I was about 12 years old in the late seventies and being raised by my hard of hearing grandmother. We lived in a small twelve foot by thirty foot trailer. A few blocks from my home was a small pet store that was owned by an old widowed German woman. She had a very kind heart and loved animals. Most of the neighborhood kids would harass this poor soul on a daily basis due to her German accent. She would let me work a few hours a week in the store cleaning out the dirty cages and give me change at the end of the week to pay me. One day I noticed a new Sheltie puppy had arrived. The poor animal was the runt of the litter. It stayed in the corner of the cage shaking, it's two eyes were caked due to an eye infection and it's fur was matted with it's food. I asked the woman how much she wanted for the puppy. She looked at me and with her German accent told me that she'd pay me to take it. The next thing that I knew was that I was walking home with this little helpless critter under my winter coat to keep it from freezing to death. I walked into my trailer and asked my Grandmother if I could keep it. Needless to say, Grandma was not happy about this new addition. She asked how we could afford it and who would take care of it. She really didn't want to have anything to do with the poor thing. She told me that she would give me a week to see how it worked out. She assured me that it would be going back since she could not stand dogs and would have nothing to do with it. The first few days I'd run home from school since I couldn't wait to see the puppy. Grandma would complain about the puppy for the first half hour or so when I first came home about what he did wrong. She kept telling me how she could not stand the darn thing. This went on for weeks, always complaining about what the puppy did or didn't do. I noticed after a few weeks that the puppy was getting healthier every day. His eyes cleared up and he was gaining weight. He seemed happy and was always following Grandma around the trailer. She would yell at him and he would put his head down to the ground with his backside up in the air wanting to play and not paying much attention to her. He'd bark at her and she'd yell at him. I found it rather funny, but wouldn't let Grandma know that I was laughing at them. One day I came home from school early and Grandma was taking a nap with the puppy next to her in bed. After she woke up and saw me she started to complain at the dog jumping in bed with her. I knew that this was not possible because the puppy was not tall enough to even get up our front steps let alone a bed. Grandma was hard of hearing, so when I came into the trailer most of the time she couldn't hear. One day I walked in and saw Grandma rocking the puppy back and forth in her arms like a baby singing to it, "My Sheltie, My Sheltie." When Grandma noticed me she placed the dog right down on the floor shaking her finger at it telling it to leave her alone. I knew what was going and just shook my head. After ten years of Grandma telling me that she couldn't stand the dog, she finally admitted to me that she loved the dog the minute I brought it home. She told me that she fed and gave the dogs its medicine when it was younger. When I was about twenty two I came home one day late from work and saw Grandma still laying in bed with the dog next to her. The dog was whimpering, crying and licking my Grandma trying to wake her up. I knew that she was gone but I still heard her singing "My Sheltie, My Sheltie."
Submitted by Anonymous
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