Summer ended and Michael went back to school. During the daytime, Shep roamed the yard. Sometimes Shep wandered farther than the yard. A few times Shep was gone overnight. These occasions caused Michael much alarm. Michael scolded Shep when he returned, but not very much, because he was very glad to have Shep back again. Not long after one of his overnight escapades, Shep disappeared for an entire week. Michael was very sad. Finally, on a weekend, when Michael was outside in the yard, Shep came prancing up to him. Michael petted the dog on the head and Shep licked his face.
“Where have you been?” Michael asked wishing his wayward friend would talk.
After a short time of bonding with Michael again, Shep became distracted. He seemed nervous and unsettled. The dog turned around and started to leave the yard.
“Wait for me!” Michael yelled and ran alongside Shep.
Shep slowed his pace for Michael to keep up with him, and he continued in the direction away from the yard and down the road. Michael had not gone this far from home before. He knew he should have told his parents that he was following Shep, but he also knew that Shep would not have waited for him.
At last Shep stopped at a farmhouse that was situated a long way off the road. Shep started up the long driveway. Michael wasn’t sure what he should do, but he followed Shep. At the end of the driveway there was a young girl about Michael’s age sitting in a wheelchair. Shep approached the girl in the wheelchair as though he knew her very well.