My brother, mom, and I were making our way to my brother’s favorite store, the magic store that looked like a castle on the outside. That’s when I saw him, just laying on the sidewalk surrounded by his friends, the biggest chocolate lab I had ever seen.
I immediately collapsed on the floor next to him, petting his side while he licked my face. It was love at first sight.
My mom’s house was full of dogs. We had four at home. Riely, (I spelled his name when I was 9) he was a black dog with a curly tail that I had gotten in Crested Butte when I was nine. Star, she was a purebred black lab that was my brother’s dog and was always destroying things. Gidget, a small white doodle of some kind that was my mom’s true love. Audrey, a gorgeous Golden Retriever who was the cuddliest dog and loved to lay with anyone who was around. I had been programmed to love dogs and I loved this dog, this big chocolate lab laying on the sidewalk.
My mom and brother went into the castle magic store and I told them I was staying here with the dog.
After what must have been an hour or so, but felt like only a couple minutes my mom and brother came out. My head was now laying on the dogs side while I stroked him.
“Mom, look at him! Isn’t he sweet?!”
“Yes, Tori he seems very sweet, but we don’t need another dog.”
“But mom, look how much he loves me. He needs a home.”
“You can take him for a walk if you want,” The woman who was running the adoption said.
“Ok!” I grabbed his leash and didn’t give my mom time to disagree.
“Fine, let’s go.” My mom was unconvinced this was a good idea, but she could tell I was not letting this go.
I walked the dog between me and my brother to the soap shop my mom wanted to go to. He trotted along beside us and sat while we waited for mom to shop. Once she came out of the store and saw my brother and I on either side of the sitting lab she knew it was over.
“Ok, we can bring him home. BUT what are we going to do with him when we are out of town? We leave in a week.”
My mom and I were going on our annual mother’s daughter trip, we were going to Paris for Christmas for my 16th birthday.
“I’ll see if Jake will watch him.” No sooner had I finished the sentence than I was texting him.
Hey! We got a new dog. Do you think you could watch him while my mom and I are out of town?
I waited for a reply, but I was sure he would do it as we walked back to the adoption center.
“Jake will watch him!” I hollered at my mom.
The adoption agency let us know that the dog had bad hips, so bad that even surgery wouldn’t fix them. He was two and the doctors had given him two years to live.
“That’s ok, we will love him and give him a good home until he dies. Who will take care of a sick dog?!” I looked at my mom and pleaded with her that everything was fine.
“Ok,” she said.
We paid the adoption fee, took his picture with Santa, and walked to the car.
The drive home was filled with conversation on what we should name him. His name from the adoption center was Captain, but we wanted to name him something else. My brother loved movies and we were living in the time of Pirates of The Carribean, “Captain Jack!” said my brother.
“Jack,” I like that!
Just like that he was named.
“Tori, see if Jake can come over and meet him tonight.”
UGH! What could be better? A new dog AND Jake coming over.
Hey, can you come over and meet Jack tonight? My mom wants to show you everything around the house and what he needs.
Sure! Let me know when you’re home and I’ll come over.
Just like that I had a new life long friend and my boyfriend was not only excited on my behalf that I was going to see Paris, but he was going to watch our new dog and help our trip happen.
The Christmas spirit of the day had definitely returned in the shape of a big brown lab.