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I don’t talk. It’s never been much of an issue. Mom talked to me all the time and I loved to listen. She always knew what I was thinking - she was my favorite person in the world.

That was, until the baby came along. All I did was look at him and he’d burst into fits of laughter, in turn making me giddy. One day, I went to his crib and jumped up to make him giggle. But I knocked over the lamp, and it fell on his head, leaving a scary, red gash.

That was the first time I wished I could talk.

I didn’t mean to. I whimpered, watching Mom rush the baby to the car.

The next night I was whisked from my bed by a burly man. I gazed over his shoulder at Mom, standing in the doorway with the baby. I prayed she understood me as clearly as she always had. I didn’t mean to.

My heart ached as I was dragged into the truck like cargo. With one last look at Mom in the doorway I saw a tear well in the corner of her eye as she whispered, “You’re a good boy, Mutt.”

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