Fiction: A Dog Named Christmas
(Page 13 of 17)
By two o’clock in the afternoon Christmas Eve, we had placed twelve dogs. We were down to six, when a television truck pulled into the driveway. I’d seen it at the courthouse with a big “5” on the side and the satellite antenna on the top. I figured it was lost.
A woman I recognized from the news came to the door. She introduced herself and asked if she could talk to Todd and me for a few minutes.
“We’re doing a story on the Adopt a Dog for Christmas program. I understand your family has been involved.”
“Yes,” I said. “Please, come in.”
We sat on the sofa by the fire. She talked to Todd and shook Christmas’ paw, and then she turned to the camera and told the audience that the shelter was staying open late that night. If people wanting to help were fast, they, too, could adopt a dog in time for Christmas.
At six o’clock that evening, Todd, Christmas and I watched the news together. Around seven o’clock, after we’d had dinner, Mark and his children showed up. Everyone had seen the news, and they were all kidding Todd about being a television celebrity. He seemed quiet, though, and I thought something was bothering him. I assumed it was just the excitement.
Half an hour later, while Mark’s children were talking about the adopted dogs that were camped out in their backyard, Todd stood up and left the room. I waited a few minutes, and then followed him into the kitchen. He was sitting at the table with his hands folded in his lap.
“What’s wrong, Todd? Do you feel all right?” I asked.
“Yeah, I’m OK,” he said. “I was just wondering if all the dogs were adopted.”
I was wondering, too, so I said, “Let’s call Beth at the shelter and find out. I bet she’s still there.”
I dialed the number and after several rings was about to hang up when Beth, out of breath, finally answered.
“County Wide Shelter, Beth speaking.”
“Hi, Beth, it’s George and Todd,” I said. “I guess you know we were on the news?”
“Yes, I know,” Beth said. “And, George, we placed all the dogs that were here this morning. Right after the news aired, our phone began ringing off the hook. That friend of yours, the old guy?”
“You mean Hank?” I asked.
“That’s him,” she said. “He took two!”
I laughed out loud and hollered, “Hank took two dogs!”
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