She drove to the breeders home with her children. She had promised them a dog for Christmas, and they had decided that they wanted a Golden Labrador Retriever. The breeder lived in the country and it was a lot of fun to drive out to her house and go through the process of picking out a puppy. When they saw the puppies of course they fell head over hills in love. They were so cute. It was really hard to decide between them, however there was one that seemed to stand out for her, and her kids noticed him too. He was so cute because he bounced. When they played with him he bounced. He didn’t jump like the others, he actually bounced. Marva told the breeder that this one was the one they liked. The breeder gave them instructions about how to care for him and gave Marva his papers. Marva was delighted to see that he had been born on her birthday, December 19th, so he was her sign too, a sagittarius. She thought this would be a good name for him and the kids liked it too. So they called him Sagittarius, or Sag for short.

Right from the start, he was a wonderful dog. He was very loving and loyal. He was the best dog that Marva ever had had. He was very protective of all of them, especially the kids. He had been very easy to train and loved to play with the kids. He slept at the end of her bed. He loved to take baths and showers with all of them. When Marva was in the bath or shower he would just come and jump in with her if she didn’t close the door. He was a very funny dog. Her kids loved him. He had shown them all many times how heroic he was. He had saved her kids from minor scrapes over and over. One time they were swimming at a lake not far from their house and Marva’s daughter, Cadence, had swum to far out and become over tired and started going under the water. Sag jumped right in the water and swam out to her. She grabbed onto his collar and he swam back with her. He had saved her. Another time they were camping in the woods behind their house and Jerry, her son, had become prey for a cougar who was snarling at him and looked liked it was ready to pounce. Sag had immediately come to his rescue, and Sag took on the cougar. The cougar and Sag had fought, and Sag had won. The cougar took off into the woods. Saggy had been wounded but it wasn’t bad, he had recovered in a few weeks and was back to normal.

The whole family loved Sag. When they sat around the dining room table Sag would beg for food, and even though they all knew this was a bad habit, they still ended up giving him something just because his eyes were so big and drop dead adorably cute as he was sticking his paw in the air trying to get your attention so he could get a scrap off your plate. He had become the most spoiled member of the family but he probably deserved it because of all of his never-ending devotion, love and protection. When they sat downstairs and watched television, he would watch with them. He was just as interested as they were. He would hog the sofa and get little gold hairs all over it and everyone else too. But nobody seemed to mind, they all loved him to death.

One day Marva had taken Sag for a walk, and about half way through their walk they noticed a house that was on fire. Marva and Sag could hear someone inside crying for help. Sag didn’t hesitate. He ran into the house and searched out the person who was calling for help. It had been an old lady who was trapped in her room by the heat and flames. Sag had barked and she had heard him. She had opened the door for him. She covered herself with a blanket, and he led her out of the house. It had been very difficult for him and her though because of the fumes and neither one of them had survived. An ambulance had come to take her away, but she was already very ill from the toxic fumes of the fire and she died at the hospital. Sag was very ill too. After he came out of the house, he just layed there on the sidewalk pavement and couldn’t move. He started to become less and less active, and finally just passed out. Marva took him to the veterinarian, but the veterinarian couldn’t save him. Sag died. Everyone was heartbroken. Sag had been such a good, loving, and loyal dog, and such a hero. Sag had given his life to try to save the old lady. The family had a funeral for Sag and buried him in a pet cemetary. Marva promised herself that she would never own another dog, because she was so sad that Sag had died and she never wanted to replace him.

A year or so went by, and the house seemed so empty without the presence of Sag. Their family was still joyous, but still Sag’s presence had been what brought sparkle to the family brew. Then one day the breeder called to see how Sag was doing. She was so sad to hear that he had died. Then she told Marva that one of Sag’s sisters had just had a litter of puppies, and she invited Marva to have first pick of the litter. Marva told her no, that she was too heart broken. But the breeder wouldn’t listen to this, she said you know you have to go on in life. It will always hurt if there is a hole where Sag used to be. You wouldn’t be replacing Saggy, you would be honoring his life by renewal with one of his little nephews or nieces. That way every time you looked into the eyes of your new dog, you would see Sag. This really touched Marva’s heart and the more she thought about it, the more she realized the lady breeder was right. Their family needed to celebrate life, they had mourned enough, and now it was time to go on.

The next day she put the kids in the car and they drove to the breeders house in the country. The lady breeder was really happy to see them, and she quickly went to get the litter of puppies for them to play with and choose from. It didn’t take very long for everyone to laughingly choose one of the puppies. They had all selected the same puppy. It was a little girl puppy and everyone was laughing because she bounced just like Sag had. This time the litter was born in the summertime. The puppy was born on June 1st, and that made her a Gemini. Everyone thought it was a cool idea to name her after her sign just like Sag. They called her Gem for short. They took Gem home and it was a great decision. She was a blessing. Gem was a wonderful renewal of life and a grand way to remember and honor Sag. Their family was very happy to have such a Gem!



Outcast & Exiled Often From The..., United States

  • Artist

Artist's Description

This story is a reminder that after loss, we must mourn for a while, but then we need to go on…in order to live life, we must renew into the future. “Even death is not permanent, for it must turn to new life…” Buddist teaching.

Written for “zodiac 13” competition in Short Stories – Spherical Scriptings.

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