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      K-9 Connection                                              





I WAS DROWNING. The 30-foot wave went over me, pushing me down. I didn’t know where I was. I didn’t see any land. My legs they felt like they were broken. My arms felt like they were smashed by thousands of huge rocks. I couldn't breathe, my lungs felt like they collapsed. The waves were pushing me all over, the wind smashed against my face. Then another wave came. It looked bigger, stronger, and heavier.




My heart was pounding. I woke up sitting up in my bed with sweat all over. I looked around my room. It was dark. My mom came walking in. She turned on the bright light. Mom came and sat on the bed. She looked very tired. She had a blue robe on and rainbow socks.  




Mom said in a tired voice, “Was it the accident again?”




“Ever since it happened, I’ve been having the drowning dreams,”


I said to her. I looked at my alarm clock resting on the table by my bed. It read 3:21am. My dad came into my room with a cup of water in his hand and put it on the table. He turned around and made a big noise as he tripped over my cat, Milkshake. Dad groaned.




“Try to back to sleep,” Mom said gently. “It’s late.”


“You're right. I’ll try to go back to sleep.” I took a sip of my water and tried to go back to sleep. My parents went back to their room. I lay in my bed thinking of the accident. It was almost a month ago. I had taken my parents’ boat out past the cove and the wind picked up quickly and a sudden storm pounded the water around me. The waves pushed the boat over, throwing me into the ocean. I still don’t know how I got back to the beach. I still remember something pulling me onto the shore, but then it all went black. When I woke up in the hospital the next night, my parents told me the rescue team never saw anyone, but heard a dog barking and followed the sound. As I drifted back to sleep, I heard a faint whimper.




I woke up to the sound of thunder. I could hear the pouring rain, and, of course, I had my window open. I rolled out of bed and walked to the window. Pushing it closed, I looked out the window and saw nothing but black outside. I was too awake to go back to sleep, so I went to my dresser. I took off my pjs and put on a pair of jeans, a white t-shirt, and a gray jacket. I went down the hall and down the stairs into the kitchen.


My kitchen was still full of boxes from moving 3 months ago.  We moved when I turned 16.


We moved from Ohio to Seattle, Washington.  Now we live outside of Seattle on 11.4 acres of forest. There's a small town called Little Jones Compass.  




“It's always raining in Little Jones”, my mom says. “That's Seattle,” I say.




I walked to the back door and got my black and gray tennis shoes. I put them on. I sat down on the wood floor porch and looked into the forest. I saw the sun coming up over the forest.  Our house is not the best house in the world but it will do. It’s all stone on the outside. We have a worn, brown wooden porch in the back of the house that creaks under your feet. In the front there is a gray porch with two white rocking chairs that catch the morning sun. Next to them are two potted daisy plants. The front door is white with glass design.




    The sun was over the forest now. I looked at my watch, and it read 5:43 a.m. I started to get up and walk into the house. My dad, James, was in the kitchen already eating breakfast. “Good morning, Sage,” he said with a smile.


“Good morning.” I repeated. My dad was eating toast and reading the newspaper. It was Sunday so I didn't really have anything to do.


“Dad I’m going to the beach. ”


“Ok,” he said while taking a bite out of his toast. I walked to grab my car keys from the hook by the front door. I went outside and walked to my car. I opened the door and started the truck.  


Before I knew it, I was at Victoria Beach. I parked and got out of the car. I was parked on a cliff overlooking the ocean. I walked down the path of the cliff, to the shore. There was no one there that I could see. I walked peacefully down the shore. I kept on walking on the shore when I saw something really big lying on the ground ahead of me. I took a couple steps forward to get a better look. Whatever that thing was, it was really thin. I saw all its ribs. I kept on walking toward it. I realized what it was. It was some sort of dog! I walked in front of it and looked at the body of the dog. It had blood all over its legs and rib cage; I saw a bone sticking out of one leg. Its eyes were closed. Was the dog dead? No. It wasn’t. I saw it breathing (barely). What should I do? I couldn’t pick it up because it would probably hurt the dog too much. I reached into my pocket and grabbed my phone and called my dad. The phone was ringing.


Then a voice said, “Hello?”


“Hey Dad! I’m at Victoria Beach and there's a dog really hurt and I need you to come now!”


“Um… ok,” Dad said.


“Oh, and bring a blanket. Thanks, bye.”


My dad got there really fast. I saw him holding a yellow blanket. He ran over and kneeled down and looked at the dog. My dad used to be a helper at the vet’s office, so he knew some things.




“Dad, is he going to be alright?”


He looked over at me and with a straight face said, “I don’t know. Sage, help me put this blanket under this dog,” my dad said while handing me the blanket. I bent over and started talking to the dog.


“It’s going to be alright.” I said in a whisper. I looked over at my dad who was kneeling on the other side of the dog.


Dad looked over at me and said, “When I count to three, I’m going to lift the dog up, and you're going to put the blanket under him ok?”


“Ok.” I said.  


Dad looked at me and whispered, “One, two, three”! He lifted the dog up quickly and the dog YELPED so loud that I jumped. I put the blanket under him really fast and said, “Ok, Dad”.


Dad put him down slowly on the blanket, but the dog looked like he was suffering so much. I knew what to do next. I grabbed two of the corners and waited for Dad to do the same. Dad looked over at me and nodded at me to lift up the dog. The dog started to cry so loud. “Dad we have to hurry!” Before I knew it we were at our cars. My Dad had brought our old small green mini van.




“Dad you’re going to drive the dog to the vet and I will follow behind you,” I said.


We put the dog in the passenger seat of the van.  I shut the door slowly so I would not make the dog jump. I ran to my car and started to follow Dad out.




I was followed my Dad until we arrived at the vets. A big sign over the building read, Little Pet’s Corner with a picture of dog and a cat sitting next to each other. I got out of my car and closed the door behind me. Dad was inside the vet’s office already. The dog was still in the car. I opened the car door so the dog could have some air on his face. His eyes were shut. I started to talk to him gently, “Hey boy! It’s going to be ok. You’re going to feel way better after the vets.”




The dog opened his eyes and looked at me. His eyes looked like they were in more pain than his one leg with the bone sticking out of it. I slowly reached out my hand and put it by the dog’s nose so he could sniff it. I put my other hand on his head and started to pet him. I realized that he had blood covering his side of his head. I sighed. Was this dog going to even make it? Dad ran out with two workers. I stepped back so they could see the dog.


The younger doctor took one look at the dog and said, “Oh dear.” The woman doctor raised the leg of the dog and observed it. She looked over the rest of his body.


Then she finally said, “It looks like we need to some surgery.”


She sighed, “It may or may not work. This dog is really lucky to be alive right now.”


“Dad, we need to do the surgery,” I said with a louder voice than I intended.


“Ok.” He said, “How much is this going to cost”? “In this condition it might be more than a thousand dollars, and the dog may not survive overnight.” Dad walked over to the dog and sighed then said in a whisper, “We need to do it.”




I looked over at the two veterinarians. They were talking quietly to each other. The man held his hand up to the women and looked at the front door. They both nodded. The girl vet ran over and said to my Dad. “Can you help us get the stretcher? It will be a lot faster.” Dad was halfway to the door before I knew it. The man walked to the dog and me. I was kneeling on the wet pavement and petting the dog on the head.


“When did you find the dog?” The man asks while he picked up the dog's head.


“Um… I think around 6:17 a.m.?” I said with a quiet voice.


“How did you find the dog and how did he look?” He said with a rushed voice.       


“I was walking on the beach when I found a body that looked like a dog, and it was. He looked a lot like this but a lot bloodier and more wet.”




I looked at the dog and he was covered with blood. He had probably lost more than half of his blood by now. Dad and the other doctor were standing with the stretcher. I stood up and backed away.




We finally got the dog inside of Little Pet’s Corner. We walked into a room in the back. There was an x-ray machine in the middle of the room and a big cage on the floor with blankets. We put the dog on the X-Ray table.


“We are going to take an X-Ray then we are going to do surgery on him if we need to” said the woman. I looked at her shirt and it had a nametag on it that spelled Sam D-Well.


“Sam” I said “do you think the dog is going to survive?” She looked at my dad and then said, “May I speak with you?” Dad looked at me and I knew he was telling me to go out of the room. I looked at the dog and walked out slowly. I walked into the waiting room and sat down on a green chair. There was one other person in the room; they had a parrot on one arm. “SHUT UP, SHUT UP, SHUT UP!” the parrot screamed. I looked away. Then my dad came in the room.


I stood up. “Come on.” he said while walking to the door. “Wait! What about the dog?” “They're going to call if they need us.” dad said with a half smile, “It’s going to be alright.” I nodded and walked to the door.  The wind felt nice on my face. I walked to my car and opened the door. “Let’s go home,” I said while I sat down and started the car. I pulled out of the parking lot and into the road. I drove right home without any stops along the way. I pulled in our driveway and stopped the car.




    When I got in the house mom was on her laptop. “Hey! You’re home!” she yelled from the other side of the room.


“Yeah, I’m going to my room.” I got to my room and fell asleep.






    Dad woke me up. He had a phone in his hand, “Ok. Yes thank you.” he said on the phone. I sat up and looked at my alarm clock 10:09 it read. “Is everything ok, Dad?” I said in a worried voice. “Um…” he said quietly, “The vets just called and they want to talk to us.” I got out of bed and stood up and walked down the stairs. I couldn't think about how sad I would be if the dog died. I was so stressed. Dad was right behind me when I walked out the door. I opened the passenger door of the car and sat down. “Here we are.” Dad said as we pulled into the parking lot. I got out of the car. It was cold outside and it was partly raining.




I saw the dog through the window on the door. He was on a table with tubes and bandages on him. I looked around the room to see if there were any doctors with him. I opened the door without thinking about it and went into the room. I slowly walked to the dog. He looked bad, but better than before. There was a piece of chart next to him that listed had all the things he broke. Three broken ribs and a fractured leg.  Jaw broken, tail fractured, and six cuts that are 1 or 2 inches deep. The dog had his eyes closed, but he was wagging his tale so hard that I felt a gush of wind on my face. I put my hand in front of his nose so he could smell me. He opened his eyes and started to lick me.


“Hello boy” I said with a happy voice. I felt happier as I looked at the dog.


“What are you doing in here?” a voice said from behind me. I turned around. There was a man I didn’t recognize. “Um… ” I said. “Well you’re not supposed to be in here.”  “Ok.” I whispered walking out the door to the waiting room. I saw Dad and a nurse in the back of the room. I walked over to see what was going on. She was showing Dad the X-Rays. I didn’t want to look at the X-rays. I already knew how bad it was.


Then I stepped forward and said, “Is he going to survive or not?” I asked in a stern voice.


The doctor and Dad turned to me. “The doctor stepped towards me, “It’s not going to be easy, but with proper care he could make it.”


I looked at my Dad, “Dad, can we take care of him at home?” Dad turned to the doctor and asked, “Is that an option?”


“Yes, but you’ll have to spend a lot of time to get him back to health.”


“Dad, can we please take him home?” I asked. Dad sighed, “It’s going to be your responsibility to watch over him and get him what he needs. Are you sure you’re up for that?” “You know I am, Dad.” I smiled.




                                                        -One And A Half Years Later-


“There's my good boy!”  I said as I throw his toy.  I watched my good dog running and hopping around. Dylan ran and got his toy and gave it back to me. His tail was wagging so hard that I felt the wind of it moving three feet away. I sat on the grass and looked at the sunset. “Come here honey,” I said. Dylan ran over and sat on my lap. We watched the sun falling asleep. “I love you Dylan,” I said as I hugged him, he looked at me and gave me a kiss, we both looked at the sun and started to fall asleep together.


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