True Tales Tuesday: My Best Friend

Last Updated on: May 6th, 2014

Terri

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.

AUTHOR’S NOTE:


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?

AUTHORS REQUEST:

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!

 

18 thoughts on “True Tales Tuesday: My Best Friend

  1. KidazzleInk says

    It’s a lovely touching story. I lost a precious dog a couple of years ago and it has certainly brought back all the memories. It would be a useful story to read as an opener to discussing the loss of a pet with a young teen. Well written and thank-you.

    • Lorraine Marie Reguly says

      Thanks for reading this; I really appreciate that you took the time to do so, and to offer your opinion, too. 😀

      Losing a pet is never easy. 🙁

    • Lorraine Marie Reguly says

      Losing a pet is tough, at any age.

      We lost Terri, too, after many good years with her. 🙁

      As a stand-alone story, however, I think it reads well.

  2. Snoopy wil always live in your heart and your memories. Though you have Terri is never a replacement, she can be a welcome addition to the family. You will look at her and think of Snoopy but that only brings back the memories of a special time. 🙂

    • Lorraine Marie Reguly says

      While it’s true that you can never replace one pet with another, Terri did fill the void while we had her. 🙂

      Do you think I should include this story as a bonus feature for my upcoming ebook?

  3. As awful as it is, I’d rather learn about death through the lost of a pet than the lost of a family member or friend. It’s such a shocking experience the first time it happens. You captured it well.

    • Lorraine Marie Reguly says

      Thanks, Debra. This was my second experience with death; the first was the loss of one of my grandfathers, to a heart attack.
      I was actually closer to Snoopy, as horrible as that may sound. 🙁

  4. donnajeanmcdunn says

    Sad story Lorraine. My first dog was Jingles and she died when I was about 12 so your story brought back some old memories. It’s really sad that they didn’t wait until you were home to bury her. I raised three daughters on a farm and it’s a fact of life that animals die no matter how much they are loved, just like people. We learn to handle loss at a young age so that when the natural process of life happens we are able to cope. Without those early skills some people become lost. Trying to protect our young from life is a mistake. Life isn’t always sunshine and rainbows.

    With that said and as for including it in your ebook, I say go for it and I think the age range is also good. Stories are a good and safe way of showing real life to our young. Believe me, if those same youngsters are on the internet, they have already seen it all. The question is, have they experienced it in their own lives? If not, your story could prepare them to cope when it does.

    • Lorraine Marie Reguly says

      Donna, I must say that you’ve also (in addition to Diana) raised some great points. Dying IS a fact of life, and introducing this concepts to those who have not yet experienced it may help them for when they do. Although this story has been included on my blog, and is readily available for anyone to find, many people won’t find it; it will likely get lost in the shuffle. So having it included in an ebook makes sense. Thank you for your opinion.

      I really like it when readers like you take the time to respond to my questions. I don’t ask them just for the he** of it; I’m genuinely seeking opinions and advice. I like to hear the viewpoints of others. It helps not just me, but anyone else who might be wondering the same thing. Many readers read the comments, too, both on my blog and when they get notifications of new comments (if they’ve subscribed to “replies”).

      A lot of people benefit from readers’ comments, not just the blogger asking the questions. So, thank you, Donna, for adding some valuable insight into this decision-making process for me. 🙂

    • Lorraine Marie Reguly says

      Terri turned out to be the best pet, too; rescuing her was better than being given a dog, or buying one!

  5. says

    Good story, Lorraine! While reading it, i can feel you mean (and felt) every single word in it – so it’s good!

    I am not sure how good of a “judge” i am about the age bracket (provided i don’t have children and don;t know much about kids either) but…

    on one hand, it might be appropriate as it would introduce the idea of death, loss of loved ones (furry or not), and so on. On the other hand – well, it is heavy reading for teens, don’t you think? I lost my grandpa when i was 10 and i was totally unprepared for it – but i like to think that happy childhood and more happy thoughts is a better way to grow up… I was not much in a hurry to get introduced to all-good-things-come-to-an-end-sooner-or-later idea…

    • Lorraine Marie Reguly says

      Death is something we are never prepared for, even if we know it’s coming. Sorry about your grandpa, too.

      You’ve made a few good points, Diana, which I hadn’t considered. Thank you for that. I’ll have to re-think a few things regarding my stories, or maybe the age bracket. Maybe it would be better if it was geared toward young adults; teens and older teens? What do you think?

      What does everyone else think? Please feel free to reply to this (and any other) comment, people! Thanks!

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