Shep – segment 2 of 6

Michael lived with his family in a grand old country house surrounded by trees. There couldn’t have been a better environment for a child growing up and this was summertime. Yet, there was one element lacking: Eight-year-old Michael had no brothers or sisters and there were no close neighbors with children with whom he might socialize. As lonely as Michael was, he could think of nothing other than his new canine friend.

“Come on, boy,” Michael coaxed. “Come in the house with me.”

The dog followed. Michael put down a bowl of water, which the dog lapped up quickly.

“Mom, he’s thirsty,” Michael said sensing his mother’s simmering disapproval. “We’ve been playing really hard. You should see this dog chase my ball. All the way across the yard! And then he brings it straight back to me!”

“I don’t like a dog drinking from our bowls, Michael,” she answered.

She didn’t like the dirty rascal strutting around her kitchen, either. She wasn’t a mean mom, but this was too much. It was all she could do not to say words she’d regret later.

Michael paused deciding whether he should retrieve the bowl, but the dog had finished, so Michael picked up the bowl, rinsed it, and put it in the kitchen sink for his mother to wash later.

“We could get a special bowl for Shep, couldn’t we?” Michael asked.


“I named him Shep because Dad said he looks like a German shepherd.”

“Shep is a good name for him, Michael, but don’t forget that this dog probably belongs to someone. A dog doesn’t just show up on your doorstep from nowhere. Someone around here owns it.”

“What if no one comes around looking for Shep? May I keep him?”

“I don’t think so. Michael. He’ll probably disappear the same way he showed up. You’ll get up in the morning and Shep will be on his way home. We have to let him go back to his owner. You know this is the right thing to do.”

About Carol Ann Ritchey

Life is good because God is good.
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4 Responses to Shep – segment 2 of 6

  1. buttercup600 says:

    I am excitedly waiting for what is going to happen…I have a very similar story (only child…had a stray…but will tell you after your story’s done)….Can’t wait!!! Keep writing oxox


  2. Child falling in love with stray dog is common. We had a collie that came to our doorstep like Shep. The story in Shep is different, but the dog that just joined our family was similar. He was a great dog. We all loved him. One day in the dead of winter up in the North, he left and didn’t come home again. He was very old and had arthritis, so we think he died somewhere out in the snow. We all looked for him, but didn’t find him. We were all very sad. Thanks for your enthusiasm about a boy and his dog story.


  3. Trisha says:

    a touching story. i have read the end already so…..

    every thing you write shows your loving heart, thats why they are so lovely.


    • Carol Ann Hoel says:

      Thank you, Trish. I am so grateful when someone reads one of my short stories and likes it. Your visit is a treasure. Blessings to you…


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