear here anywhere.
“Where’s Snoopy, Grandpa?” I repeated, my voice tainted with hysteria. “Did something happen to her?”
No one was answering me. I felt like I was losing my mind, in addition to my patience. I was also on the verge of tears, slowly realizing the truth behind the silence.
“Where’s Snoopy, Grandma? Is she okay?” I demanded, knowing full well in the back of my mind that she wasn’t.
“Snoopy died, Lorraine,” replied Grandma, finally. “Grandpa found her today, then buried her outside somewhere.”
“No!” I cried, tears falling from my eyes. “No! No!” I shook my head back and forth. I didn’t want to believe that my best friend was gone. But she was.
I asked Grandpa where her grave was, so I could give her a proper funeral, but he refused to tell me. (To this day, I still don’t know.)
I ran home, seeking solace in my bedroom. My pillow offered the only comfort; I did not have a favourite toy or blanket like other children I knew; I had Snoopy. Or, at least I did, until now. My tears of grief soaked my pillowcase as I cried for my precious puppy. I thought I was going to die, too, of a broken heart.
Naturally, I didn’t. In time, the pain and agony of Snoopy’s death slowly began to subside. Eventually, it disappeared, although it lingered deep within my heart, somewhere.
I never owned another dog throughout my childhood.
It wasn’t until this past summer that my son and I went to the pound that I got another dog. We adopted an adult dog the same size as Snoopy, and she’s mine, for real this time. She’ll never take Snoopy’s place in my heart, but I never intended for her to. I just wanted another best friend, and a pet for my son. And that is exactly what we got.
Terri is her name, and we love her immensely.
The above picture is one of Terri, and is a cropped picture of a picture. (I’m NOT a photographer, so please don’t judge it too harshly.) Isn’t she cute?
I would like your opinion on this story. Should I include it as a bonus feature for my upcoming ebook? My ebook, as of right now, includes three short stories that, when combined, total about 5,800 words. (This is about 650.) it will be geared toward teens and tweens, although adults of all ages may like them!
What are your thoughts, folks? Is the writing style appropriate for this age bracket? (My son is 23, so I have no idea!) Advice, please! (I’ll accept criticism, too…) Thank you!